Neil McGuire Inks 10 Recruits

Feb. 4, 2010

BERKELEY - The perennially successful California women's soccer program has signed 10 talented recruits to National Letters of Intent, head coach Neil McGuire announced Thursday. Kate Bennett, Genessee Daughetee, Mekenna deBack, Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick, Emily Kruger, Emi Lawson, Grace Leer, Rachel Mercik, Kathleen Messinger and Bronwyn Studman will all be joining the Golden Bears in fall 2010. The players - who range from California natives to Washington products to an Aussie - bring a wide array of skill sets as well as national team experience.

'We believe this class continues our strong tradition of attracting some of the most talented and well-rounded student-athletes in the nation to Cal,' Cal head coach Neil McGuire said. 'Our new student-athletes' national team knowledge, combined with their leadership capabilities will make this class very dynamic and exciting to watch. Additionally, these students are well-equipped off the pitch to handle the rigors of Cal's academics.'

The Bears finished the season at an 11-9-1 clip for the program's sixth-consecutive winning record and the 23nd in school history. Cal went 4-5-0 in the Pac-10 to finish tied for sixth in the competitive conference. With an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, this year's selection marked Cal's 17th playoff bid in program history, the 11th in the last 12 years and the sixth straight. Thanks to a 2-1 overtime win over Auburn in the opening round, the Bears advanced to the second round, in which they lost, 3-0, to host and No. 1-seeded Florida State.

Kate Bennett
Bellevue, Wash.
Bellevue High School

High School Achievements: Named to the All-State First-Team in 2007; was a 2006-07 first-team all-league
Club Achievements: Has extensive national team experience beginning when she was part of the under-16 national team pool; played on the U-17 women's national team that traveled to the Trinidad and New Zealand World Cups; also played on the U-18 national team and is currently in the U-20 pool; member of Crossfire Premier, a two-time region IV champion and five-time state champion team
Personal: Two-time Adidas-ESP All-Star team member (2007, 2008), was twice named NSCAA youth All-American (2008, 2009) and a Parade Magazine All-American in 2009; co-Founder of Bellevue High School Microfinance Club, which is dedicated to helping individuals in the Dominican Republic to become self sufficient
What Neil McGuire Says: Kate is one of the most highly rated midfielders in the U.S. She has excellent skills, tremendous field vision and the ability to play to a high level with both feet. Kate is a known goal scorer but can also create a great deal of goal-scoring opportunities for others with her precision passing. Kate's experience playing for the U-17 national team in the World Cup and starting on the U-18 national team will no doubt allow her to get used to life in the college game very quickly.

Genessee Daughetee
Huntington Beach, Calif.
Marina High School

High School Achievements: Best defensive player in 2007 and '08; 2007 and 2008 first-team All-Sunset League; advanced to second round of CIF in 2006 and 2007, the quarterfinals in 2008; 2007 freshman track runner of the year; ran track her freshman and sophomore years
Club Achievements: U-13, U-14, U-15, U-16, U-17 national cup champions; U-15 and U-16 regional champions; U-15 national silver medalists and Nike Cup champions; U-16 national bronze medalists; Gothia Youth World Cup champions
What Neil McGuire Says: Gen is a remarkable athlete who possesses great speed and recovery ability. She loves to attack as an outside defender and could also play a role in the outside midfield position. Used primarily as a defender in her club, Gen has the ability to make an impact in several positions at Cal.

