USC's 2008 Roster Takes Shape

Aug. 15, 2008

Starting on August 5, the USC women's soccer team's quest to defend its NCAA crown had officially begun. Joining the Trojan roster for their first season as Women of Troy is a set of nine newcomers, injecting an extra dose of versatility and talent to an already stacked and experienced USC lineup.

While only three players graduated from USC's 2007 roster, nine new faces and feet have stepped in to join the Trojans' campaign for another stellar season. That pack of incoming players for 2008 are freshmen Chelsea Buehning, Carly Butcher, Brittany Davis-Roberti, Ashley Freyer, Taylor Hilgert, Brittany Kerridge, Claire Schloemer and Alex Sitta, and Kendall Stevens, who joined the team in spring 2008.

'The additional depth to the program is greatly needed and is contributing to making us more competitive in training than we were last year,' USC head coach Ali Khosroshahin said. 'And it will help our transition in the future.'

The nine athletes represent five different states, highlighted by a pair of out-of-state additions with national team experience - Colorado product Brittany Kerridge and Alaska import Carly Butcher. Chelsea Buehning hails from New Jersey, and Brittany Davis-Roberti comes in from Oregon, while the rest of the class comes to Troy from around California. Altogether, the nine newest Trojans offer up a great deal of talent and options for the seasons to come.

'This class is very versatile class,' Khosroshahin said. 'They can all do different jobs for us.'

Lining up in the back for the Trojans are a set of defensive players: Brittany Davis-Roberti, Taylor Hilgert, Claire Schloemer, Alex Sitta and Kendall Stevens.

Davis-Roberti (Portland, Ore./Jesuit HS) was named the NSCAA Oregon Player of the Year and was a 2007 First Team All-State selection. Twice selected First Team All-Metro and named 2007 Metro League Player of the Year, she was also named an NSCAA All-American.

'Brittany brings a lot to the table for our program,' Khosroshahin said. 'Not only is she a talented soccer player, but she has the potential of being an excellent leader. She brings us much-needed depth in the back and insures that we have a strong back line in the future.'

Hilgert (Whittier, Calif./Mater Dei HS) was a four-year scholar athlete a and was named Freshman Offensive Player of the Year. An All-Orange County First Team selection in 2007-08 and Second Team pick in 2006 by the Orange County Register, she scored 22 goals and had 25 assists at Mater Dei.

'Taylor has good speed and skills, which allows her to be extremely versatile,' Khosroshahin said. 'She will be able to fill multiple roles for us, from the back to the midfield and up front. We are always excited to get a player with her versatility!'

Schloemer (Newport Beach, Calif./Mater Dei) was a high school teammate of Hilgert's, winning three league titles and the 06-07 CIF Division I championship with Mater Dei. Schloemer was a two-time all-league first-team selection and was named her team's Defensive MVP as a senior.

'Claire is an excellent central defender and will have time to learn a great deal and be a mainstay in our back line,' Khosroshahin said. 'She is solid in the air and could contribute in her first season.'

Sitta (El Cajon, Calif./Cathedra Catholic HS) was an All-CIF San Diego Section First Team selection as a junior and a Second Team pick as a senior Named Union Tribune Player of the Week, she played in four San Diego Section championships, winning one CIF title.

'Alex is hard-nosed, extremely competitive, no-nonsense defender,' Khosroshahin said. 'She has a tremendous work ethic and knowledge of the game that is beyond her years. Once healthy she, too, could see some time in the back line this year.'

Stevens (Concord, Calif./Carondelet HS) was a CIF scholar athlete in both soccer and track all four years, and was named Contra Costa Times Athlete of the Week in 2005.

'Kendall joined us this past spring and has won a position on our team,' Khosroshahin said. 'She is an outside defender with a great passion and curiosity for the game.'

Called upon largely for duties in the midfield will be a trio of talent in Chelsea Buehning, Carly Butcher and Brittany Kerridge.

Buehning (Essex Fells, N.J./West Essex Regional HS) was a four-year starter and was named Conference Player of the Year. A four-time All-State, All-Conference and All-County First Team Selection, she ranked in All-State top-20 as a senior.

'The New Jersey native has tremendous speed and an excellent natural left foot,' Khosroshahin said. 'She can play anywhere along the left side of our team. Presently, she is recovering from injury and we are excited to see her in action. '

Butcher (Anchorage, Alaska/South Anchorage HS) competed at the 2008 U.S. U-18 National Team Camp and played in three state championship games at South Anchorage High in Anchorage, Alaska. She also won four league and conference titles, and was a four-time first team all-conference selection and three-time all-state first teamer. Named 2007 Gatorade Player of the Year for Alaska, Butcher also was a 2007 Parade All-American and on the NSCAA Youth All-American Team.

'Carly brings a great deal of experience to our program with her involvement with our youth national teams,' Khosroshahin said. 'She is a central midfielder with excellent vision and technical ability. She has the ability to see a lot of time this year.'

Kerridge (Golden, Colo./Mullen HS) has been a member of the U.S. Under-18 National Team, most recently competing in La Manga, Spain, for the U.S. squad. She was named a 2008 Parade All-American and was a First Team All-State selection out of Mullen High in Denver, Colo. Also named First Team All-Conference in 2006 and 2007, Kerridge was the 2007 State Championship MVP. Her team won the state title in 2007 and was runner-up in 2006.

'Brittany, too, has a had a great deal of experience with our youth national teams,' Khosroshahin said. 'She is a very technical player with great insight into the game. Also, she's one of the most coachable and nicest kids you'll ever meet'.

Meanwhile, filling in on the attack is a dangerous Ashley Freyer, whose skill at striker puts her as a valuable member of an experienced Trojan front line. Freyer (Windsor, Calif./Windsor HS) is a four-time first team all-league selection and was chosen league MVP in 2004. A section first-teamer all four years, she led her team in scoring for three seasons.

'Ashley has tremendous speed and a nose for the goal,' Khosroshahin said. 'We expect her to score some goals for us this year along with creating serious havoc for the opposition!'

Tune in on August 22 when the Trojans kick off their 2008 push toward the national championship. USC opens the year with a road trip to San Diego, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Friday (Aug. 22). USC's first home game will be September 5 against Santa Clara.

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