SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara women's soccer program has signed 10 standout players to National Letters of Intent, head coach Paul Stumpf announced Friday.
The 10 include: Mayra Almazán a forward/attacking midfielder from South Hills High School in West Covina, Angelisa Cortez a forward/midfielder from Edison High School in Huntington Beach, Kira Doting a midfielder/defender from Foothill High School in Tustin, Sara Feder a center midfielder from Cherry Creek High School in Denver, Savannah Francis a defender/forward from La Serna High School in La Mirada, Jaclyn Johnson a defender from Kahuku High School in Haleiwa, Hawaii, Beth Ritter a goalkeeper from San Ramon Valley High School in Danville, Megan Romanowski a defender/midfielder from Tesoro High School in Coto de Caza, Kelly Schnur a midfielder/forward from Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa, and McKenzie Walsh a defender/forward from San Juan Hills High School in San Juan Capistrano.
"We graduated 10 special players this year who helped us get back to the NCAA Tournament twice in four years," said UCSB head coach Paul Stumpf. "This is a large and talented recruiting class for us and we believe we've filled a lot of holes left by their departure."
Mayra Almazán – 5-4 – Forward/Attacking Midfield – South Hills HS – West Covina, Calif.
Almazán is the daughter of Oscar and Kathya Almazán and she is a member of Slammers FC, who she helped lead to the 2011 Surf Cup Championship, 2011 Surf College Cup finals and the 2010 Surf Cup finals. Almazán attends South Hills High School in West Covina, Calif., where she has earned First Team All Sierra League honors following her freshman and sophomore seasons. She set a South Hills freshman record with 16 goals. Also added eight assists for 40 points in her first high school season. As a sophomore she tallied 12 goals, eight assists and 32 points. In her junior season, she had two goals and one assist but earned academic all-league honors.
Angelisa Cortez – 5-3 – Forward/Midfield – Edison HS – Huntington Beach, Calif.
Cortez is the daughter of J.R. and Teresa Cortez and she is a member of Slammers FC. She helped lead her club to the U17 Surf Cup championship, the U16 Surf Cup finals and the U14 Nike Manchester United finals. Cortez attends Edison High School in Huntington Beach, Calif., where she was selected the program's Offensive Most Valuable Player following her sophomore and junior seasons. She was also chosen the Sunset League Offensive Player of the Year following her junior campaign. Cortez was a First Team All-Sunset League selection and a Third Team All-CIF choice as a junior. She paced Edison in assists three straight years and ranked second in goals as a junior.
"Mayra and Angelisa (Cortez) grabbed our attention at one of the biggest tournaments in the country (The Surf Cup). Through their attacking ability, their playmaking and their qualities, they stood out. So we got involved actively recruiting them and have seen the same in them through the year they've been committed to us." – Head Coach Paul Stumpf
Kira Doting – 5-9 – Holding Center Midfield – Foothill HS – Tustin, Calif.
Doting is the daughter of Michael and Nancy Doting. She was a member of West Coast Futbol Club from 2006-11. Doting attends Foothill High School in Tustin, Calif., where she was selected First Team All-Century League as a midfielder following her junior season. She was also a Foothill High Scholar Athlete all four of her years.
"Kira is a holding center mid, and what caught our attention right away was how similar she is to some of the holding center mids we've had in this program. Her calmness, composure with the ball at her feet, her ability to swing the ball and playmake going forward were all on the list of reasons we brought her into the program." – Head Coach Paul Stumpf
Sara Feder – 5-9 – Center Midfield – Cherry Creek HS – Denver, Colo.
Feder is the daughter of Elaine Lowery and Steve Feder. She was a member of Colorado Rush on the club level. Also a member of the '93 Region IV Colorado ODP Team in 2010, the '94 ODP Team in 2011 and she attended ODP Camp in 2008-11. Feder helped lead Cherry Creek High School in Denver to Centennial League championships in 2009 and 2010, each time helping the program to the State Quarterfinals as well. She was an All-Centennial League choice following her sophomore season when she scored five goals and had five assists for 15 points. Also paced the team in goals scored as a freshman. Feder is a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and an Academic Letter winner. Also a four-year member of the Principal's Honor Roll.
"One of the priorities for this class was to get a little more physical size. In Sara, we got that, but we also got a very intelligent player. She has the ability to play anywhere up the spine of the field, target striker, center mid or center back." – Head Coach Paul Stumpf
Savannah Francis – 5-8 - Defender/Forward – La Serna HS – La Mirada, Calif.
Francis is the daughter of Jack and Tami Francis. A member of West Coast Futbol Club for whom she played center defender. Francis attends La Serna High School in La Mirada, Calif., where she was a First Team All-CIF and All-Del Rio League selection. She was also named Del Rio League Defensive Player of the Year following her junior season. Helped La Serna to three Del Rio League championships.
