Cal Signs Best Class Under Coach Boyd's Direction

Feb. 9, 2004

BERKELEY, Calif. - The California women's soccer team has signed 10 athletes who arguably comprise the program's best recruiting class in the last eight years, head coach Kevin Boyd announced today.

'This is the strongest class we have put together so far,' said Boyd, who enters his eighth season in charge of the Golden Bears this fall. 'Three of the players - Caroline Lea, Chiome Igwe and Laurie Gartrell - have youth national team experience, and Igwe is a high school All-American. All three have the potential to come in and impact us like (Kimberly) Yokers did. To have three marquee players like that is a testament to our program's reputation. We also have two regional pool players in Caitlin Hannegan and Katie Martinez. Overall, we have an outstanding group that will bolster a young team and continues our tradition of signing national-caliber classes.'

Here's a look at Cal's 2004 recruiting class by position:

Caroline Lea, who hails from Lakewood, Colo., has been a member of the U.S. under-17 national team for the last two years and a player for the youth national team pool and the regional Olympic Development Program for the last four years. She is a center midfielder for the Colorado Girls Soccer Academy, which won a U-15 national championship and three Far West Regional titles.

Also a center midfielder, Chiome Igwe was named a 2003 NSCAA High School All-American and league MVP after leading the league in scoring as a senior at Notre Dame High School in Belmont. Igwe has garnered additional experience as a member of the ODP youth national team pool and with the Northstars club team. The San Jose Mercury News has recognized her as its freshman, sophomore and junior of the year the last three seasons. Igwe's father, Tony, played soccer for the Nigerian national team following his career at the University of San Francisco, where he was a member of three national championship teams. Chiome's brother, Kelechi, is a sophomore on the Santa Clara soccer team.

Laurie Gartrell, an outside midfielder, has spent time with the U-17 adidas national team, including on the 2003 European tour. She also has served on the regional ODP and the Cal South state teams. The La Jolla product helped the Surf Soccer Club to the 2001 national title. At The Bishop School, Gartrell was a four-time all-district, all-league and team MVP recipient.

Caitlin Hannegan is a member of the regional ODP and Cal North state teams. At Marin Catholic High School in Kentfield, Hannegan was picked as the league MVP and was a three-time first team All-MCAL honoree. She has played for the Bay Oaks Soccer Club for the last three years.

A Sunnyvale native, Katie Wilcox is a two-year Cal North state team player. Additionally, Wilcox has helped the DeAnza Sharks to four Cal North state championships and competes for Homestead High School.

Katie Martinez, who hails from Fremont, is expected to bolster the Bears' backline and midfield. Martinez has spent two years on the regional ODP team and three on the Cal North state team. At Washington High School, she was named first team all-league.

Courtney Hooker has helped the SoCal United Soccer Club to a Premier League title and has bolstered the Cal South state ODP team for the last three years. The Woodland Hills product has garnered several honors at Chaminade College Preparatory, including league offensive MVP, All-Mission and first team All-CIF.

A youth star from Pleasanton, Kristine Relja plays for the Pleasanton Rage and has led Amador Valley High School to the NCS championship. According to Boyd, Relja and Hooker are fast, athletic and tough and will challenge for starting jobs on the Bears' backline next season.

Dayna Queisser, from Coronodo, is teammates with Laurie Gartrell on the Surf Soccer Club. At Coronodo High School, Queisser was the league's leading scorer, a three-time All-CIF selection, first team All-Western League and team MVP. She also was selected to the Scholar Athlete Far West Regional team. Her sister, Kelley, is a senior on the Cal lacrosse team.

Stephanie Weiger joins the Bears from Carondelet High School, where she was honored as team MVP and first team all-league after leading the school to an NCS championship. A native of Concord, Weiger led the Walnut Creek Strikers to two Club Premier League crowns as the team's leading scorer. She has participated for two years on the Cal North state ODP team.

2004 Cal Women's Soccer Recruiting Class

Name Pos Yr Hometown/Previous SchoolCaroline Lea M Fr. Lakewood, CO/Colorado AcademyChioma Igwe M Fr. Belmont, CA/Notre Dame High SchoolLaurie Gartrell M Fr. La Jolla, CA/The Bishop SchoolCaitlin Hannegan M Fr. San Rafael, CA/Marin Catholic High SchoolKatie Wilcox M Fr. Sunnyvale, CA/Homestead High SchoolKatie Martinez M/D Fr. Fremont, CA/Washington High SchoolCourtney Hooker D Fr. Woodland Hills, CA/Chaminade Preparatory CollegeKristine Relja D Fr. Pleasanton, CA/Amador Valley High SchoolDayna Queisser D Fr. Coronodo, CA/Coronodo High SchoolStephanie Weiger F Fr. Concord, CA/Carondelet High School

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