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“We have some incredible talent coming in for 2014,” Pirates head coach Kanyon Anderson said.
“I think what defines this particular recruiting class is versatility, coachability and maturity.
“Each player can play a variety of positions, they are willing to work hard, and they all approach school, life and soccer in a way that should make them great additions to the soccer program and to the community.”
Casting wide net
Anderson is racking up land and air miles on the recruiting path this spring in hopes of landing the caliber of talent that, combined with his returners, can compete for a third NWAACC title.
“Coach Anderson's immediate and sustained success in collegiate women's soccer has elevated our program to one of the best in the nation,” Peninsula director of athletics Rick Ross said.
“He works harder than most other coaches in the NWAACC and he's also in a position where he can recruit for talent, physical ability, academics and character.
“He's got a good thing going on here.”
Despite graduating one of the most success sophomore classes to ever play in the NWAACC, but Anderson remains confident about the Pirates' future.
“Although we lose a lot in the way of graduating players, the cupboard is far from bare with a deep and talented returning class,” he said.
“By adding the class of 2014, I think another championship run is possible.”
The following players have signed national letters of intent or otherwise committed to Peninsula College:
■ Bianca Andrade: Midfield/attacker, Liberty High School, Portland, Ore.
Andrade was first-team all-league, team Most Valuable Player and team captain at Liberty. She also was captain of Multicultural Soccer Team from 2011-13.
“Bianca is a special player for several reasons, but I am most impressed by her ability to create scoring chances in tight spaces,” Anderson said.
“Bianca seems to welcome those difficult moments as an opportunity to display her skills.”
■ Taylor Berg: Midfielder, Central Kitsap, Silverdale.
Berg was a four-year varsity player for the Cougars. She also played for Washington Premier and won a state title with them in 2011.
“'Berg is what I would call a natural central midfielder,” Anderson said.
“She seems comfortable in the swirling, chaotic space in the middle of the field.”
■ Karen Corral: Defender, Spanish Springs, Reno, Nev.
Corral was a four-year varsity player who earned first-team all-league honors all four years, including the league MVP award in 2013.
“The first time I saw Karen play I realized no one was getting past her,” Anderson said.
“Eventually, I was able to see why. She is very tactically aware, she anticipates instead of guesses and she is very athletic.”
■ Tori Hagan: Defender, Galena, Reno, Nev.
Hagan is a three-year varsity player, team captain and team MVP her senior year and a first-team all-league selection.
“Tori has the trifecta of attributes needed for any college defender,” Anderson said. “She is very fast. She likes contact. She is skillful with the ball.”
■ Kendall Howell: Defender, Chico High School, Chico, Calif.
Howell was the 2014 Chico High School Girls Soccer Defensive Player of the Year and her team won the 2013 and 2014 Northern Section California Interscholastic Federation Soccer Championships.
“I had the pleasure of coaching Kendall at a camp this summer and was really impressed with her willingness to study the game, ask questions and make adjustments,” Anderson said.
“In addition to a strong mind, Kendall is blessed with fantastic speed and agility which will make her a successful one-on-one defender.”
■ Tasha Inong: Attacker/defender, Pearl City, Ewa Beach, Hawaii.
Inong was a first-team all-league selection who was the fourth-leading scorer on the island of Oahu with 18 goals.
“I watched her play on a mud-covered field, and within five minutes the number on the back of her jersey was unreadable,” Anderson said.
“As the game wore on, the opponents around her spent more and more time dragging themselves out of the mud thanks to Tasha's physical play.”
■ Lexi Krieger: Midfield/attacker, Parkrose, Portland, Ore.
Krieger was a first-team all-league midfielder who scored nine goals, contributed 18 assists and led Parkrose to its first state appearance in many years.
“Lexi has a great enthusiasm for the game and has already shown that being a great athlete is important to her,” Anderson said.
“She demonstrates a creative flair for attacking soccer, which will make her a problem for opposing defenses.”
■ Kai Mahuka: Defender, Kapolei High School, Kapolei, Hawaii.
Mahuka was a four-year varsity player and twice named first-team all-league.
“Her athleticism allows her to make big plays when needed and her composure allows her to make the simple plays all game long,” Anderson said.
“It is often one or the other with players, but not with Kai.”
■ Paige Mahuka: Attacker, Kapolei High School, Kapolei, Hawaii.
Mahuka was also a four-year varsity soccer player and a first-team all-league selection. She was the OIA Tournament leading scorer in 2012.
She also performed kicking duties for the Kapolei football team.
“Paige has the physical gifts to handle the speed and toughness of the college game,” Anderson said.
“She will be able to play with her back to goal and be able to establish space in crowded, goal-scoring situations.”
■ Olivia Moore:Defender, Central Kitsap, Silverdale.
Olivia Moore was a second-team all-league selection and twice named Defensive Player of the Year for the Cougars.
She also was team captain of FC Crush, and won the WIAA Distinguished Scholastic Award for the 2012-2013 year.
“Olivia was asked to do a lot for her high school team this year — from anchoring the defense, to attacking, to patrolling the midfield — based on the individual game,” Anderson said.
“I understand why. She has the ability to be successful in all of those unique positions.”
■ Tatiana Rodriguez: Midfielder, Century, Portland, Ore.
Rodriguez was a four-year varsity player at Hillsboro where she was twice named offensive MVP. She finished her senior year with 30 assists and seven goals.
“Tati is a player who loves the game, who has a fantastic level of skill and who has spent the hours on the field developing the understanding of when and how to use those skills,” Anderson said.
“I watched her score two wonderful bending goals that left the goalkeeper shaking her head.”
■ Cassandra “C.J.” Stetser: Attacker/midfielder, Mililani High School, Mililani, Hawaii.
C.J. Stetser was a first-team All-State Tournament selection and second-team all-league her senior year, finishing with 17 goals as the sixth-leading scorer on Oahu.
“Many attacking players want to wait for the ball to come to them before they are willing to work,” Anderson said.
“C.J. doesn't suffer from that illness. She runs hard, takes her lumps from defenders and the result is that she is often the player getting that last, vital touch on the ball.”
■ Rebecca Taft: Attacker/midfielder, Kingston High School, Kingston.
Taft was an All-Olympic League First Team striker and was the leading scorer on her Kingston High team the last three years. She also was team captain and team MVP.
“The thing I have appreciated most about Becs is her confidence,” Anderson said.
“She is willing to take some risks on the field and even if they don't work out the first time, she seems undaunted.
“Becs seems to understand that in a 90-minute game, one moment of success could mean the game winning goal.”
■ Michele Whan: Midfielder/attacker, Reno High School, Reno, Nev.
Whan was a four-year varsity starter at Reno, where she was named first-team all-league and was twice honored as the team's Midfielder of the Year.
“Michele has an unique blend of midfielder and attacker qualities,” Anderson said.
“She is very composed with the ball and can deliver accurate, well-timed passes. She also shows the toughness to win the ball back.”