New women’s soccer recruits are replete with honors

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The BYU women’s soccer team graduated several core players from last year’s Elite Eight squad, which might leave some fans concerned about this season. The Cougars, however, have found seven talented players to fill those spots and help the team compete for another West Coast Conference title and a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

The recruiting class is composed of players from several states, including Texas, Arizona, California, New Jersey and Utah. All have earned numerous state championships and have been recognized as great competitors in their states.

All seven recruits are looking to contribute immediately to the team’s success, and are expected to perform at a high level, according to head coach Jennifer Rockwood.

“We’ve known and watched them for a long time. All of these girls have been to camps over the years and we’ve watched them with their clubs over last several years. We couldn’t be more excited to add all of them to a great returning cast that we have,” Rockwood said.

The recruits reported on Aug. 7 to begin practicing for BYU’s upcoming season and to begin living their dreams of being a Cougar.

Avery Calton is a defender from Ogden who played for the Avalanche club team in Park City. She was named Deseret News’ Ms. Soccer for her success on the Odgen High School team in 2012. She was also named the Salt Lake Tribune 3A Most Valuable Player the same year.

Hannah Clark is a goalkeeper from Danville, Calif. She was recently crowned a North Coast Section champion with her high school team, the Monta Vista Mustangs.

“I can’t wait until season and to just be a part of the team,” Clark said.

Brittain Dearden is a defender who played at West Windsor Plainsboro High School in Mercer County, N.J. She was a three-year NSCAA All-American, and was also named the 2012 Princeton Packet High School player of the year. Dearden said her biggest adjustment hasn’t been just playing at a more competitive level, but adjusting to Provo’s elevation of 4,551 feet.

“It’s hard coming from New Jersey because it’s at sea level, I had to be a lot more fit,” Dearden said. “Everyone has been really supportive though.”

Kayci Griffin played for Cedar Park High School in Cedar Park, Texas. She was the 2012 Central Texas Player of the Year, and also All-Star First Team and All-Region First Team honors as a senior.

Ashely Hatch is a forward who most recently played with the Highland High School Hawks in Gilbert, Ariz. She was the 2012 All-District Player of the Year, as well as Highland’s offensive player of the year.

Ella Johnson is a defender who played for the Viewmont Vikings in Centerville. She played for Forza Futbol Club before coming to BYU and was twice named to the All-State First Team.

“We’ve been waiting to get here for a long time and now I’m just going to soak it up and earn my spot,” Johnson said.

Elena Medeiros played midfielder with the Bountiful Braves. Before coming to BYU, she also played for Sparta United in Salt Lake City. She achieved the rank of All-State First Team as a senior.

“It’s been a dream to play for BYU,” Medeiros said. “I’ve always wished to play here and now I’m going to prove myself.”

The Cougars’ new recruits have had many accomplishments thus far in their soccer careers. Only time — and competition — will tell what they will bring to the BYU soccer program.

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