Ducks Signs Five Soccer Players For 2003-04 Season

Feb. 26, 2003

EUGENE - Looking ahead to the 2003-04 season, the University of Oregon women's soccer team announced Thursday the addition of two transfers and three incoming freshmen who have signed National Letters of Intent.

'The group of newcomers are all fine athletes with good skills and pace,' Oregon soccer head coach Bill Steffen said. 'They're probably more specialized than previous classes which is great, because they can complement the players that are coming back.'

The Ducks will look forward in the fall to the arrival of redshirt junior Erin Engelhardt who played at the University of Virginia in 2000 and 2001. The Hasbrouck Heights, N.J. native and Immaculate Heart High School graduate started 18 of the 43 games she played as the Cavaliers made the NCAA tournament her second season. As a sophomore midfielder she tallied three goals and six assists (12 points), to go along with four goals and three assists (11 points) as a freshman. As a prep, she was an NSCAA/Adidas All-American and the New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year.

The squad also welcomes the arrival of Sabrina DeMonte who last fall attended Harbor Junior College in Harbor City, Calif. The Torrance, Calif., native and South Torrance High School graduate is currently enrolled in the University of Oregon as a freshman. As a prep she lettered three seasons at midfielder and defender, and was the team's captain, athlete of the year and leading scorer in 2002 (15 goals, 11 assists). Her club teams won the Surf Cup, League Cup, Premier League and Wolfpack Invitational. She also participated in track and was a CIF finalist in the 300 hurdles and triple jump.

'We're excited to have them both here,' Oregon women's coach Bill Steffen said. 'Erin owns a really strong background. She was a region 1 team member, had a look with the Under-16 National Team, and had solid years at UVA. She's a good athlete with solid learning experiences. Sabrina comes from a very strong club background and has tremendous athleticism. She has a great, go-for-it attitude, and since she hasn't played organized soccer for very long, she has tremendous upside potential.'

Among the trio of freshman signees expected to arrive in the fall, coaches expect an immediate contribution from freshman addition Dana Richardson, a 5-5 midfielder/ defender from Vancouver, B.C., who ranks among Canada's top junior players. A defender on Canadian National Teams every year since the age of 15, her U-15 and U-17 provincial squads finished third and second, respectively, in the national tournament. She is currently in the U-18 Canadian player pool preparing for the 2004 summer U-19 World Championships. Closer to home in 2001-02, her Nanaimo Women's Premier club team won the 2001-02 Vancouver Island Senior Soccer Championships and took seventh in the province, and was second in the island tourney in 2000-01. She joined her club team at the age of 14 as the youngest player in the league and has also received provincial first team all-star honors for the senior girls division. This season she has scored seven goals for her team from the midfield position and is tied for the team lead.

The Ducks will boost their goalkeeper corps with the addition of Emily Marrer from Cactus High in Glendale, Ariz. The 5-4 keeper is a four-year letterwinner and played for the state champion high school squad as a freshman in 2000 and junior in 2002, and is a three-time all-region pick. She has posted a 77-5-3 career record, and 54 shutouts - one shy of the state record. At the club level, she has played for the Sereno '85 Golden Eagles since 2001 - the state champs that season, and also had top-three state finishes with the Cisco club team in 1998 (first), 1999 (second), 2000 (third), 2001 (fourth). She also played on the Olympic Development Program team in 1998-1999, and on the ODP state team in 2001-2002. Off the pitch, she's a National Honor Society member and owns a 3.98 GPA.

Closer to home, the Ducks also inked forward/midfielder Kaily Winther, a Eugene native and Churchill High School product. The four-year letterwinner played on the league champions last fall, and was a first-team all-league pick as a junior and senior, and league MVP as a senior. She has also played on the FC Willamette 'Posh' club team since 1997 - the state champions in 1998 and 2002, regional champs in 1997, '01 and '02, and Surf Cup runner-up in 2002.

'Dana comes from a strong playing background with the Canadian National U-19 Team,' Steffen said. 'She's a wide player that loves to get forward and is a great student of the game. Emily is a very strong and determined player with good quickness, desire and a great work rate - great ingredients for a successful goalkeeper. Kaily brings tremendous pace and has a knack for always being involved. She has a nose for the goal that's a great quality.'

The trio help replace the graduation of five seniors - starting goalkeeper Sarah Peters who was picked in the recent WUSA Pro Draft, starting defenders Lindsey Peterson and Robi Thayer, and starting forwards Amanda Orand and Sarah Denner.

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