Feb. 8, 2008
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Head coach Stephanie Erickson announced the signing of nine student-athletes to National Letters of Intent. This year's class has representatives from California, Ohio, Minnesota, Texas and three instate productions from Illinois.
"We couldn't be more excited about the 2008 recruiting class for Northwestern Women's Soccer," Erickson said. "Not only have we signed first-rate soccer players, we have assembled a class of outstanding students. These young women will be immediate contributors to our program and they will add class, integrity and competitiveness to the general student body at Northwestern."
This year's class consists of Kelsey Bertamus (Burnsville, Minn./Lakeville South), Jackie Blades (Lakewood, Ohio/Magnificat), Katie Doyle (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East), Nicole Duller (Los Altos, Calif./Los Altos), Jill Dunn (Naperville, Ill./Nequa Valley), Emily Langston (Los Altos, Calif./Los Altos), Sarah NeSmith (Los Altos, Calif./Los Altos), Courtney Smith (Plano, Texas/Plano West), and Sarah Sroka (Geneva, Ill./Geneva).
"We have covered every position in this class, from some of the best soccer clubs in the country. We have secured some of the top local talents in Katie Doyle, Jill Dunn and Sarah Sroka, which is so important to our program. We have also displayed incredible range with the rest of the class ranging from California with Nicole Duller, Emily Langston and Sarah NeSmith, to Minnesota in Kelsey Bertamus, Ohio with Jackie Blades and Texas with Courtney Smith. We look forward to their arrival in August and expect all of these student-athletes to make immediate contributions to an excellent 2008 season," Erickson said.
Complete bios and quotes from Coach Erickson and nine student-athletes appear below:
Burnsville, Minn./Lakeville South
High School: Four-year letter winner ... Goal-scoring forward ... Leading scorer in school history with 79 goals and 47 assists ... Led team in scoring as freshman, junior and senior ... 25 goals and 20 assists her senior year ... First-team all-state junior and senior year ... All-state tournament team as freshman, junior and senior ... Star Tribune All-metro team, Pioneer Press all-metro team and all-conference as freshman, junior and senior ... During her career, team went 70-14-3 and won state championship her senior year ... 10-year member of Tsunami Stars club team ... Team is four-time Minnesota State Cup champions ... Honor roll student ... Member of National Honor Society.
Personal: Born Kelsey Anne Bertamus on 8/31/90 ... Daughter of Mike and Marcie Bertamus ... Plans to major in biological sciences ... Chose Northwestern over Wisconsin, Purdue, Creighton and North Dakota State.
Erickson on Bertamus: "Kelsey is a strong and athletic goal-scorer. She has the ability to play like a target forward and she can also run at people 1v1. Kelsey will add a very important dimension to our attack with her size and athleticism. She is an incredibly hard worker and classy student-athlete. She will add not only to our team, but to the entire Northwestern community as her academic success is absolutely superior."
Bertamus on choosing NU: "I chose Northwestern because it is a big school with a smaller feel. The soccer and academics are both amazing!"
Three-year varsity letter winner and senior year captain ... 12 goals and 13 assists as member of varsity team ... Honorable mention Greater Cleveland in 2006 ... Team won district championship in 2005 and 2007 ... Competed for Ohio Premier and Cleveland Soccer Academy club teams ... Club team won U-15 State Cup in 2005 and U-18 State Cup in 2006 ... Also competed in track ... Honor roll student.
Personal: Born Jacqueline Elizabeth Blades on 2/11/90 ... Daughter of Ed and Janie Blades ... Brother Mark is a member of the Northwestern men's soccer team ... Brother Gavin played soccer at Yale ... Mom played basketball at Case Western ... Father ran cross country and track at Harvard ... Chose Northwestern over Kentucky and Louisville ... Plans to major in pre-med.
Erickson on Blades: "We are very excited about Jackie joining our program. She is a quick, technical and feisty player who displays a similar competitiveness to her brother, Mark, who plays on the men's team. Jackie will be very competitive based on her versatility; we expect her to make immediate contributions at outside back or up top. We are excited to add another stellar Blades' family member to the soccer programs and Northwestern University."
