Bearcats Begin Women's Soccer Season with Talented Freshman Class

Willamette Roster Features 10 First-Year Players

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University women's soccer team ended the 2011 season with a 5-2 record in its final seven games, including a 2-1 victory over the University of Puget Sound on a goal in the final minute. Willamette's solid finish gives the Bearcats momentum as they prepare to begin their 2012 schedule against crosstown rival Corban University on Friday, Aug. 31.

The Bearcats will host the Warriors at Sparks Field, with the opening kickoff set for 7 p.m. (PDT). Last year, Corban edged the Bearcats in the season opener, 1-0.

Willamette's top scorer last season, Stephanie Skelly '12 (Poulsbo, WA/North Kitsap HS) graduated after contributing 16 goals and five assists for 37 total points. She was the leading scorer in the Northwest Conference and was chosen NWC Offensive Player of the Year in addition to earning First Team All-NWC honors. She was named Second Team All-West Region.

Skelly ended her outstanding career with 35 goals and seven assists (77 points). She also piled up academic recognition, including an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, First Team Capital One Academic All-America and Second Team Scholar All-West Region.

Replacing Skelly's impact on the offense will be a multi-person effort.

Included will be three players who scored eight or more points last year. They are Ariel Wilson (Sr., MF, Fort Collins, CO/Poudre HS) with 3 goals and 5 assists (11 points), Sarah Desautels (So., F, Snohomish, WA/Glacier Peak HS) with 3 goals and 2 assists (8 points) and Paige Lancourt (Jr., MF, Eagle, ID/Eagle HS) with 2 goals and 4 assists (8 points).

Also helping fill the void left by Skelly's graduation will be a group of 10 freshmen, including seven who can contribute at the offensive end of the field. It is a large and talented recruiting class for Head Coach Hillary Arthur as she starts her fifth season at Willamette.

The Bearcats' 2012 recruiting class:

Jill Phillips

Jill Phillips (MF, Fairbanks, AK/West Valley HS)
Phillips played club soccer for Eclipse 94' in Alaska. She received the Ina Kristiansen Memorial Award for her efforts on the club team.

At West Valley High School, she earned All-MAC honors in 2010 and 2012 and was chosen for the All-State Tournament Team in 2012. She also competed in basketball and was chosen All-MAC in 2012 and received All-State Tournament Team honors in 2012.

She was West Valley's Outstanding Female Athlete during her senior year.

Charlotte McGeever

Charlotte McGeever (MF, San Francisco, CA/Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep)
McGeever competed in club soccer for Juventus SC in Redwood City, Calif. She was the Juventus captain in 2012. She helped the team place fourth in the NorCal State Premier League in 2011.

Prior to playing for Juventus, she was a member of Union FC, which won the Under-16 Super Group championship at the 2010 National Cup IX Regional Tournament in California. Union FC qualified for US Club Soccer's 2010 National Cup IX Finals.

As a senior at Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep, she served as a team captain and earned All-League honors. As a student, she received Certificates of Academic Excellence in Spanish, advanced algebra and music appreciation.

Alyssa Perrault

Alyssa Perrault (MF, Palo Alto, CA/Henry M. Gunn HS)
Perrault was the team's Most Valuable Player during two of her seasons at Henry M. Gunn High School. She was chosen First Team All-League four times and was an All-Peninsula selection all four years. She also received Gunn's Sophomore of the Year Award.

She played on the Santa Clara Sporting club team. During her high school and club career, she played mostly in the midfield, but also contributed on defense and at the forward position. She was selected for the national pool from the Super Y League and earned honorable mention recognition at the national camp.

As a student at Gunn High School, she received the National Spanish Exam Award twice.

Maya Bowton

Maya Bowton (D, Spokane, WA/Ferris HS
Bowton was a soccer team captain in 2011 at Ferris High School in Spokane, Wash. In 2011, she received Honorable Mention All-GSL recognition. She also participated in basketball and track and field in high school. As a senior on the track and field team in 2012, she was named team MVP and was Honorable Mention All-GSL.

She played club soccer as a member of the Spokane Elite. She played defender and also contributed in the midfield.

