Cal Signs Six Players with National Team Experience

Feb. 9, 2007

BERKELEY, Calif. - The California women's soccer team has signed six elite players to National Letters of Intent, head coach Kevin Boyd announced Friday. That group is expected to bolster the Golden Bear program, which advanced to the second round of the 2006 NCAA Tournament and finished the season with a 12-5-5 record.

'We're extremely excited to welcome one of the best classes in the history of our program,' said Boyd, who enters his 11th season as head coach at Cal this fall. 'This is the first time we've put together a class where every player has been on the U.S. national team or pool for their age group in some capacity. These players all fill roles we need filled. We've been following this group for a long time and recognize the immediate impact all of them can have.'

Here's a breakdown of this year's class in alphabetical order:

A product of La Mirada, Calif., Megan Jesolva is rated the No. 10 player nationally by Soccer Buzz, a women's college soccer Web site. Jesolva, who can play in the back, midfield or up top, has U.S. U-17 and U-16 National team experience. As a member of Slammers FC, she helped the team win the 2004 U.S. club national championship and the 2003 and 2005 USYSA national crowns. Slammers FC has also won six Surf Cup titles with Jesolva on the team. She also plays for Whittier Christian High School.

Jorden Kussman, a goalkeeper from Lakewood, Wash., is ranked as the No. 12 player in the country according to Soccer Buzz. Kussman has an impressive list of Olympic Development experience to her credit dating back to 2003, including participation at a U.S. Under-17 national team camp in Carson, Calif., in 2006. In 2005, she competed for the Under-16 national team on a Japan tour, in a game against Germany's U-17 team and in a camp in Boca Raton, Fla. In 2006, Kussman was named an NSCAA All-American and first-team all-state at Charles Wright Academy. She plays club soccer for the Eastside Red 88, helping her team finish in third place at the Far West Regionals.

McKenna-Louise McKetty, who hails from Sacramento, Calif., is capable of playing at defender, midfielder or forward for the Bears. McKetty is ranked among Soccer Buzz's top 75 recruits after having spent time with the U.S. Under-16 National team. Additionally, she is a three-year member of the ODP regional team and a four-year member of the ODP state team, including three years as the captain. McKetty helped the San Juan Soccer Club win a U.S. club national title. At Saint Francis High School, she earned a spot on the CIF first team as a freshman and sophomore and was honorable mention as a junior.

A forward from Diamond Bar, Calif. Alex Morgan is slated as a top 50 recruit by Soccer Buzz and also is currently a member of the U.S. Under-17 National team. Morgan is an NSCAA All-American and a three-time all-league pick at Diamond Bar High School. She has been a member of the ODP state team since 2004 and starred on the ODP Region IV squad in 2005 and 2006. She also contributed to the 2006 Cal-South national title and helped the Cypress Elite club team to the CSL Gold U16 crown and to third place at the CSL Premier U19 Championship.

Natasha Richardson, a forward from Petaluma, Calif., also earned a spot in the U.S. Under-17 National team pool. Richardson has helped the Santa Rosa United 89 Gold to first place at the 2004 Sumer San Diego Surf Cup and to a first-place showing at the 2005 California State Cup after advancing to the semifinals the previous year. She has helped Ursuline High School to a first-place finish at the 2005 North Coast Section Championships and to second place in 2004 and 2006. As a prep, she also received first-team all-league and 2006 Northern California Player of the Year recognition.

Emily Shibata, a center midfielder from Walnut Creek, Calif., is also rated nationally by Soccer Buzz. Shibata's soccer resume boasts a variety of experiences at the ODP, club and high school levels. She is currently a member of the Under-19 regional team after spending two years on the U-17 state and regional teams. In 2005, Shibata spent time with the U.S. Under-17 National team. She has been associated with five State Cup Championship teams - three with Diablo Valley Soccer Club and two with the Mustang Blast. The Mustang Blast also won the 2004 USYS national title. At Northgate High School, Shibata has received two first-team all-league selections and was chosen the Most Valuable Offensive Player in the league.

2007 Cal Women's Soccer Recruiting Class
Name Pos Hometown/Previous SchoolMegan Jesolva D/M/F La Mirada, Calif./Whittier Christian High SchoolJorden Kuusmann G Lakewood, Wash./Charles Wright AcademyMcKenna-Louise McKetty D/M/F Sacramento, Calif./St. Francis High SchoolAlex Morgan F Diamond Bar, Calif./Diamond Bar High SchoolNatasha Richardson F Petaluma, Calif./Ursuline High SchoolEmily Shibata M Walnut Creek, Calif./Northgate High School
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