Eisenhower Alum Among 10 New Players for CWU Women's Soccer - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Eisenhower Alum Among 10 New Players for CWU Women's Soccer Season

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by Sammy Henderson, CWU Athletic Media Relations Assistant)  

ELLENSBURG, Wash. (Feb. 15) -- Central Washington University women's soccer coach Michael Farrand has announced the addition of 10 high school seniors who will continue their soccer careers with the Wildcats in the upcoming 2012 season.

Joining the 2012 Wildcat women's soccer team are Emily Ainsworth (Camas, Wash.), Addie Beplate (Salt Lake City, Utah/Cottonwood HS), Lauren Duty (Black Diamond, Wash./Tahoma HS), Reilly Retz (Kent, Wash./Kentwood HS), Aubrey Rodgers (Puyallup, Wash./Emerald Ridge HS), Lizzy Blanchard (Yakima, Wash./Eisenhower HS), Kianna Green (Portland, Ore./Grant HS), Ashley Saracino (Lake Stevens, Wash.), Alisyn Cundiff (Bothell, Wash.) and Cassie Ripley (Vancouver, Wash./Skyview HS).

"Our 2012 class is a great class," Farrand explained. "We graduated seven seniors, all of whom had an impact on our program, so this class definitely fills some holes and adds depth to a number of positions. Overall, I think we became quicker as a team. The impact of our 2011 class was awesome, and I expect this class to have just as much of an impact on the overall development of our soccer program."

"Lizzy (Blanchard) has good speed and a tough never-say-die attitude that makes her one of the best athletes to come out of the Mid-Valley. We expect her to play as an outside defender and be a fierce competitor as she trains to win a starting role."

Green and Ainsworth have experience playing together, as both were members of the Westside Metros Fury 93 club team based in Beaverton, Ore., that won the Oregon state tournament. Green spent the last two seasons playing varsity level soccer for Grant High School in Portland, while Ainsworth earned a second-team all-Greater St. Helens League selection as a high school senior at Camas High School.

"Kianna (Green) is an excellent defender, and her speed and ability to win the ball will make it tough for any opposing player to get behind us on the back line," Farrand said.

"Emily's (Ainsworth) physical toughness, speed and technical skills will increase our competition in the outside midfielder spot and add some needed depth to that position."

Retz and Duty have also been club teammates for Dos FC 93 of Kent. Retz had a successful four years of varsity soccer at Kentwood High School, qualifying for the state tournament each season, where the Conquerors placed third during her sophomore year and were state champions during her junior season in 2010. She also earned first-team all-South Puget Sound League (SPSL) North recognition each of her final three years at Kentwood. Duty also played in the state tournament each of her four years at Tahoma High School, placing second in state as a junior, losing the championship game to Retz and the Conquerors. She earned all-SPSL honors as both a junior and a senior.

"Reilly (Retz) plays mostly as a holding midfielder, but with her athleticism and speed she has the capability of playing a variety of positions for us." Farrand said.

"Lauren (Duty) is a tough physical player who can get to the goal on her own and should present so very real challenges for our opponents from the outside mid position or even as a forward."

Beplate and Rodgers are both midfielders that will jockey for playing time next season. Beplate was a four-year letter winner, earning Utah Class 5A Region 3 All-Region honors as a senior at Cottonwood High School, while Rodgers was a three-year letter winner at Emerald Ridge High School in Puyallup, Wash.

"Addie (Beplate) is not afraid to compete and has the willingness to train at the highest levels," Farrand said. "She will play mostly as an outside mid and help match our style of play with technical skill and speed.

"Aubrey (Rodgers) played multiple positions for her club, and we see her helping us form the defensive mid position because she is a solid defender and a good ball-winner with passing skills that match our needs."

Joining Green on the defensive side of the ball are Saracino and Blanchard. Blanchard was a Columbia Basin Big Nine all-conference first-team defender as a senior, while Saracino helped Lake Stevens earn a berth in the WIAA Class 4A state tournament each of the past two seasons.

"Ashley (Saracino) will most likely be our fastest defender, and one of the fastest players on our team, which makes her one of the top defenders in the Northwest," Farrand said.

Rounding out the group are Ripley and Cundiff, who are the only forwards in this recruiting class. Ripley combined for 19 goals and 10 assists between her sophomore and junior seasons at Skyview High School before an injury forced her to miss her entire senior campaign. Cundiff led Bothell High School in scoring as a sophomore and as a junior, and has been a National Honor Society member each year in the classroom.

"We worked with Cassie (Ripley) at our Wildcat Prospect Camp and we found a player who I feel will be a great addition to our top line," Farrand said. "Our system of play benefits a player of her abilities, and it should allow her to come in and be a dangerous player in our conference and region.

"Alisyn (Cundiff) can play the outside mid position as well. She is the type of player who gives us some flexibility in terms of where we can play her, and her play as a member of her Crossfire Premier club team has our expectations for her at a high level."

The Wildcats enjoyed one of the best seasons in school history this past fall, going 9-5-4 overall and winning a school-record eight Great Northwest Athletic Conference matches (8-4-2 conference record). The 2011 team lost seven seniors to graduation, but is expected to return leading scorer Carson McKole (Oak Harbor, Wash.), as well as nine others who played in at least 10 games in 2011.

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