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    Erickson Lands 10 in First Recruiting Class

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Head coach Stephanie Erickson welcomes 10 new Wildcats in her first recruiting class.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Head coach Stephanie Erickson welcomes 10 new Wildcats in her first recruiting class.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    Feb. 8, 2007

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern Women's Soccer Head Coach Stephanie Erickson announced Thursday the signing of 10 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent. Erickson's class features four players from California, two from Minnesota, one from Wisconsin, one from Maryland and two instate products.

    "We are really excited about the depth that this 2007 recruiting class will provide our program," Erickson said. "We have assembled a diverse and large class to augment the talent we already have. We covered every position and are really excited about the versatility that many of these newcomers will provide. More importantly, these women exhibit every virtue we deem crucial for the success of this program. They are a group of hard workers with extreme integrity and enormous pride in their decision to come to NU."

    This year's class consists of Colleen Antas (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton North), Ally Arca (San Leandro, Calif./Head-Royce School), Kirstyn Atkinson (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh), Jennifer Baumann (Waukesha, Wis./Catholic Memorial), Carolyn Edwards (Lincolnshire, Ill./Stevenson), Sam Greene (Santa Monica, Calif./Santa Monica), Jessica Lau (Saratoga, Calif./Monta Vista), Alison Schneeman (St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham Hall), Grace Weitz (Golden Valley, Minn./The Breck School) and Emily Wray (Danville, Calif./San Ramon Valley).

    "This class is exploding with potential as each of these signees exhibit excellent talent, work ethic and love for Northwestern," Erickson said. "They will all thrive in the challenging academic environment that NU provides and I can't wait to see this class make an impact on the field. Right away, this class makes us incredibly competitive in the Big Ten and nationally."

    The Class of 2011 keeps a family tradition alive for another four years. Alison Schneeman, sister of current Wildcat, Shannon, will follow in her sister's footsteps and don the purple and white starting this fall.

    Complete bios and quotes from Coach Erickson for all 10 student-athletes appear below:

    Colleen Antas
    5-7 • M/D
    Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton North

    High School: Six-year participant on Chicago Fire Juniors club team ... Three-year club captain ... Team won 2006 Orange Classic ... 2006 Palatine Celtic Cup Champion ... 2005 Co-Champion of Best of the Midwest ... Four-year starter at midfield/defense in high school ... Returned from ACL injury junior year to help team place third in state playoffs ... Academic all-conference all four years ... Team captain senior year ... High school finished 2006 with 25-1-1 record ... Super-sectional, sectional, regional and Conference champions in 2006 ... Rockford Boylan Tournament Champions and Falcon Invite Champions ... Played two years of basketball ... Senior class president ... National Honor Society member ... Spanish and Math Honor Society member ... High Honor Roll all four years.

    Personal: Born Colleen Thayer Antas on 2/18/89 ... Daughter of Craig and Sarah Antas ... Sister Rebecca is member of cross country and track and field teams at Notre Dame ... Grandfather and uncle graduated from Northwestern law school ... Represented Wheaton North High School at 2006 Illinois Girls' State Leadership Conference ... Organized fundraiser that raised over $8,000 to benefit local hospital to buy toys for pediatric oncology department ... Plans to major in education and Spanish ... Chose Northwestern over Indiana and Fordham.

    Erickson on Antas: "A diamond-in-the-rough local product, Colleen is an aggressive central player. She is tough-as-nails and will add a great competitor's mentality to our team. She will enhance our team culture and her athleticism and toughness will make her competitive right from the start."

    Ally Arca
    5-7 • D
    San Leandro, Calif./Head-Royce School

    High School: Four years on Bay Oaks club team ... Team finished second place at 2006 Cal Cup ... Advanced to second round of 2006 State Cup ... Three-year letter winner on defense ... Team won league championship from 2003-2006 ... Three-year letter winner in basketball ... Honorable Mention All-League in basketball ... Won Oakland Tribune Athlete of the Week for basketball ... Team won league basketball championship from 2003-06.

    Personal: Born Alexandra Arca on 11/8/89 ... Daughter of Sherry Smith and Philip Arca ... Mother Sherry Smith played volleyball and basketball at Santa Clara ... Uncle Terry Smith played basketball at Stanford ... Played with current Wildcat Katherine Sampson ... Major is undecided ... Chose Northwestern over Penn and South Florida.

    Erickson on Arca: "Ally is an extremely athletic player who will compete for a spot in our back line. She comes from a well-coached team in Northern California and is on the cusp of becoming a very special soccer player. Ally's potential in our program is unlimited."

