Spokane SC Shadow would like to congratulate the players who announced Wednesday their collegiate playing commitments on National Letter of Intent Day. A large number of the club's graduating players have chosen to further their playing careers in college with more set to announce their choices in the near future.
Among the player announcements were a handful of players heading to Division I programs such as University of Portland, San Diego State, Boise State and University of Idaho.
Larkin Russell signed to play at powerhouse and two-time NCAA champion University of Portland. She will join another former Shadow player, Jess Kennedy, on the squad and Spokane native Angela Harrison, who is an assistant coach (goalkeepers) with the program.
Camryn Wendlandt, meanwhile, has already departed for San Diego State University, graduating early and enrolling at SDSU recently. The Aztecs have been a dominant force of late in the Mountain West, winning the last four MW regular season championships and three of the last four MW tournament titles. [pictured right in her final Shadow game last December]
Remaining a bit closer to home to play in the MW as well is Melissa Symmes, who committed to Boise State University. The Broncos have been a competitive side in the MW in recent years, challenging for the conference title in the postseason.
Staying fairly close to home will be Morgan Crosby, Alex Chambers and Katie Crowley.
Crosby and Chambers will continue to play together, both heading to the University of Idaho and joining up with fellow Shadow alum Alyssa Lloyd, who is entering her senior season, to play under former Gonzaga University assistant coach Derek Pittman, who guided the Vandals to an unexpected Big Sky regular season title last fall in his second year at the helm.
Crowley announced she will be attending Whitworth University (Div III), which is in the midst of selecting a new head coach. Annie Clark, meanwhile, is headed to fellow Northwest Conference program Pacific University (Div III), where she will play under longtime Boise State head coach Steve Lucas, who was named the program's new head coach Wednesday.
Ryann Rydeen is headed to Minnesota State University-Mankato (Div II), where she joins a pair of returning goalkeepers (a red-shirt junior and a redshirt-sophomore) that have less than 90 minutes of game experience in their time in the program behind the departing senior goalkeeper.
Maia Angell committed to Hawaii Pacific University (Div II) and Bria Bowton is headed to Redlands University, where the Bulldogs reached the NCAA Division III tournament in 2014 and won the regular season conference title last fall.
Early NWAC commitments from the girls group includes Jenna Jensen declaring for Highline CC and Jasmine McCauley choosing Bellevue College. The two programs finished in the top two spots in the league's West Division, respectively, last fall. Highline advanced to the NWAC championship before falling to CC Spokane.
On the boys side of the ledger, quite a few players are still deciding on their futures, but two made their announcements yesterday.
JD Hauenstein, also a contributor for the First Team in its second EPLWA championship campaign this past summer, signed to play for MSU-Billings (Div II) and Jackson Moore is headed to Pacific Lutheran University (Div III), a regular top three side and contender for the Northwest Conference title. The Lutes finished second to Whitworth this past fall. [Hauenstein pictured right playing for Shadow FT]
ADDITIONS (added after initial announcement)
Michaela Prothe has committed to play for Concordia University, a program that is heading into its second season in the Division II Great Northwest Athletic Conference after being one of the powers of the NAIA Cascade Collegiate Conference previously. Last year's DII debut was an impressive one as the Cavaliers went 11-4-3 to finish second in the GNAC.
Jake Levine has committed to play for Eastern Oregon University. The program was launched last fall and was 5-8 in conference play and 7-9 overall in a successful opening season in the NAIA Cascade Collegiate Conference.
COMMENTS FROM THE COACHES
Alex Chambers :: Derek Pittman (Idaho) -“With the recent graduation of Reagan Quigley, we needed to add a forward to our roster for 2016. Alex has excellent athletic ability, pace and strength as an attacking player. We feel she is a dual threat with her ability to face up and attack defenders on the dribble or play back to goal to help hold the ball up in possession. Alex also has experience scoring big-time goals in big moments, having scored the game tying and game winning goals to lead her club team to a state championship in 2015. She is going to gain even more strength and power in our program as she reaches her full potential.”
Morgan Crosby :: Derek Pittman (Idaho) -"Morgan was one of the first recruits I went after when I got this job 2 years ago. I have watched Mo play since she was in 8th grade and she has developed into a top player that is going to help us continue challenging for Big Sky Championships. The most impressive quality about Mo is that she is a relentless competitor that defends and attacks for 90 minutes. She is a skilled and tactically aware midfielder that will help us on both sides of the ball. She plays with an intense passion for the game, while exuding calmness and smooth technical ability that will help our team keep possession or score goals.”
Melissa Symmes :: Jim Thomas (Boise State) - "Melissa continues the theme of tremendous athlete and pace in this class. She's quick. She's a high-level sprinter in both the 100 and 200 for her high school track team. Melissa is an outside back with outstanding tenacity and ability to win the ball. She's deceptively good in the air and a warrior when it comes to tackling. Outside back is an area where we need to get a great deal of depth and is something we have focused on in this class."
Camryn Wendlandt :: Mike Friesen (San Diego State) - “We are really excited to have three players of this caliber join us mid-year,” Friesen said. “Camryn has great ability in the air, great speed and is good on the ball. That combination will make her a versatile player that will be very valuable to our team. Having two players graduate early (Cook and Wendlandt) to come to school in the spring is a huge advantage for our team and for those players. We are really excited to develop our team this spring and be able to put ourselves in a position to compete at the highest level this fall.”
Michaela Prothe :: Grant Landy (Concordia) - "Michaela is a very versatile player who has experience as both a midfielder and defender. I see her more as a defensive center mid, where she can help break up opponent attacks, but also distribute when our team has the ball. Michaela is good in the air and reads the game well. She has an engaging personality which will fit in well with our team."