SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The UC Santa Barbara women's soccer program has signed 11 high school athletes to National Letters of Intent for the 2017 season head coach Paul Stumpf announced Wednesday.
"I think this class compares with our 2015 class in terms of ability and character," Stumpf said. "We have filled several needs and really stepped-up in many areas. I'm excited about this group and really look forward to working them in with our returning players."
Celina Alvarez – Midfield – 5-3 – So Cal Blues – Animo Leadership HS – Los Angeles, Calif.
Celina Alvarez is an attacking midfielder who could compete for playing time right away…Played for the So Cal Blues…Helped the team to the ECNL playoffs in 2014, 2015 and 2016…Was in the Summer Pool, Winter Pool, Region IV Championships for four years from 2012-15…Was a Young Olympian in 20111…Was in the National Pool/Team in 2015…Attended ODP Training Camp in 2014…Attended Id2 Training Camp in 2013…Attends Animo Leadership High School…Earned All-Mulholland League as a freshman and sophomore…Mulholland League MVP as a sophomore and Rookie of the Year as a freshman…Member of the Principal's Honor Roll.
"Celina is coming from a very highly competitive club. She is an attacking mid who can score goals and she has this mastery of the ball where she can play a variety of final balls." – Paul Stumpf
Belinda Ascencio – Forward – 5-1 – Santa Clara Sporting (Green) – Soledad HS – Soledad, Calif.
Belinda Ascencio is a skilled forward who could compete for playing time immediately…At the club level she played for Santa Clara Sporting (Green)…Helped her club to a State Championship…Attends Soledad high School…Named Mission Trail Athletic League MVP as a freshman and sophomore…As a freshman in 2014 she had 39 goals and 11 assists in 20 matches…Helped Soledad to MTAL championships both seasons.
"Beli is different. She has that very soccer-savvy mentality. She's small, but she will most likely play an attacking midfield spot where that final ball or shooting ability is put to best use." – Paul Stumpf
Grace Carter – Defender – 5-9 – San Diego Surf – Torrey Pines HS – San Diego, Calif.
Grace Carter is an athletic defender who could blossom into a very good college player…Played for the San Diego Surf at the club level…Helped the Surf to the 2015 national championship and a third-place finish in 2016…Won the Surf Cup 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016…ODP pool in 2009 and 2010…Attends Torrey Pines High School…Selected All-Avocado League and All-CIF San Diego Section as a freshman and sophomore…Named Avocado League MVP as a freshman…Helped Torrey Pines to the 2016 CIF title.
"Grace is a very athletic defender. She will be great in certain match-ups. A little bit of a late-bloomer as a soccer player, but on the athletic side she is very strong. Also a great character kid." – Paul Stumpf
Courtney Chan – Forward – 5-6 – De Anza Force - Cupertino HS – Cupertino, Calif.
Courtney Chan is an outside attacker who will factor into the Gaucho plans right away…Competed for the De Anza Force which won Nor Cal State titles in 2015 and 2016…Finished third at the 2014-15 ECNL Nationals and second at the 2014-15 Surf Cup…Also finished second at the 2015-16 ECNL Nationals…2015 U19G NPL Champions…Member of the Cal North CYSA 99 Girls ODP State Pool in 2011-12…Nor Cal 99 Girls PDP 2014 Summer State Camp…2013-16 Nor Cal PDP/NPL State Pool…2014-16 Nor Cal PDP/NPL South State Team…Attends Cupertino High School…Scored 36 goals and had 25 assists through midway through her senior season…Three-time First Team All-Santa Clara Valley Athletic League selection…She was Freshman of the Year in 2014 and Sophomore of the Year in 2015.
"Courtney has flourished. An out-and-out flank type attacker. She is long and lean, moves very well and can beat people on the dribble. Possession is big with her club so I think she'll come in and compete right away for us." – Paul Stumpf
Julia Kappes – Midfield – 5-3 – S.D. Surf – Del Norte HS – San Diego, Calif.
Julia Kappes can play either center midfield or outside midfield as well as forward…Compted for the San Diego Surf…Helped the Surf to the U15 ECNL National Championship and third place in at the U17 ECNL National Championship…U15-U18 Surf Cup Champions…2012-14 ODP Final 36…Attends Del Norte High School…Named First Team All-Avocado East League as a sophomore and junior…As a junior, Kappes had six goals and 12 assists in 10 games…Led her league in assists…As a sophomore, she played in 13 games with three goals and four assists…Helped Del Norte to the 2016 CIF San Diego Section Division 1 championship…Her team won Valley League titles in 2014 and 2015 and the Avocado East League championship in 2016…Kappes is a Scholar Athlete and is a member of the Principal's Honor Roll and was on her league's All-Academic Team in 2015 and 2016…Her father Jim played soccer at UCSB in the 1980s.
"Julia is a really good, technically sound and tactically sound soccer player and a really good kid. She is very versatile." – Paul Stumpf
Mikayla Kappes – Midfield– 5-1 – Del Mar Carmel Valley Sharks – Cathedral Catholic HS – San Diego, Calif.