    Kirstyn Atkinson
    5-5 • D
    Baltimore, Md./McDonogh

    High School: Eight-years on PSC Elite Soccer Club ... Team advanced to State Cup semifinals in 2005 and 2006 ... Four-year letter winner ... Captain during senior year ... 2005 All-State selection, 2004 second team All-Metro ... 2004 and 2005 first team All-Baltimore County ... 2004 second team All-IAAM Conference ... Three years on honor roll and dean's list in 2006.

    Personal: Born Kirstyn Brooke Atkinson on 2/7/89 ... Daughter of Kevin and Laurie Atkinson ... Major is undecided ... Will also play for NU's lacrosse team ... Chose Northwestern over Vanderbilt, UNC, Maryland, Johns Hopkins and Penn State.

    Erickson on Atkinson: "Kirstyn will be one of few multi-sport athletes at NU. Originally recruited as a lacrosse player, we reaped the benefits in securing her for our program as well. Kirstyn is incredibly athletic and will add depth for us at the crucial center back position. We are very excited about Kirstyn contributing to both our program and lacrosse."

    Jennifer Baumann
    5-8 • M
    Waukesha, Wis./Catholic Memorial

    High School: Rated in the nation's top 150 by SoccerBuzz ... 2006 adidas/NSCAA All-America ... 2006 Wisconsin State Player of the Year ... Played for FC Milwaukee Nationals for eight years ... Team won Wisconsin State Championships in 1999, 2001-02 and 04-07 ... Made state semifinals in 2003 and Midwest Regional Semifinals in 2002, 2005 ... Four-year letter winner in high school ... 2006 Classic 8 Conference Player of the Year ... First-team All-State 2004-06 ... Scored winning goal in 2004 state championship ... Assisted on winning goal for 2006 state championship ... Team won 2004 and 2006 High School State Championship ... 2006 record of 22-1-2 ... Four-year member of National Honor Society ... Also lettered two years in basketball.

    Personal: Born Jennifer Jamie Baumann on 9/20/88 ... Daughter of Brian and Janice Baumann ... Plans to volunteer for the TopSoccer Program, which helps handicapped children play soccer ... Major is undecided ... Chose Northwestern over Wisconsin, Marquette, Iowa and Western Michigan.

    Erickson on Baumann: "Jenny comes to us from an extremely competitive club in FC Milwaukee. She is a central midfield player who reads the game very well and does a great job with possession and distribution for her team. We are thrilled to have someone with her accolades in this class and we'll look for her to compete for playing time immediately."

    Carolyn Edwards
    5-5 • G
    Lincolnshire, Ill./Stevenson

    High School: Five years on Eclipse select club team that won four national championships ... Earned varsity soccer letter in 2005 ... Goals against average of 0.53 ... Recorded 11 shutouts out of 19 games ... All-Conference and All-Sectional ... Member of 2005 Daily Herald All-Area team ... Team in Illinois State Cup Finals 2003-06 ... Honor roll student.

    Personal: Born Carolyn Grace Edwards on 8/11/89 ... Daughter of Patrick and Maryann Edwards ... Mother Maryann graduated from NU in 1978 ... Attends same high school as current NU football player Alex Rucks, NFL player Matt O'Dwyer and Tamika Catchings of the WNBA ... Plans to major in political science.

    Erickson on Edwards: "Carolyn is a goalkeeper from the No. 1 club in the nation, Eclipse Select. She has been exceptionally trained and knows what it takes to win at the highest level. Carolyn has the rare strength of excellent distribution as a goalkeeper. She will add depth to the goalkeeping position and has the ability to push her way onto the field."

    Sam Greene
    5-6 • D/M
    Santa Monica, Calif./Santa Monica

    High School: Four-year letter winner ... Averaged nearly 11 goals and 11 assists per season ... 2004 Ocean League Rookie of the Year ... 2006 Ocean League MVP and team MVP ... Team won 2004-2007 Ocean League Championships ... Club team won 2004 national, regional and state championships ... Two-time Southern California State Champions ... Three-time SurfSuper group champioins ... Four-year honor roll student ... Two-year letter winner in track for participation in high jump.

    Personal: Born Samantha Michelle Greene on 11/20/89 ... Daughter of Fay and Cary Greene ... Played against fellow recruit Jessica Lau ... Major is undecided ... Chose Northwestern over St. Mary's, Pepperdine and Penn State.

    Erickson on Greene: "Sam is a special forward who will add to our attack right away. She comes from Southern California, a hotbed of women's soccer, and is also a national champion with her Eagles Soccer Club. Sam is a natural leader and will continue to get better. We look forward to watching Sam set up and score goals for NU."