Blades on choosing NU: "I chose Northwestern because of the outstanding education available and the great atmosphere surrounding the women's soccer team. I also felt really at home each time I was on campus."
St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East
High School: Six-year member of Eclipse Select ... Team ranked No. 1 in the nation in 2007 by Soccer America ... Team earned spot at Midwest Regional Soccer Championships in 2006 and 2007 ... Team in Illinois state finals from 2003-06 ... Ranked in top two percent of graduating class ... National Honor Society member ... Involved in various clubs and community service activities.
Personal: Born Catherine Rose Doyle on 7/13/90 ... Daughter of Jim and Tammy Doyle ... Plans to major in education ... Father played ice hockey at Western Michigan ... Attended same high school as Northwestern baseball pitcher Cole Livermore ... Played on same club team as fellow recruit Sara Sroka and current Wildcat Carolyn Edwards.
Erickson on Doyle: "Katie comes from the ultra-competitive and top-ranked Eclipse Soccer Club. She is a crafty player who will look to play in an attacking midfield role or as a forward for our program. Katie has an engine that won't quit and is a wonderful human being. She has had an outstanding academic career that will continue at NU. We expect great things from her on and off the field."
Doyle on choosing NU: "I chose Northwestern because of its outstanding academics, Big Ten athletics and beautiful campus. When visiting, I felt very comfortable with the people and the atmosphere."
Los Altos, Calif./Los Altos
High School: Three-year letter winner for Los Altos Eagles ... Two-time first-team all-league selection ... All-San Jose Mercury News Honorable Mention ... Team won league championship and section championship in 2006-07 ... Seven-year member of MVLA Mercury club team ... Team is three-time State Cup champion ... ODP Region IV pool ... ODP Select National Team member ... National Merit Scholar ... Member of National Honor Society member.
Personal: Born Nicole Marie Duller on 4/17/90 ... Daughter of Mark and Linda Duller ... Played with fellow recruits Sarah NeSmith and Emily Langston ... Major is undecided ... Chose Northwestern over Harvard, Saint Mary's, Yale and Portland.
Erickson on Duller: "Nicole is one of three MVLA Mercury stars in this class. She has a long pedigree as a regional team player, as well as experience as a youth national team player. Nicole is fast and fearless on the soccer field. She will be competitive for a starting spot at outside back, but also has shown great versatility in her play. Nicole is gifted intellectually and her academic potential is limitless. She will greatly enhance the competitiveness of our team and Northwestern's student body."
Duller on choosing NU: "Northwestern was a good choice for me because of the quality of education -- I know I'll have the resources to pursue whatever career I choose. Also, I appreciated the sense of community and family that the coaching staff and team have created for each other. I know I'll feel at home."
Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley
High School: Two-year letter winner ... 2007 Daily Herald all-area ... 2007 all-conference ... Team won high school state championship in 2005 ... Seven-year member of Chicago Magic club team ... Club team has won State Cup past seven years ... Honor roll student.
Personal: Born Jill Suzanne Dunn on 1/5/90 ... Daughter of Suzanne and Kevin ... Major is undecided ... Chose Northwestern over Pittsburgh and Illinois.
Erickson on Dunn: "Jill is a local product who can run a midfield. She has excellent vision and impeccable technique. She is creative and loves to add flair to the game by starting exciting attacks. We expect Jill to make contributions in midfield right away. She will be a great addition to the Wildcat family both on and off the field."
Dunn on choosing NU: "Besides the amazing opportunity to play Division I soccer, I chose Northwestern because of the challenging academic environment and the location of its beautiful campus, right outside Chicago. This way I will be able to get a great education close to home, where my mom will be able to come watch me play."
Los Altos Hills, Calif./Los Altos
High School: Three-year letterwinner for Los Altos Eagles ... Team offensive MVP sophomore year and league MVP junior year ... All-league selection sophomore and junior seasons ... Team was section semifinalist sophomore year and section champion junior year ... Eight-year member of MVLA Mercury club team ... Team is three-time defending champions of California State Cup ... Member of National Honor Society ... Member of California Scholarship Federation.