"Savannah is a very physical, tough player and a great athlete. She came to one of our camps and really stood out. When someone at our camp stand out the way she did, we've got to go seem them play. It became a priority for us to see her with her club team right away., She is a tough one-on-one defender, very competitive and we think she can come in an play a significant role on defense immediately." – Head Coach Paul Stumpf
Jaclyn Johnson – 5-6 – Defender/Midfield – Kahuku HS – Haleiwa, Hawaii
Johnson is the daughter Trent and Lynne Johnson. A member of the Hawaii Rush Soccer Club for whom she was a four-year team captain. Johnson helped Rush to U19G championship in 2010, to the Club State Championship in 2008 and to the championship game in 2009. She was a member of the ODP State Team in 2009. Johnson attends Kahuku High School in Haleiwa and has been a member of the varsity soccer team all four years and team captain for three years. She was selected Second Team Division 1 All-State in 2011 and to the HHSAA Girls Soccer State Championship All-Tournament Team. Johnson helped Kahuku to a third-place finish in the Division 1 State Championship Tournament. In addition to her soccer talents, she is a four-year member of the Principal's Honor Roll.
"Jaclyn is a center back who brings athleticism and physicality to our program. We are bringing her in to help with our depth defensively." – Head Coach Paul Stumpf
Beth Ritter – 5-4 – Goalkeeper – San Ramon Valley HS – Danville, Calif.
Ritter is the daughter of Phil and Tena Ritter. She was a member of Team G94 Mustang Blast. Ritter was a three-year captain and helped the Mustang Blast to four Cal North State Cup championships. She earned an Adidas Golden Glove at the 2009 U14 Nationals. Played at San Ramon Valley High School in Danville and helped the school to a North Coast Section title as a freshman and to second-place finishes as a sophomore and junior. Ritter was named First Team All-East Bay Athletic League and First Team All-Bay Area as a sophomore.
"Beth is very good shot-stopper, which ultimately the most important thing, however, she has some other qualities that are the reasons we decided to recruit her. She is exceptional with her feet. She is very intelligent and problem-solves before things become an issue." – Head Coach Paul Stumpf
Megan Romanowski – 5-9 – Defender/Midfield – Tesoro HS – Coto de Caza, Calif.
Romanowski is the daughter of Walter and Eileen Romanowski and the sister of former Gaucho Nicole and current Gaucho Danielle. A member of Slammers FC from 2008-12, she was selected to the ODP Pool in 2009 and 2010. Romanowski was a member of the Cal South ODP Team in 2010. Helped Slammers FC to the Region IV semifinals in 2010 and the California State Premier championship the same year. Slammers FC was also a CSL Premier champions in 2010 and Cal South National Cup finalist in 2010 and 2011. Romanowski attends Tesoro High School in Coto de Caza, Calif. She was named First Team All-Seaview League following her junior season.
"Megan has played for one of the winningest club teams in Southern California and she has been a major part of their success, whether as a holding mid or a central defender. She has good size, is a good athlete and we expect her to come in and have an immediate impact." – Head Coach Paul Stumpf
Kelly Schnur – 5-5 – Midfield/Forward – Montgomery HS – Santa Rosa, Calif.
Schnur is the daughter of Darrell and Sandy Schnur. She was a member Santa Rosa United whom she helped to the CYSA State Cup semifinals in 2010, the California Cup and Surf Cup Thanksgiving finals in 2009 and the CYSA State Cup semifinals in 2008. Schnur attends Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa, Calif. A four-year starter, she earned First Team All-North Bay League in 2010 and 2011. Schnur was also an All-Empire choice in 2010. Scored 26 goals and 24 assists in her four seasons and was selected team MVP twice. She helped Montgomery advance to the section championship in 2009, league titles in 2008 and 2009 and the section finals in 2011. Schnur is a four-year Scholar Athlete, a member of the National Honors Society and the California Scholarship Federation.
"Kelly is one of those players, whose strength is in her ability to play a few different roles. We see her as a wide striker or wide back, but she plays center mid for her club team. One of her strengths is that her motor just doesn't stop. Kelly has a very high work rate." – Head Coach Paul Stumpf
McKenzie Walsh – 5-7 – Defender/Forward – San Juan Hills HS – San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
Walsh is the daughter of Brian and Cheryl Walsh. She played for Slammers FC whom she helped to the Surf Cup Championship in July of 2011 and to the Surf Cup Finals in November of 2011. Walsh attends San Juan Hills High School in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. She was a First Team All-Seaview League choice in 2011. Walsh led her team in scoring three times. In addition to playing soccer, she runs high school track and is the school record holder in the 400 meters and a member of the school record 4x400 meter relay.
"We feel McKenzie will come in and contribute immediately as an outside back. Her frame allows her to be a very rangy player, which makes it more natural for her to play as a wide back or a wide striker."
Top row from left to right: Mayra Almazan, Angelisa Cortez, Kira Doting, Sara Feder and Savannah Francis.
Bottom row from left to right: Jaclyn Johnson, Beth Ritter, Megan Romanowski, Kelly Schnur and McKenzie Walsh.