Mekenna deBack
Clayton, Calif.
Miramonte High School

High School Achievements: Three-year varsity member at Miramonte HS; her prep team went undefeated in 2008-09 and was the North Coast Section champion, with deBack notching 12 shutouts; 2009 East Bay Prep athlete of the year and Diablo Foothill Athletic League (DFAL) MVP and first-team selection; as a sophomore (2007-08) and freshman (2006-07), helped her team to DFAL and North Coast Section
Club Achievements: Attended the U.S. 17 Ruckus Academy for the USL Super Y League; helped the Super-Y U-16 team to the Super-Y NorCal championships and to semifinal status at the North American National, earning placement on the all-league team; played on the Lamorinda United '91 team - champion of the U-19 Mustang Stampede and Pleasanton Rage Showcase, finalist for Davis College Showcase; with Lamorinda United '91 in 2006, she traveled to Sweden and Denmark to win the Gothia Cup and Vildberg Cup, respectively; played up one age group in 2008 with the Lamorinda United '90 - taking fourth place in the Golden State Soccer League, was a finalist in the U.S. Region H Championship and semifinalist in the Cal Cup and helped the team win the Placer United Foothill Cup, U.S. Club Regional, U.S. Club Nationals (premier division, Greensboro, N.C.) and were quarterfinalists in the State Cup
What Neil McGuire Says: Mekenna is one of the most natural goal scorers I have seen in quite some time. Her speed allows her to create space for herself behind defensive lines and she can finish equally well with both feet. She is a feisty competitor who will be a great asset to our team.

Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick
Pleasanton, Calif.
Amador Valley High School

High School Achievements: In 2009, named team MVP, to the East Bay Athletic League first-team, and two-time Amador athlete of the week and was captain of her squad; placed on the EBAL second-team in 2008; AVHS's most valuable offensive player in 2008 and 2007
Club Achievements: Current member of the U-18 national team; also played with the U-17, U-16 and U-15 national teams and participated in the U-14 national ID camp; plays on the Northern California state team
Personal: Ranked seventh on the Top Drawer Soccer's Top-100 Players in the U.S. Ranking for Class of 2010 in 2008, moved up to sixth in 2009; 2009 Adidas/NSCAA youth All-American team member
What Neil McGuire Says: Kaitlyn is highly regarded as one of the most talented midfielders in the nation. As a starter on the U-18 national team, Kaitlyn will bring a wealth of high-level playing experience with her to Cal. She has fantastic skill, is an excellent passer and has the ability to score goals from deep positions. She is hard to dispossess and has great field vision, which will prove an asset to out attack.

Emily Kruger
Woodside, Calif.
Woodside High School

High School Achievements: Given the Golden Glove Award in August 2009 at the U.S. Youth National Soccer Championships above all goalkeepers in her age group after her team won the national championship title; named the Peninsula Athletic League 2009 goalkeeper of the year as well as first-team all-league pick; was a PAL honorable mention in 2008; last season (2008-09), the team was season in the Pacific Athletic League Bay Division and a semifinalist in the Central Coast Section playoffs; captain of the team her junior and senior years; made the varsity tennis squad during her sophomore and junior years, playing No. 1 and No. 2 singles in both seasons
Club Achievements: Plays on the De Anza Force '92 Blue, a nationally ranked U-17 girls team that has won 14 tournaments, four fall league titles, two NorCal Soccer Premier championships, a Super Y-League Pacific Northern California Section championship, a championship at U.S. Club National Cup, and most recently won the National Championship title in Lancaster, Mass., after being a finalist at regionals (Region IV) and winning the CYSA-N State Cup in May 2009; Has played on the Cal-North '92 State ODP team for four years, traveling as far as Costa Rica to play
Personal: Involved in campus leadership as sophomore class vice-president and currently senior class vice-president; also member of the Pink Ribbon Club, Students Offering Support program; is co-president of the Invisible Children club, which raises money, resources, and awareness for the impoverished children living in Uganda; regularly volunteers with Equality California
What Neil McGuire Says: Emily is an outstanding shot stopper who distributes the ball well from both her feet and her hands. She has a great drop kick, which will be a catalyst for our attack. Emily will develop into a great leader and has the ability to mature into a very fine goalkeeper.

Emi Lawson
Lakeside School

High School Achievements: MVP of the Metro League in 2008 and 2009; made the Metro League first team from 2006-09; helped her squad to a Metro League championship in 2007; 2008 and 2009 member of the Seattle Times All-Area team; also ran varsity track from 2006-10, finishing fourth at the state finals in the 4x4, in fifth in shot put and eighth on high jump; member of the varsity swim team from 2006-07
Club Achievements: 2008 Washington State ODP team co-captain; 2009 ODP Region IV Tournament finalist
Personal: National Achievement Scholarship finalist in 2010 and 2009 Gatorade Player of the Year nominee (2009); also participate in youth and government mock legislature, Link crew, student awareness council, Lakeside theater and the Black Student Union
What Neil McGuire Says: Emi is a strong, fast and versatile player who has tremendous natural athletic ability. She is comfortable in the center of defense but can also play up front. She is a fierce competitor who has shown significant growth from her time with the U.S. youth national teams.

