GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG women's soccer coach Steve Nugent will bring in a seven-member recruiting class for 2011, including three transfers and four freshmen.
Junior Karin Sendel, redshirt sophomores Tinna Bergthorsdottir and Christina Chai Chang and freshmen Shea Glaspey, Casey McCavitt, Karina Rodriguez and Ashley Stokes comprise Nugent's inaugural recruiting class at UNCG.
"We are extremely excited to welcome our 2011 class," Nugent said. "This is truly an outstanding class that features a very talented and balanced group of players. Most importantly, they represent the type of people that we want representing our program and university. This group brings with it a tremendous amount of athleticism and technical ability. In addition, these players have an amazing winning attitude. They are all highly competitive and are committed toward trying to be their very best, both on the soccer field and in the classroom. We are really looking forward to having them join the Spartan family and continue to build upon on our tradition of excellence. I am so thankful to coach Jamie Corti and coach Sandy Davision for their tireless efforts in helping to bring in the 2011 class."
Sendel, a transfer from Ohio State, made 12 appearances last season for the Buckeyes, who made their first-ever College Cup appearance after winning their first-ever Big Ten title. Sendel played 31 games at OSU in two years, with the Buckeyes making the NCAA tournament field of 64 each season. The Kiryat Tivon, Israel, midfielder has been a member of Israel's national team since she was 16 and was a captain of the Under-19 national team for two years. The 22-year-old also logged two years of military service in the Israel Defense Forces.
"Karin Sendel is a creative attacking player with the ability to unlock defenses," Nugent said. "She is capable of generating scoring chances with both her dribbling and passing. Karin has great vision along with a tremendous work rate that will cause problems for UNCG opponents. She will greatly enhance our team with her ability to score goals and create goals for others. Her experience with the Israel national team will be an asset to our team, and I am sure she will provide some exciting moments for Spartan fans."
Bergthorsdottir, a defender, comes to UNCG from Greensboro College, where she made five appearances with two starts in 2010. Her first collegiate goal came in her first career game, as she notched the lone score in the Pride's 1-0 win over Maryville to open the season. In 2005, the Reykjavik, Iceland, native helped her club team, Fylkir, win the second division championship and earn an elevation to the first league, where it was remained since. Bergthorsdottir was named the most promising player for the club's Under-17 team.
"Tinna joins UNCG from Iceland where she has competed with some of the top club teams and has experience in the national system," Nugent said. "Tinna is extremely good on the ball, with very good decision-making. She brings a winning mentality and you can't have enough of those players. Another impressive thing about Tinna is her understanding of when to play simple and when to be more creative. She has a very strong mindset and will have an immediate impact in our program."
Midfielder/defender Chai Chang spent the last two years at St. John's University in Queens, N.Y. After not seeing action as a true freshman in 2009, Chai Chang made one appearance last season, getting the starting nod in a 1-0 win over Rhode Island. A two-time Miami Herald all-county selection for St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Chai Chang, a Pembroke Pines, Fla., native, helped the team to a state championship in 2005. She also played club soccer for Team Boca under Nugent.
"Christina has been a winner at every level she has played and will bring that mentality to our program," Nugent said. "I have enjoyed watching her play over the years and had the pleasure of coaching her as a youth player. Her time at St. John's has been filled with injuries and I believe coming to UNCG gives her a fresh start. Christina's ability to defend and tackle will be a much-needed addition to our midfield. Her versatility to play centrally and in the back line will give us more options in the defensive third. She is going to bring a lot to our program off the field, as well, and we are excited to have her playing for the 'G' in the fall."
Glaspey was an All-Pioneer Valley Conference selection for Bear River High School. The Grass Valley, Calif., native helped the Bruins to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs, their first playoff appearance in school history. The defender/midfielder played club soccer for seven years with Placer United alongside fellow incoming UNCG freshman McCavitt. Together, the duo helped Placer United to the US Club Soccer National Cup title in 2008.
"Shea Glaspey is one of the top central defenders we have seen," Nugent said. "She has all of the physical and mental tools to excel in the college game. Her understanding and ability to read the game are her biggest strengths. Shea is not only a great defender but she is also a player that has tremendous range to play dangerous balls behind defenses. Shea has tremendous versatility and will see time not only on our back line but in the attack, as well. Her strong technical ability on restarts will give us an advantage in dangerous areas."
McCavitt, a midfielder, was three-time All-Sierra Foothill League performer for Del Oro High School in her hometown of Loomis, Calif. She played eight years for Placer United, helping the squad to the US Club Soccer National Cup title and the Mustang Stampede and Surf College Cup finals in 2008. Alongside Glaspey, McCavitt and Placer United won the SC del Sol Presidents Day Tournament in 2010.
"Casey brings a lot of qualities to the table," Nugent said. "She can out-run you. She can beat you on the dribble. She can outmuscle you. And she won't think twice about running you over. Plus, she's a natural goal-scorer who has a knack for scoring big goals in critical moments. We love her size, quickness, tireless work rate and ability to make things happen. Casey makes everyone around her better and her abilities in the midfield will impact our team."
A member of the Colombian Under-17 and Under-20 national teams, Rodriguez was a three-time Sun-Sentinel all-county honorable mention performer for American Heritage School of Boca/Delray. The Boca Raton, Fla., forward played in the Soccer Locker/Soccer Max Senior All-Star Game in 2011, assisting on the game-winner for the North side. Rodriguez helped the Stallions to state titles in her final two seasons, scoring the first goal in the 2011 championship match, and the team was ranked No. 1 nationally by the NSCAA in 2007-08. At the club level, she played 12 years for Team Boca, helping her squad to a pair of State Cup championships and two more State Cup finals appearances.
"Karina is a dynamic and explosive attacking player," Nugent said. "She has proven that she can score in a variety of ways. Her recruiting process out of high school was disrupted by injuries, so she really slipped through the cracks and we are lucky to have her. She will enhance our attack in the final third and gives us another tremendous option up top. Karina has spent time training with the U17 Columbian national team and plays on a national championship club program that will give her the confidence to compete on a high level. Karina will have a very good college career at UNCG."
Cary, N.C., native Stokes was a two-time all-region and all-state performer for Green Hope High School, earning the distinction in each of her final two seasons. A four-time All-Tri-9 Conference selection and the Tri-9 Player of the Year as a senior, Stokes graduated as Green Hope's career leader in total points and assists and was a high school teammate of current UNCG senior Nicole Danford. Stokes, a midfielder/forward, played for Capital Area Soccer League for nine years, winning six state titles.
"Ashley Stokes is an outstanding attacking player with the speed and finishing ability to create problems for any opponent," Nugent said. "She is a tough player who works for everything and will make the players around her better. Ashley is a player that can beat you with skill and creativity, or she can beat you with athleticism and determination. Ashley is our lone player from the state of North Carolina in this class and we are excited that she will be a UNCG Spartan."
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