GCU Women's Soccer inks nine for 2014 - CBS 5 - KPHO

GCU Women's Soccer inks nine for 2014

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Grand Canyon University head women's soccer coach Stevie Gill has announced the signing of nine student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to continue their academic and athletic careers at Grand Canyon in 2014. The 2013 Antelopes finished with a record of 5-12-1 overall and 4-7-1 record in Western Athletic Conference play. The 'Lopes finished fourth in the WAC and would have qualified for WAC postseason play, had they not been a transitioning school. A breakdown of all nine of the new additions to the GCU soccer program can be found below. The 2014 schedule will soon be released and will be viewable at www.gculopes.com.

"We are very happy to have these nine top players commit to the GCU family for our 2014 campaign. These players will provide great depth to our program and will serve as a solid foundation for our future success here at GCU," said Gill.

2014 Women's Soccer Signing Class
Milla Benedetti: 5-6, Fr., Forward, Vancouver, Wash. (Mountain View High School)
Blakely Fraasch: 5-6, Goalkeeper, Prior Lake, Minn. (Prior Lake High School)
Anna Gregolynskyj: 5-4, Fr., Midfield, Glendale, Ariz. (Mountain Ridge High School)
Brylee Hawkins: 5-8, Fr., Midfield, Peoria, Ariz. (Sunrise Mountain High School)
Madeline McArthur: 5-6, Fr., Defense, Roseville, Calif. (Woodcreek High School)
Shannon McReynolds: 5-10, Fr., Goalkeeper, Mead, Wash. (Mt. Spokane High School)
Madison Reynolds: 5-7, Fr., Forward, Vancouver, Wash. (Columbia River High School)
Sirena Seymour: 5-2, Fr., Forward, Camarillo, Calif. (Adolfo Camarillo High School)
Kelsey Smith: 5-5, Fr., Defense, Coquitlam, British Columbia (Dr. Charles Best Secondary School)

By State/Country
Arizona (2): Anna Gregolynskyj, Brylee Hawkins
California (2): Madeline McArthur, Sirena Seymour
Minnesota (1): Blakely Fraasch
Washington (3): Milla Benedetti, Shannon McReynolds, Madison Reynolds
Canada (1): Kelsey Smith (British Columbia)

By Position
Defender (2): Madeline McArthur, Kelsey Smith
Goalkeeper (2): Blakely Fraasch, Shannon McReynolds
Midfielder (2): Anna Gregolynsky, Brylee Hawkins
Forward (3): Milla Benedetti, Madison Reynolds, Sirena Seymour

 

Milla Benedetti: 5-6, Fr., Forward, Vancouver, Wash. (Mountain View High School)

Milla Benedetti joins GCU after being the GSHL Offensive Player of the Year while competing for Mountain View High School in Vancouver, Wash. She was also an All-State, All-Region, and All-League selection. She played for the FC Portland Club Team and was selected as the Player of the Year while competing for Club Coach Mike DePenna.
Club Team: FC Portland

Club Coach: Mike DePenna
Coach Gill on Milla: "Milla is an outstanding talent that can move past players easily with her swift change of pace and close ball control. We expect Milla to score a lot of goals for us here at GCU and solidify her role as one of the best strikers both in the conference and in the west region. My hope is that she goes in and terrorizes as many defenders as possible throughout her career at GCU. We are certain she will love it here in sunny Phoenix and find great success." 

Blakely Fraasch: 5-6, Fr., Goalkeeper, Prior Lake, Minn. (Prior Lake High School)

Blakely Fraasch was a 2013 Minnesota All-State Second Team Selection at Prior Lake High School in Prior Lake, Minn. Fraasch was also tagged as the "Team MVP" in 2013 and was a First Team All-Conference selection. She played Club for St. Croix Academy Ajax, where her team won the 2013 Minnesota State Cup. She was also a member of the 2012 and 2013 Minnesota Premier League Champion teams and the US Club Soccer-Midwest Region Championship team in 2012. Fraasch is the lone signee from Minnesota and will be the only Minnesotan on the roster.
Club Team: St. Croix Academy Ajax
Club Coach: Joaquin Izquierdo
Coach Gill on Blakely: "Blakely is an excellent keeper with great hands. She will add a level of confidence and stability in the back that I'm sure will resonate through the team. As we have a very young squad, she will be immediately competing for a starting role and promises to excel given her play over the last number of years and her success with her club team.

Anna Gregolynskyj: 5-4, Fr., Midfield, Glendale, Ariz. (Mountain Ridge High School

Anna Gregolynskyj will join the GCU soccer team after being an All-Regional Player in 2010 and 2011. Gregolynskyj also helped her team to a Northwest Regional Championship. She played Club for SC del Sol and was a member of the team that won the 2012 Surf Cup Championship and 2013 President's Day Tournament Championship.

Club Team: SC del Sol 96 ECNL
Club Coach: Les Armstrong
Coach Gill on Anna: "Anna is a great player and will fit into the defensive midfield role very well for us. She has proven that she can compete with and against the best players in the country and will be invaluable in our future success as a program here at GCU. Her quite demeanor off the pitch is totally contrary to her on-field presence as she is fiercely competitive and certainly has winning mindset."
 

