Washington State Soccer Signs Seven Preps
March 2, 2001
PULLMAN, Wash. - After the best season in the history of the program and the first NCAA appearance since 1994, the Cougar soccer team is ready to add more. Head coach Dan Tobias has announced seven soccer players signed national letters of intent to enroll at WSU next fall, in addition to two walk-ons who have committed.
The list includes forwards Sara Silver-Hill (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Regina McGee (Vacaville, Calif.) and Keegan Hughes (Portland, Ore.). Two center midfielders will also be joining the Cougars next fall, Christie Spear (Bend, Ore.) and Cailan McCutchan (Maple Valley, Wash.). Joining the Cougar goalkeepers will be Meghan Miller (Kent, Wash.) and Katie Hultin (Denver, Colo.).
Silver-Hill is a four-year letterwinner from Westlake High School. As a forward on the three-time Maramonte League championship team, she was the leading scorer on the team for the last three seasons as well as the league's leading scorer during her junior season and currently leads the league in scoring with 21 goals. As a junior she earned first team all-league, county and region as well as the league's offensive MVP award.
'Sara Silver-Hill is a very good back to goal striker. She's been the top player in the Maramonte League and was on track to set the scoring record,' head coach Dan Tobias said. 'She's a very smart player inside the box and a good all around player who we think is going to be very good in college.'
McGee played forward and midfield for four years at Vanden High School where she has scored 104 goals in her first three seasons. With her senior season just beginning, McGee has been the team MVP for the last three years as well as the team's leading scorer. She has also been an all-league selection each season. In addition to soccer McGee ran four seasons of track and two of cross-country.
'The first place to start with Regina is that she has some athletic skills we just can't teach,' Tobias said. 'She has good size at 5-10, she has great speed, a really good burst and is someone we believe has the potential to be an outstanding player in the Pac-10.'
Hughes is another player who was prepped at forward and midfield. She is a four-year letterwinner from Westview High School. Hughes earned first team all-league honors and was named the team's MVP for the last three seasons. She also earned second team All-State honors as a junior and senior. A four-year letterwinner in track as well, Hughes holds the school records in the 200 and 400-meter dashes and was a member of the record holding 4x100 and 4x400 meter relay teams.
'Keegan Hughes is a flank player, wide left or right and also a player that can play up top,' Tobias said. 'She has good pace, good speed and is someone who, if I were to bet right now, is going to provide us with some quality depth on the flanks.'
Spear comes to the Cougars after four years as a center midfielder for Mountain View High School. She has earned first team all-conference for the last three years and first team All-State the last two. Spear has been named the MVP of the Intermountain Conference for the last two years and has played on the Olympic Development Program (O.D.P.) team in Ore. for the last three years.
'Christie Spear is a very good playmaking center midfielder, very skillful,' Tobias said. 'She was identified as one of the top players in the country last year, getting invited to the elite soccer program, the ESP Camp in Memphis. Christie has a tremendous attitude and is one of those people that is going to be one of the future leaders of our program.'
McCutchan is another center midfielder. In her senior season at Tahoma High School, McCutchan was named the MVP of the team and league and was named the 4A player of the year. She also earned all-conference and all-area honors during the Bears 15-0-1 season. McCutchan comes from a strong club team in the F.C. Marauders and three years experience on the Regional O.D.P. team.
'Cailan McCutchan has got some great qualities as mostly a player we see in the center midfield, but also with the versatility to play up front,' Tobias said. 'She has a very good work ethic and work rate in the midfield. She's a ball winning person who offensively is just going to keep growing and getting better.'
Miller is one of two goalkeepers recruited for 2001. She was a three-sport athlete at Kentlake High School. Miller was named the team MVP all four years for the Falcons. In her senior season she posted a 0.63 GAA and 12 shutouts earning first team all-league and all-area honors. Miller also played for the F.C. Marauders and made the Regional and State O.D.P. teams in 1999.
'We wanted to add goalkeepers this year. We're going to be graduating one of the best goalkeepers ever to wear a Washington State uniform in Lindsey Jorgensen. Last year when Lindsey got hurt we played Sara (Leibowitz) and that was great, but we had no backup. We didn't have a lot of depth in that position,' Tobias said. 'So adding someone like Meghan, who's right in our own backyard in the state of Washington, just makes our whole goalkeeping core that much stronger.'
Hultin was a three-sport athlete at Thomas Jefferson High School in Denver, Colo. where she played keeper for four years for the Spartans in addition to earning two letters in basketball and football. Hultin captained both the soccer and football teams in her senior season. In her first three seasons for the soccer team Hultin earned all-conference honors and was named the team MVP as a junior. Hultin also earned all-conference honors for her kicking duties on the football team the last two years. She played for the Denver Soccer Club and the Region IV O.D.P. team as well.
'Katie Hultin is our first player from Colorado,' Tobias said. 'Now we have what we've wanted for the last couple of seasons, a real deep goalkeeping core, deep to the point where it provides good healthy competition amongst the four. It's going to make it very difficult on the coaches in terms of dividing the playing time.'
With seven freshmen added to 19 players returning from a successful 2000 season that included the best Pac-10 record (5-4) in Cougar soccer history and an NCAA berth, Tobias has high expectations for 2001.
'There's several things that we're really happy about with this group,' Tobias said. 'They're all very good students and they all have something that we can't teach--they love to play.'
In addition to the seven recruits Tobias announced two walk-ons that have committed to coming to WSU, Sara Sheridan (Pullman, Wash.) and Megan Cecchini (Portland, Ore.).
Sheridan is a striker from Pullman High School. She played for three years under coach Doug Winchell for the Greyhounds, in addition to earning varsity letters in basketball and track. Sheridan has been the Great Northern League's leading scorer for the past two years and earned first team all-league honors her senior season.
Cecchini is a four-year letterwinner from Tualatin High School where she has earned first team all-league honors for the past three seasons. As a junior she earned conference player of the year and was named first team All-State. During her senior season Cecchini garnered third team All-State honors.
'We definitely think these recruits are good students and good soccer players, but in getting to know them we think they're even better people. As a team we have good chemistry, a really good attitude and we're definitely moving in the right direction,' Tobias said. 'I think this group of recruits has a lot of the same traits that our current team has and will make us that much stronger, that much better, that much more competitive and that much deeper next year. The prospect of this group coming, gives us a lot more enthusiasm and a lot more excitement about 2001.'