Personal: Born Emily Elizabeth Langston on 12/11/1989 ... Daughter of James and Elizabeth Langston ... Club and high school teammates with fellow recruits Sarah NeSmith and Nicole Duller ... Plans to major in pre-medicine.
Erickson on Langston: "Another player from MVLA and another impressive addition when it comes to academic success. Emily is a forward with a quick burst that makes her a 1v1 specialist. She has superb vision and an ability to read the game that allows her to create her own scoring opportunities and set up others. We expect Emily to add an exciting dynamic to our attack right away."
Langston on choosing NU: "In addition to Northwestern being outstanding academically, the coaching staff and team made it easy for me to choose NU as a great place to both play college soccer and pursue my personal career choices."
Los Altos, Calif./Los Altos
High School: Three-year letter winner and two year captain for Los Altos Eagles ... Palo Alto Daily News, Los Gatos News, Redwood City Daily News, Mercury News all-league selection ... League MVP ... Central Cost Section Player of the Year ... Team was section semifinalist sophomore year and section champion junior year ... Member of MVLA Mercury Club team ... Team is three-time defending champions of California State Cup ... Member of National Honor Society ... Member of California Scholastic Federation ... Honor roll student.
Personal: Born Sarah Rae NeSmith on 9/2/89 ... Daughter of Nancy and Brian NeSmith ... Plans to major in social policy ... Chose Northwestern over Stanford, Santa Clara and Yale.
Erickson on NeSmith: "Rounding out our trio from the impressive MVLA squad, Sarah NeSmith is a technical genius. She is a possession-oriented player with immaculate fundamentals. Sarah will add to our depth and competitiveness in midfield and has the ability to play almost anywhere on the field. She is a tough competitor and we are excited about her personality joining our program."
NeSmith on choosing NU: "The people, the classes, the location, the atmosphere and the sports programs all combined to form the college I instantly knew I wanted to go to."
Plano, Texas/Plano West
High School: Three-year letter winner at goalkeeper ... Recorded nine shutouts and a 0.5 GAA in 2007 ... Two-time All-district selection ... Earned All-State Tournament Team honors in 2007 ... Team won district championship in 2005, advanced to regional quarterfinals in 2006 and won state championship in 2007 ... Three-year member of Dallas Sting club/Dallas Texans club team ... Member of National Honor Society.
Personal: Born Courtney Jeanette Smith on 1/5/90 ... Daughter of Mickey and Letty Smith ... Plans to major in psychology ... Chose Northwestern over Dartmouth.
Erickson on Smith: "Courtney comes to us from the national powerhouse Dallas Texans club. She has garnered unbelievable national championship experience with her club team. She is a clean, technically sound goalkeeper with the athleticism to make big saves. Her experience at the highest levels of the youth game gives her poise under pressure, which will serve her well in the transition to the collegiate game."
Smith on choosing NU: "Northwestern offers the best of athletics and academics. The spirit of the team and the atmosphere of the University are unlike any other."
High School: Lettered one year in high school ... Started every game on varsity team as a freshman ... Ranked in top-five of area defenders to watch by Chicago Sun-Times in 2005 ... Team earned spot at Midwest Regional Soccer Championships in 2006 and 2007 ... Team in Illinois state finals from 2003-06 ... Member of National Honors Society ... Ranked in top seven percent of graduating class.
Personal: Born Sarah Stephanie Sroka on 9/20/89 ... Daughter of Jeffrey and Pamela Sroka ... Father, a physician, was an undergraduate and medical student at Northwestern ... Mother is also an NU alum ... Played with current Wildcat Carolyn Edwards and fellow recruits Katie Doyle and Jill Dunn ... Plans to major in education ... Chose Northwestern over Iowa.
Erickson on Sroka: "Sarah is another Eclipse product and a savvy center back who fills a great need for us in adding depth and competitiveness to that position. She is a great leader and outstanding decision-maker in the back. Sarah has a long history with her appreciation for Northwestern, as her mom and dad are both NU alums. We are so excited to add Sarah's Wildcat pride to our program and look forward to great success for her on the field and in the classroom."
Sroka on choosing NU: "I chose Northwestern to receive an invaluable education while playing soccer in the Big Ten!"