Grace Leer
Danville, Calif.
San Ramon Valley High School

High School Achievements: Starting forward on the SRVHS varsity squad from 2007-9; 2009 East Bay Athletic League first teamer, was second team in 2008; helped her team to three consecutive North Coast Section 3A championships, and was the squad's leading scorer in 2009 and 2008; named 2009 East Bay Prep athlete of the year
Personal: Named 2009 youth All-American by NSCAA and to the 2009 ESPN Rise All-Area First Team; a talented singer, Leer has been a Radio Disney performance artist since 2005, performing national anthems for multiple Bay Area sports teams and was a finalist on the TV show 'American Juniors'
What Neil McGuire Says: Grace is a player who possesses great speed and has the ability to score goals in bunches. She leads the frontline well with well-timed runs and is very courageous inside the penalty box. She is a ferocious defender who applies great pressure on opponents during the entire game.

Rachel Mercik
El Dorado Hills, Calif.
Oak Ridge High School

High School Achievements: Team captain her first year on the varsity squad in 2009; was the team leader in goals and assists, earning her first-team all-league status; led her team to the 2009 Sac-Joaquin Section Division II championship; earned 2009 ESPN Spring All-America team honorable mention
Club Achievements: Currently part of the U.S. U-20 national-team pool; also part of the U-17 pool for the January and May 2008 camps and made the trip with the team to Argentina in 2007, when she played up a level; participated in the 2009 Winter Interregional in Mississippi; member of the Region IV team from 2006-09; in 2008, participated in Adidas ESP Camp, in which she was named to the all-star team and was an Adidas ESP Golden Boot winner; played on the Cal North state team from 2005-08 and won Cal North State Champions with the team in 2006
Personal: 2007 NSCAA youth All-American; named to the 2009 NSCAA All-Region Team; recognized as the No. 18 player in the nation, according to the Top Drawer Soccer National Top-100 List; member of her high school's key club in 2008; national honor society member from 2007-present
What Neil McGuire Says: Rachel is an outstanding 1-v-1 attacking play maker who can both create chances as well as take them. As a member of the U.S. U-20 national pool, she has shown herself to be one of the best wide attacking players in the county, and she will provide great service for our central strikers. Rachel is an exciting talent.

Kathleen Messinger
Dana Point, Calif.
Aliso Niguel High School

High School Achievements: All-league as well as All-CIF from 2007-09; MVP of the 2008 Mater Dei Premier Invitational; voted the 2008-09 South Coast best keeper and named all-countyClub Achievements: Member of the Region IV Pool from 2006-2008; played on Cal South ODP team from 2004-2008, helping them to 2007 and 2008 regional championships and the squad also was a 2007 national finalist; also played with Slammers FC, taking home the South Coast League titles from 2006-09
Personal: Named to the principal's and superintendant honor rolls
What Neil McGuire Says: Kat is one of the most aggressive 1-v-1 goalkeepers that I have seen in a long time. She is fearless and is prepared to do whatever it takes to prevent goals. She has the potential to grow into a very talented collegiate goalkeeper.

Bronwyn Studman
Radford College
Canberra, Australia

High School Achievements: Captain of athletics at Radford College; age-group team champion
Club Achievements: Currently plays for Australian Capital Territory Academy of Sport; played with Young Matildas (U-20 Australian national team) at the Asian Cup Qualifier in Malaysia and also toured to Italy and Thailand for friendly tournaments with them; played with Canberra United for two seasons in the national W-league; was the 2007 player of the year for Capital Football, Canberra's head football organization
What Neil McGuire Says: Bronwyn is a fast, strong, aggressive, naturally left-footed left back. She loves to attack from deep positions and has a great long service and shot. She is strong in the tackle and good in the air. Her time with the U-20 Australian national team will have helped her prepare for life in the Pac-10.

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