Sun Devil Soccer Inks Five to National Letters of Intent

May 24, 2007

TEMPE, Ariz. - Five high school standouts will continue their educational and academic careers as members of the Arizona State University soccer program after signing National Letters of Intent Kevin Boyd, the program's head coach, announced Thursday. The incoming class of student-athletes includes local products Alexandra Elston (Phoenix), Erica Long (Phoenix) and Molly Simmons-Stuber (Mesa) as well as Jill Shoquist (Lake Oswego, Ore.) and Jessie Richardson (Parker, Colo.). Additionally, the team also welcomed Hannah Messick (Greenwood, Ind.), who joined the team in the spring.

'We are excited about this group of talented players because each of these young women will bring skills we need to improve the quality and depth of the Sun Devil program,' Boyd said. 'Each of these new additions are expected to step in and make an immediate impact on the program and I look forward to seeing what each player brings to the Sun Devils in 2007.'

All three local products will continue to be teammates after all have played on the same club team, the `89 Ladybugs White, for the past few years where they won several state championships.

Elston, the 2005-06 Arizona Gatorade Player of the Year, brings a dynamic attacking presence to the Sun Devils. She has been a member of the Arizona state ODP team since 2003 and attended Region IV Camp in 2003, 2004, and 2005. With the '89 Ladybugs White, Elston has led her club team to five state championships. A four-year starter at Mountain Pointe High School, Elston was named First Team All-State and led the team in scoring and assists her sophomore and junior years. In addition to being named the Gatorade Player of the Year, she also was selected as the 2005 Arizona Republic Player of the Year and 5A Coaches Player of the Year. In addition, Elston also was selected as the 2006 Arizona Badminton Player of the Year after taking the 5A Arizona state crown. In the classroom, Elston is ranked 20th in her class and maintains a 3.94 GPA. She is a member of the National Charity league, a National Honors Society Inductee, and a Provost Academic Scholarship recipient. On May 19, Elston also was named the Arizona Interscholastic Association and Cox Communications Everyday Hero Scholar Athlete of the Year award.

Since 1996, Long has been a member of the '89 Ladybugs White club team. During her tenure with the Ladybugs, she has won five Arizona State Championships and served as co-captain of the squad during the 2003-04 season. Long has also spent significant time with the Arizona State ODP team. While competing at Mountain Pointe High School, Long has been a four-year member of the varsity soccer team and received all-state honors her sophomore and junior years. Academically, she carries a 4.0 GPA and is a member of the National Charity League.

Simmons-Stuber has been a member of the Arizona State ODP team since 2003 and attended Region IV Camp in 2003, 2004, and 2005. Along with teammates Elston and Long, she has been a member of the '89 Ladybugs since 2000, was selected as team co-captain and has helped lead the Ladybugs to five state championships. A four-year member of the Red Mountain High School varsity soccer team, Simmons-Stuber led RMHS to the 5A state semi-finals in both 2004 and 2005. Academically, she holds a 3.6 GPA and is active in the Reading is Fundamental tutoring program, while also serving as the program's vice president.

A left-footed defender, Shoquist will add a strong presence to the Sun Devil's backline. She is currently a member of the Lake Oswego Power Soccer Club and also is a member of the '89 Region IV ODP Team. Shoquist, who attends Lake Oswego High School, was a four-year starter for the soccer team and earned both first-team all-conference and honorable mention all-state as a senior. A four-year member of the basketball team as well, Shoquist plans to study anatomy/physiology at ASU and use her degree to become an athletic trainer.

Richardson and her club team, Real Colorado National Soccer Club, won two state titles and one runner-up while she served as the captain of the club team for the past five years. At Chaparral High School, Richardson lettered all four years in soccer and three years in basketball and was twice selected as captain for both squads. Following her sophomore and junior years, she earned all-league honorable mention in soccer. During this past summer, Richardson played and traveled with the Colorado Cougars. Recently, Richardson was recognized as one of the top female athletes in Colorado and academically, she is ranked in the Top 5 percent of her class.

A spring addition to the roster, Messick comes to Tempe after a successful career at Center Grove High School in Greenwood, Ind., where she was a four-time First Team Metro South, Star South Girls Team and Academic All-Conference Scholar-Athlete honoree. The 2004 ICSA State MVP, Messick was a team captain as a junior and senior while also earning First Team All-State honors. A three-time NSCAA Academic All-America selection, Messick was the 2006 defensive player of the year and was a starter in every match of her four-year varsity career. A three-year Region II `89 Team member and four-year Indiana state team member, Messick was also a member of the 2005 U.S. U-16 National Team pool.

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