Mikayla Kappes should compete for playing time on the midfield or as an outside defender…Competed for the Del Mar Carmel Valley Sharks…Was a member of the 2011 ODP Young Olympians Pool…Played for the National Futsal Team in U16 Girls 2014-15 and U18 Girls in 2015-16…Prepped at Cathedral Catholic High School…Was named All-Western League her first three seasons…As a freshman, Kappes was named the Western League MVP…Helped Cathedral Catholic to a trio of Western League championships from 2014-16…Her school also won CIF San Diego Section titles in 2014 and 2015 and were Regional State Champions…A member of the Principal's Honor Roll and was a four-time member of the San Diego Union-Tribune All-Academic Team.
"Mikayla is a lot like Julia. She's a really good, technically and tactically. She is also very versatile and we can use her in a lot of ways." – Paul Stumpf
Christine Maurer – Midfield – 5-6 – Arsenal FC – Temecula Valley HS – Temecula, Calif.
Christine Maurer is a skilled attacking midfielder who could become a scoring threat…Played at the club level for Arsenal FC, a 2016 Surf Cup finalist…Part of the ODP Cal South 99 Pool in 2015…Attends Temecula Valley HS where she was a three-time First Team All-Southwestern League selection and her team's Offensive MVP…Scored 25 goals and 10 assists as a freshman and 21 goals and five assists as a sophomore…A Scholar Athlete…Maurer's team had the highest team GPA in Riverside County in 2016.
"Christine came from a small soccer community in Temecula where she was scoring goals. She still has a goal-scoring knack, but she is a great ball-winner in the air. I think she will be a holding center-mid where her holding ability is very good." – Paul Stumpf
Maya Nielan – Defender – 5-9 – Mustang SC – Monte Vista HS – Danville, Calif.
Maya Nielan will bolster UCSB's defensive unit immediately…Played for Mustang SC, helping them to the 2016 Surf Cup finals…Was on the U14 National Team Roster…2017 Girls National IMG Academy…Rated a Top Drawer Soccer's Top-100…Attends Monte Vista High School…A four-year starter…Named First Team All-East Bay Athletic League as a junior…Was also Team MVP and co-Captain during her junior season…Second Team All-EBAL as a sophomore…Helped Monte Vista to EBAL titles in 2014 and 2015 and a North Coast Section championship in 2014…Team was also the North Section finalist in 2015 and a semifinalist in 2016…Team had a No. 1 national ranking in 2014…A member of the Principal's Honor Roll.
"Maya is a center back who is the complete package. She's tall, athletic and intelligent. We think she will come in a compete right away." – Paul Stumpf
Cate Post – Midfield/Forward – 5-2 – Beach Futbol Club – Notre Dame Academy/El Segundo HS – Hermosa Beach, Calif.
Cate Post can play either attacking midfield or forward…Competed for the Beach Futbol Club…Her club was a finalist at the USYSA National Championship in 2016 as well as Cal South State National Cup champions in 2015 and 2016…Earned a second-place finish in the USYSA National League in 2015-16…Finished in first-place in the CRL League in 2015…Attends Notre Dame Academy where she is not playing soccer as a senior…Also attended Notre Dame as a freshman when she was second team all-league and Rookie of the Year…Attended El Segundo High School during her sophomore and junior years.
"Cate can play outside back, wide striker or attacking midfield. She can beat people on the dribble, she can combine and as far as possession and getting the ball into dangerous areas, she will shine." – Paul Stumpf
Marisa Yocca – Midfield – 5-5 – West Coast FC – Santa Margarita HS – Dana Point, Calif.
Marisa Yocca is a holding center midfielder who could play immediately…Played for the West Coast FC…Competed in the ECNL playoffs in 2015…Was a Las Vegas ECNL Showcase finalist in 2015 as well…2014 Surf Cup champions…2014 West Coast Classic semifinalist…2013 West Coast Classic champion…2013 Surf Cup quarterfinalist and Slammers Cup champion…Attends Santa Margarita Catholic High School…Helped Santa Margarita to the CIF Southern Section and Southern Regional State titles in 2016…Also helped team to the Trinity League championship in 2015…Member of the Principal's Honor Roll.
"Marissa is a great ball-winner and a good swing player. She will play holding center mid for us." – Paul Stumpf
Amaya Zabalza – Defender – 5-6 – De Anza Force – Archbishop Mitty HS – San Jose, Calif.
Amaya Zabalza can play either outside defender or central defender…Played for the De Anza Force…Helped the Force to third-place ECNL national finishes in 2014 and 2015…Was a member of the Force squad that won the 2013 U14 National Championship…In 2013 Zabalza played for the U16 team that won the Donosti Cup championship in San Sebastian, Spain…Force won six NORCAL State Cup titles from 2010-15…Surf Cup champions in 2009, 2011 and 2012…2015 Surf Cup finalist…Four-time Blues Cup and Mustang Stampede champions…Attends Archbishop Mitty High School…Helped her team to the West Catholic Athletic League championship as a freshman, sophomore and junior…Zabalza's first two seasons she helped Archbishop Mitty to CIF Central Coast Section titles…Is a three-time All-WCAL and All-CIF CCS selection…Through the early part of her senior season, she has played in 79 career matches with 11 goals, 10 assists and 32 points…Four of her goals have been game-winners…A member of the Principal's Honor Roll.
"Amaya will come in and compete right away. She's an outside back who plays for a club that really focuses on possession-style soccer. She can play as an outside back or a center back, but we'll probably use her as an wing back." – Paul Stumpf