June 14, 2006
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The Loyola Marymount University Women's Soccer team today announces the complete incoming recruiting class to enter in the fall of 2006. For the fifth consecutive year, LMU's class is ranked as one of the Top 50 classes in the country. This year, Soccer Buzz ranked the Lions' class of 2006 as the 8th best in the West and 28th nationally. Donning the crimson and navy this fall will be Kim Feeney, Kacey Doherty, Tiffany Harrison, Alexandria (Ali) Neptune, Leslie Grandy, Lacey Bartels, Kristen Garcia, Katrina Chong, Jillian Sweetnam, and Jessica Sharpe.
"Our main focus of this recruiting class has been to bring in players who can fill the holes created by the graduation of our seniors," said LMU head coach Gregg Murphy. "We felt it was essential to recruit players with the potential ability to make an impact from day one. With this class, I think we have certainly accomplished that goal. This is a very diverse and talented class."
Selected as the NSCAA High School Player of the Year for California and a NSCAA High School All Far-West Region and All-American selection, Feeney is a Soccer Buzz Top 75 Recruit. A two time All-Conference selection for San Ramon Valley High School and a two time state champion with her club team the Pleasanton Rage, Feeney was a member of the 1988 Region IV ODP team and a member of the U.S. U-16 National Team Pool.
"Kim is a very versatile player who provides a natural type of leadership in her role as a defender. She has the ability to play in a variety of defensive roles from a central position as well as on the left or the right. She is a very smart player and possesses some great physical attributes," said Murphy.
Hailing from Lakewood, CA, Doherty is a two-time All-Conference selection for Long Beach Wilson High School. A member of the U.S. U-14 and U-16 National Team Pools and a three-year member of the 1988 Region IV ODP team, Soccer Buzz tabbed Doherty as one of the top 100 recruits in the country. Doherty plays club soccer for Arsenal FC in Alta Loma, CA.
"Kacey is a natural left footed player who is comfortable anywhere in the back four and can play on the outside of midfield as well. She is a very good passer of the ball and possesses a very good sense of the game," commented Murphy.
Harrison, from Murrieta, CA, joins the Lions from the prestigious San Diego Surf Soccer Club. Prior to joining the Surf, she helped lead her Slammers FC team to a USYSA National Championship in 2002 and a national finalist performance in 2004. Harrison is a three-time All Conference and a two-time All-CIF selection for Murrieta Valley High School. The 5-11 athlete is a member of the 1988 Region IV ODP team and a top 100 recruit for 2006 according to Soccer Buzz.
"Tiffany is one of the most athletic players to come to LMU in recent years. She is dominant in the air in both attacking and defending moments. She can play anywhere from central defender to forward. She will be a big part of what we try to accomplish in the next four years," Murphy stated.
Neptune, a 5-4 midfielder from Parkland, FL stars for the Weston Soccer Club as a member of the Weston Fury and for four-time Florida state champion Majory Stoneman Douglas High School. Majory Stoneman Douglas High School is currently ranked #1 in the nation by the NSCAA/adidas poll for high school soccer. Neptune, also an All County cross country runner, garnered four Top 30 finishes in the Florida 4A State Cross Country Championships in 2003, 2004, and 2005. As the first Florida member of the LMU Soccer family, Neptune is slated to help on the flanks for the Lions in 2006.
In assessing Neptune's impact, Murphy stated, "Ali has the potential to be a significant contributor from day one. Her work rate and ability to play-make from a wide midfielder position will immediately pay dividends here at LMU."
Grandy is a 5-6 central defender or defensive midfielder from Diamond Bar, CA. She is a member of the Slammers FC who were the Cal South State Champions, Far-West Regional Champions, and USYSA National Champions in 2003 and 2005. Selected Best Defensive Player and All Conference for her Diamond Bar High School team, Grandy, a member of the 1988 Region IV ODP team, was honored by Soccer Buzz as one of the top 75 recruits in 2006.
On Grandy, Murphy stated, "Leslie is a very gritty, competitive type of player, who will instantly make us better. Her work rate and attitude will instantly help to replace the physical presence and versatility we lose with the graduation of our seniors."
Bartels, 5-3, joins the Lions from Air Academy High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A four time Academic All-State Selection, Bartels served as a 3-year captain for both her high school team and her club side, the Colorado Rush. A three-year member of the 1988 Colorado State Team, Bartels will bring her versatile play to LMU where she figures to make an impact in the midfield.
On Bartels, Murphy said, "Lacey is a young woman with tremendous leadership ability. She is a hard working player who loves to make her teammates better. She will be very good for us in the midfield or even as a wide defender."
Garcia, 5-6, joins the Lions as a wide midfielder/forward from Folsom High School in Folsom, CA. Garcia played her club soccer for the San Juan Spirits and the Pleasanton Rage. She was named All Delta League in 2005 serving as the team captain for her high school side. Garcia also played for the 1988 Cal North State Team.
"Kristen is a player who can add a lot as a wide attacking player for our team. She will do very well here at LMU," Murphy commented.
Chong, a 5-8 forward, joins the Lions from Hilo High School in Hilo, Hawaii. Chong scored 65 career goals and was named 1st Team All-State in 2005 and 2006. She is a three-year member of the 1988 Hawaii ODP State team and led the Honolulu Bulls to the 2005 US Club Soccer U-17 National Championship. Chong tallied the game-winning goal in the US Club Soccer National Final.
"Katrina is a very athletic player who scores goals. She is versatile enough to also play as a midfielder or even as a defender. She has had a lot of success before coming to LMU and we look forward to her continuing her winning ways in an LMU uniform," said Murphy.
Sweetnam, a 5-6 forward/midfielder, hails from Pleasanton, CA where she prepped at Foothill High School. Sweetnam led her high school team to a North Coast Section (NCS) Championship in 2004 and a finalist appearance in 2005. She is also a member of the Pleasanton Rage club and is a member of the 1988 Cal North ODP program.
"Jill is a strong target forward who does very well with her back to goal. She is a tremendous worker and fights very hard to finish her chances. " stated Murphy when asked of Sweetnam's potential impact.
Sharpe, 5-7, from Buena Park, CA. will round out the 2006 class. Sharpe, a forward from Sunny Hills High School will provide tremendous pace and goal scoring ability to the Lions front-runners. Sharpe is no stranger to success as she was named Freeway League Player of the Year in 2004. In 2005, she was named CIF Division III Attacking Player of the Year while leading Sunny Hills to a CIF Championship. In 2006 she garnered Freeway League Attacking Player of the Year honors and was named 1st Team All-Orange County by the O.C. Register. She played her club soccer for Anaheim Soccer Club and the ASC Express.
On Sharpe, Murphy stated, "Jessica has tremendous pace, is very good in the air, and simply put, she scores goals. She will be a tremendous player for us."
"These ten young women make up a very diverse and talented class. They will blend in very well with the style of play and the core group of players we already have in place. Our goal in 2006 is to win the WCC Championship and this class will help us achieve this goal," Murphy concluded.