    Jessica Lau
    5-8 • D/M
    Saratoga, Calif./Monta Vista

    High School: Rated in the nation's top 150 by SoccerBuzz ... Three years on MVLA Mercury club team ... Three-time State Cup Champions ... Team ranked No. 1 in Calif., No. 8 in region and No. 27 in nation ... Registered 25 career goals and 10 career assists ... Leading scorer of league junior year with 15 goals ... 2006 Deanza League MVP ... 2006 All-Mercury News First Team ... February 2006 San Jose Mercury News "Athlete of the Week" ... Two-year varsity captain ... Scored hat trick to send team to Central Coast Sectional Championship.

    Personal: Born Jessica Caryee Lau on 8/14/89 ... Daughter of Lawrence and Stella Lau ... Played on same ODP team as fellow recruit Sam Greene ... Plans to major in human development and psychological services ... Chose Northwestern over Saint Mary's, Santa Clara, California and Harvard.

    Erickson on Lau: "Jess is a tactical specialist at center back and I expect her to add sophistication and wisdom to our back line. She comes to us from the MVLA Mercury -- a team with a rich tradition of success and excellent coaching. She has played with and against players of the highest level and is incredibly well-prepared to come to NU and make an immediate impact."

    Alison Schneeman
    5-2 • M/D
    St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham Hall

    High School: Member of St. Paul Blackhawks Premiere club team 2001-04 and 2006 ... Team won State Cup Championship in 2002 and 2006 ... Three-year letter winner ... Thirteen (13) career goals and seven career assists ... Seven goals in 2006 and five in 2005 ... All-State honorable mention ... Member of Minnesota ODP ... Team made 2004 state quarterfinals and won section championship ... Made section finals in 2005 and 2006 ... Lettered three years in hockey and two years in track ... Three years on honor roll and four-year member of student council.

    Personal: Born Alison Patricia Schneeman on 1/18/89 ... Daughter of Erin and Nick Schneeman ... Sister of current Wildcat Shannon Schneeman ... Mother Erin played field hockey at Notre Dame and father Nick played soccer at Notre Dame ... Attended same high school as Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins and former baseball player Paul Molitor ... Major is undecided ... Chose Northwestern over Loyola.

    Erickson on Schneeman: "Ali, sister of Shannon, is a wonderful addition to our program. Four more years of a Schneeman in our program is such a great gift. Ali is another central player who brings grit, competitiveness and excellent soccer ability to our program. I expect Ali to emerge as a consistent contributor on the field for us."

    Grace Weitz
    5-7 • G
    Golden Valley, Minn./The Breck School

    High School: Played for the St. Paul Blackhawks club team that were two-time State Cup champions and a finalist in the Coaches' Classic ... Had a 0.00 GAA and was named MVP of the St. Paul Blackhawks in the 2006 State Cup ... Three-time All-Conference honoree ... Named to the Orono All-Tournament team ... Winner of the Gatorade Will to Win Award ... Won four varsity letters in soccer and two in lacrosse ... Three-time MVP of the soccer team ... National Merit semi-finalist ... Named to the Headmaster's List for three years.

    Personal: Born Grace Olivia Weitz on 4/11/89 ... Daughter of Mark and Carol Weitz ... Plans to major in journalism ... Chose Northwestern over Grinnell, Washington University, DePaul, Brandeis, Tufts, Dartmouth and Swarthmore.

    Erickson on Weitz: "Grace is unmatched when it comes to her intensity and work ethic. Grace will be a player who will continually improve throughout her four years at NU and will add a great dynamic to our program. She, along with Carolyn Edwards, could make the goalkeeping position our deepest and most competitive."

    Emily Wray
    5-5 • D
    Danville, Calif./San Ramon Valley

    High School: Nine years of club soccer, four with California Northstars ... 2005 North State Cup Finalists ... 2004 North State Premier League Champions ... Member of 2003 U.S. Club Soccer National Champions ... Two years of high school soccer ... Six years on National Charity League ... Member of 2003 Region IV ODP Camp ... Earned letter for track freshman year ... Competed in 100m, 200m, 400m, 4x100 and 4x400 ... Honor roll student ... Editor-in-Chief of school newspaper.

    Personal: Born Emily Catherine Wray on 2/6/89 ... Daughter of John and Gigi Wray ... Competed with fellow recruits Ally Arca and Jessica Lau ... Plans to major in journalism ... Chose Northwestern over Michigan, Brown and Columbia.

    Erickson on Wray: "Emily is an under-recruited outside back from loaded-with-talent Northern California. Emily has one of the best work ethics I have seen and will challenge for a spot as an attacking outside back for us. She is a great fit for NU and will excel on the field and in the classroom."