Brylee Hawkins: 5-8, Fr., Midfield, Peoria, Ariz. (Sunrise Mountain High School)

Brylee Hawkins is currently attending Sunrise Mountain High School in Peoria, Ariz. and will join GCU after being named AIA Division II Section I Player of the Year and was also crowned as the Peoria District Player of the Year during her prep career. She helped guide her team to a Nomads Tournament Championship and was also a First Team All-Region and All-Section selection. She is one of two athletes from Arizona to sign with Grand Canyon for the 2014 season.

Club Team: Banat
Club Coach: Alan Watson
Coach Gill on Brylee: "Brylee is a great talent and will contribute right from the start with her physical presence on the pitch. She is great in the air and can also get the ball down and play. We look forward to Brylee coming in and playing to her potential as she will be a great asset to our program at the Division 1 level."

Madeline McArthur: 5-6, Fr., Defense, Roseville, Calif. (Woodcreek High School)
Madeline McArthur signs after a stellar career at Woodcreek High School in Roseville, Calif., where she was a four-year starter and served as a team captain her junior and season seasons. McArthur was selected twice to the First Team of the Sierra Foothill All-League Team. She also helped her team to a 2012 Division II Sac-Joaquin Section Championship.
Club Team: Galaxy Blues FC
Club Coach: Dominick DeRosa
Coach Gill on Madeline: "Madeline will help us at the back with her competitiveness and individual defending prowess. I'm sure that she will find a home in the starting 11 in the 2014 season given her talent and work ethic. She is a versatile player that can play a number of positions and is a welcome addition to our 2014 squad."


Shannon McReynolds: 5-10, Fr., Goalkeeper, Mead, Wash. (Mt. Spokane High School)

Shannon McReynolds hails from Mt. Spokane High School in Mead, Wash., where she was a Second Team All-League selection and was voted as the team "Defensive MVP" and "Most Inspirational". She played and was a captain for the Soccer Edge Academy Club Team that was coached by Mark Lindsay. Her team also won the 2013 Washington Cup Championship.

Club Team: Soccer Edge Academy
Club Coach: Mark Lindsay
Coach Gill on Shannon: "We were very happy that Shannon was still available to come in and join the GCU family as she has a ridiculous upside with her raw athleticism and high work ethic. I'm positive that she will hone her craft in net while here at GCU and will be a certain contender for the starting spot in goal. Shannon has a great attitude and will give us greater depth in goal."

Madison Reynolds: 5-7, Fr., Forward, Vancouver, Wash. (Columbia River High School)

Madison Reynolds signs with GCU after a highly decorated career at Columbia River High School in which the Vancouver, Wash., native was named the Washington State Player of the Year in 2012. Reynolds helped guide her team to a Washington 3A State Championship and received several additional accolades for her prep career efforts. She was placed on the All-State, All-Region, and All-League teams during her time at Columbia River High School. She played Club for FC Portland Academy and helped them to the US Club Soccer National Championships in 2012 and 2013.
Club Team: FC Portland Academy
Club Coach: Mike DePinna
Coach Gill on Madison: "Maddie is another excellent player with a fantastic skills set. She has speed, a great touch and has proven that she can find the back of the net given her athleticism and attacking aptitude. We will look for her and teammate Milla Benedetti to continue their striking partnership her at GCU as we look to win the WAC conference in 2014."

Sirena Seymour: 5-2, Fr., Forward, Camarillo, Calif. (Adolfo Camarillo High School)

Sirena Seymour will join Grand Canyon after being a three-time First Team All-League pick. The Camarillo, Calif. native was named "Team MVP" three times and also garnered All-CIF Southern Section honors. She served as a captain on both her high school and Club Teams (Eagles ECNL GU18). She finished her prep career with 30 goals and 17 assists.
Club Team: Eagles ECNL GU18
Club Coach: Lalo Alvarado, Michael Alexander
Coach Gill on Sirena: "Sirena is a great kid with a wonderful attitude. She is extremely versatile and has been successful playing a number of roles on her club team. Her diminutive frame packs a punch as she is as tough as nails in the tackle and is a superb one-on-one defender. We have watched Sirena countless times and she has always done very well as an outside back, an attacking winger or up front taking players on. She will be an asset to our program on the field, in the classroom and throughout the GCU community."

Kelsey Smith: 5-5, Fr., Defense, Coquitlam, British Columbia (Dr. Charles Best Secondary School)

Kelsey Smith will join a handful of Canadians currently on the GCU roster after playing for the Vancouver Whitecaps U-18 Girls Elite club team. Smith, a native of Coquitlam, British Columbia, was twice named the Coquitlam Metro Ford Soccer Club Female Player of the Year and helped guide her teams to several top-five finishes at the Canadians All-Star Nationals. She was also a member of the U-16 team which finished first at the Western Canadian Summer Games.
Club Team: Vancouver Whitecaps U18 Girls Elite
Club Coach: Jesse Symons
Coach Gill on Kelsey: "Kelsey has played at the highest level in Canada and will enjoy all sorts of success down here in sunny Phoenix. She will give us another dimension at the back with her speed and overlapping runs getting forward into the attack. Kelsey is well suited for our style of play and will make an immediate impact to the squad."

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