FEBRUARY 13, 2012
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Drake women's soccer team, under the leadership of fifth-year head coach Lindsey Horner, has announced the addition of nine student-athletes joining the Bulldogs' squad for the 2012 campaign.
Donning the Drake uniform this fall will be Mariah Boncek (Fishers, Ind./Fishers), Reilly Burns (Lincoln, Neb./Lincoln Southeast), Kylie DeHaven (Olathe, Kan./Olathe East), Alex Freeman (Duluth, Minn./Duluth East), Alex Hanna (Batavia, Ill./Batavia), Kaylin Okuma (Honolulu, Hawaii/Panahou), Rhian Pritchard (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley North), Tricia White (Overland Park, Kan./Notre Dame de Sion) and Emma Winstead (Iowa City, Iowa/Iowa City West).
"Our incoming 2012 class has the potential to make a positive impact on our program immediately," Horner commented. "These nine student-athletes have the athletic ability and talent to strengthen our team. They come to us from great club environments and are motivated to do the work on the field, in the weight room, and in the classroom. These players have the drive to be successful and I am very excited to welcome them to our program."
Boncek, a forward from Fishers High School, was a four-year starter en route to capturing honorable mention all-state honors registering nine goals and four assists as a senior. She has been a member of the Carmel United Soccer Club, winning the state title in 2009.
"Mariah is a strong athlete, has good size, and will continue to get better at the next level," said Horner. "She can get a hold of the ball as a wide player or develop into a target player."
Burns, a defender from Lincoln Southeast High School, helped the Knights to a runner-up finish in the 2011 state tournament en route to being named an all-state selection. She was a member of two state championship United Metros club teams.
"Reilly is a hard-nosed defender that can really strike the ball," Horner expressed. "She is a good organizer and has the potential to play anywhere in the back and help us on both sides of the ball."
DeHaven, a defender from Olathe East High School, is a two-time team captain and four-year letterwinner for the Hawks, who earned a second-place showing in the 2009 state tournament. She was a member of the Kansas ODP program for five years, while pulling in four state titles playing for the Ratpack BV Stars and KCFC Heat club teams.
"Kylie is an excellent athlete with soft feet and is a very good 1v1 defender," Horner stated. "She has the potential at outside back to be a threat joining the attack off the dribble, serving balls in, or simply connecting out of the back."
Freeman, a forward from Duluth East High School, finished her career as the all-time leader in goals scored in school history en route to twice capturing all-state honors. She was a member of the East Select club team, while also being involved with the Minnesota ODP program.
"Alex is a special multi-sport athlete and a dangerous front runner," Horner commented. "Her pace will cause problems and she's a proven finisher. Alex will get better each year as she focuses on one sport and because she is a relentless competitor."
Hanna, a midfielder from Batavia High School, was a two-year starter team for the Bulldogs. She played in the Illinois ODP program for the last five years and is a two-time Illinois state cup finalist with the Strikers FV club team.
"Alex is a competitive attacking player that can play as an attacking midfielder or forward," Horner said. "She is an aggressive player that doesn't shy away from contact and is clever on the ball."
Okuma, a forward from Panahou High School, earned honorable mention all-state laurels en route to leading her team to a state championship in 2010. She ha been a member of the Hawaii ODP program since 2008, and plays for the Crush Academy Club team that captured the Hawaii state title in 2010.
"Kaylin is a fast, athletic attacking player," Horner stated. "She works hard to find the ball and can cause problems with her runs off the ball, turning the corner, or pressing defenders."
Pritchard, a midfielder from Blue Valley North High School, was a two-time team captain for the Mustangs. She played on state cup championship squads with the KCFC Alliance Heat team in 2008, 2010 and 2011. Played six years with the Kansas ODP program and was also a member of the Region II Regional team.
"Rhian is an accomplished player that comes to us with a high soccer IQ, great vision, ideas, and technical ability," Horner commented. "She's a driven competitor that can create goals for herself or others. Rhian has the potential to be a play-maker for us in central midfield."
White, a forward from Notre Dame de Sion High School, helped lead the Storm to berths in the state championship game as a senior and semifinal appearances as a junior and sophomore, respectively. A member of the Kansas ODP program, she earned a Kansas state cup championship with the BVSC Club squad in 2009.
"Tricia has the build to be a target player and the skill to be a wide player," stated Horner. "She has the potential to score goals in the college game from distance with power or by getting on the end of service in the box."
Winstead, a centerback from Iowa City West High School, a first-team all-state selection, helped lead the Women of Troy to berths in the state championship game as a freshman and junior and a quarterfinal appearance as a sophomore. A seven-year member of the Iowa ODP program, she has played on the last three state cup finalist squads with the Eastern Iowa United Soccer Club.
"Emma is an athletic, intelligent center-back and is tough to beat 1v1," expressed Horner. "She is excellent in the air, has great pace, can strike an accurate long ball, and is composed under pressure."