Her academic efforts enabled Bowton to achieve a Washington State Honors Award.

Rachel Fleener

Rachel Fleener (F/MF, Olympia, WA/Olympia HS)
Fleener played four seasons of soccer at Olympia High School in Washington. She was a team captain as a junior and senior. She was chosen Most Inspirational
Teammate as a sophomore and a senior. Fleener helped Olympia HS rank ninth in the State in Class 4A in 2008 and contributed to the team qualifying for District play in 2009 and 2011.

She also competed in track and field. She qualified for State in the javelin and placed 15th overall in 2011.

She was an Olympia High School Scholarship recipient as chosen by the OHS faculty. The award was earned as a result of her overall success and involvement at OHS.

In club soccer, she played for Thurston County United. She saw action as a midfielder, stopper and forward.

Veronica Ewers

Veronica Ewers (MF/F, Moscow, ID/Moscow HS)
Ewers was a midfielder and forward in club soccer for Moscow United. She also participated in the Olympic Development Program.

At Moscow High School, Ewers was named First Team All-Inland Empire League twice. She was a team captain as a senior in the fall of 2011. She was chosen as a Distinguished Spanish Student in the spring of 2011 and was a member of the National Honor Society during all four years at MHS. She also received the Principal's Award twice.

Liberty Siegle

Liberty Siegle (GK, Springfield, OR/Springfield HS)
Siegle was a team captain at Springfield High School in Oregon in 2010 and 2011. She attained First Team All-League honors in 2011. She also competed in cross country as a senior.

During the club soccer season, Siegle played in goal and on defense for the Eugene Metro Football Club - Havoc. She was a captain for EMFC in 2011-12. She also gained experience as a soccer official and was a referee at the Manchester United Premier Cup U.S. Finals in 2012 and at the U.S. Youth Soccer Far West Regionals in 2012.

In the classroom, her academic success enabled her to receive the Elks Lodge Student of the Year Award and the Jewish Federation of Linn County Leadership Award in 2011-12.

McKenzie Andringa

McKenzie Andringa (D/F, Yakima, WA/La Salle HS)
Andringa was a standout player for La Salle High School in Yakima, Wash. She was a four-year starter, who earned First Team All-SCAC recognition in 2010 and 2011. In 2010, she also received Honorable Mention All-State honors in Class 1A. She was named Honorable Mention All-SCAC in 2008.

She served as a team captain at La Salle in 2011. In 2008, she was chosen for the Sportsmanship Award during the State Soccer Quarterfinals.

As a club soccer player, she competed for the Sun City Strikers. She earned playing time as a defender and a forward.

She graduated Summa Cum Laude from La Salle High School this past spring. She received First Honors during all eight semesters she attended La Salle.

Karin Hokanson

Karin Hokanson (F/MF, Woodinville, WA/International Community School)
Hokanson attended the International Community School and played soccer for Redmond High School in the State of Washington. She received varsity letters at RHS in 2010 and 2011.

She also played club soccer for Eastside FC and for Crossfire Soccer Club. She competed as a forward and also saw action as an outside midfielder. Hokanson helped her team win the Nike Crossfire Premier Challenge Cup in 2011.

At the International Community School, she was a member of the National Honor Society and Key Club International.

Sage Townsend

Sage Townsend (D, Albuquerque, NM/Albuquerque Academy)
Townsend helped Albuquerque Academy win four consecutive Class 4A state championships in New Mexico from 2008 through 2011. She was selected Second Team All-State in 2010 and 2011. In 2011, she also was chosen for the All-State Team as a result of her efforts in the playoffs.

She was a class officer at Albuquerque Academy from 2007 through 2012. In 2008, she was received the John O'Connor Scholarship Awards, which is presented to one student-athlete each year who shows a great commitment to academics and athletics.

In club soccer, she played for the New Mexico Rush Nike. She competed as an outside defender.

The Bearcats and Head Coach Hillary Arthur (right) celebrate after defeating Puget Sound, 2-1, at Sparks Field last season.

The Bearcats and Head Coach Hillary Arthur (right) celebrate after defeating Puget Sound, 2-1, at Sparks Field last season.