Valparaiso University head soccer coach John Marovich has announced the signings of five future Crusaders to National Letters of Intent. Joining the Crusaders for the 2011 season are Kelsey Draper, Abby Kenyon, Yvonne Metz, Rachel Sheehan, and Kristen Warner.
“I am thrilled to welcome these young ladies to our Valpo Soccer family,” Marovich said. “While putting this class together, we wanted to bring in individuals with dynamic personalities both on and off the field, a commitment to a strong competitive spirit and a desire to continue the consistent elevation of our program. We have accomplished these goals with the 2011 class and look forward to working them into our current group of outstanding young women. This class brings a physical, competitive, skilled and winning mentality to Valpo.”
Draper, a 5-4 midfielder from Perrysburg, Ohio, was a First Team All-State selection for Perrysburg High School as a senior. A three-year letterwinner, she led the Yellow Jackets to a district championship and the regional finals in 2010. She earned First Team All-Northern Lakes League honors as well as First Team All-District accolades this season, one year after earning Second Team All-League and Second Team all-District awards. Draper played for Pacesetter Soccer Club U15-U18 teams, and was a state cup semifinalist in U15-U17.
“Kelsey is a versatile athlete who is very calm and composed in her performance,” Marovich said. “She understands her field personality which helps make the players around her better. I was impressed with her attitude, field vision and execution of the tasks her coaches expect of her in matches. These traits are going to be valuable to our program and give the coaching staff the ability to use Kelsey in a variety of ways.
“I chose Valpo because I liked the size of the school," Draper said. "When I came to visit Coach Marovich and the players really made me feel welcome. After my visit I knew Valpo was the right fit for me."
Kenyon, a 5-3 forward from Canton, Ohio, was a two-time First Team All-Federal League selection for Jackson High School. Three times she led Jackson to three district championships as well as three elite eight appearances. Kenyon was named to the All-District Team as well as a First Team All-County pick. She led the Cleveland Alliance Soccer Academy to the 2007 state cup championship and also played for the Jackson Fury Soccer Club.
“I knew quickly the first time I saw Abby that we wanted her to be a Crusader,” Marovich said. “Her attitude and personality were infectious to everyone and the way she thinks about her runs up top will be a wonderful addition to our attacking third. I was continually impressed with Abby throughout the recruiting process and have enjoyed watching her growth as a player. Valpo is a great fit for her academically and we're excited about continuing her growth as a player.”
"I was attracted to Valpo's prestigious meteorology program," Kenyon said. "After seeing the campus, ttalking to Coach Marovich, and meeting the team, I knew this was the college I was going to choose."
Metz, a 5-7 defender and forward from Santa Rosa, Calif., was a two-time First Team All-Empire selection for Maria Carillo High School as well as a two-time First Team All-North Bay League pick. She led her school to the CIF finals as a senior. She led her Santa Rosa United Club team to a U.S. Club regional final in 2009. Metz also spent time with Region IV ODP training in 2006.
“Yvonne is a strong central defender and played for outstanding club coaches in John Demartini and Dave Shaffer,” Marovich said. “She possesses the ability to win the ball in the air as well as having a strong technical foundation. Yvonne has played against some outstanding forwards in region IV out of Northern California and that experience will be a valuable addition to our back line. Her personality and field presence are her strengths and we're excited she decided to come to Valpo.”
"When I first came to Valpo I couldn't ask for more," said Metz. "I loved the relationship the girls had, the campus, and surprisingly the cold. Since I live in California I knew that college was going to be the one opportunity for me to leave and experience something new. Valpo was a great choice soccer wise as well as academically."
Sheehan, a 5-1 forward from Thornton, Colo., earned Second Team All-Conference honors for Horizon High School, where she was a three-year starter. Sheehan played her club soccer for the Colorado Rush.
“We really loved Rachel’s competitive personality, committed desire to improve and outgoing personality,” Marovich said. “She has the skill set to play in several different positions which will increase our depth in the program. The state of Colorado has produced many outstanding players for our program and Rachel is another athlete we expect to follow the same success as the others.”
"When I arrived at Valpo during the summer of 2010, I instantly loved how green it was," Sheehan said. "When I met Coach Marovich I felt right at home. I knew instanly that from that poin, this is where I belong. I can grow as a soccer player and as a person, while receiving a top-notch college experience."
Warner, a 5-7 midfielder from Lombard, Ill., was an All-Conference selection for Glenbard South High School in 2008. The school’s leading goal scorer in 2008, she also played for Dan Warner and Jim Willett at Synergy Soccer Club. Warner also played on the Illinois state team for ODP and was a member of the Midwest Regional pool.
“Kristen is a skilled player who distributes the ball well out of the attacking midfield position,” Marovich said. “I was always impressed with her tremendous ability to create goals not just for her teammates but always putting herself in a position to score goals herself. She plays with an energy and tenacious work ethic that will elevate our team’s performance, not to mention the experience she brings having spent time in pool training with the ODP Region II team. I am looking forward to her ability to score goals and create wonderful opportunities for our forwards.”
"I chose Valpo because it is a great school for what I was looking for athletically and academically," Warner said. "Valpo is a great fit for me because it is not too far from home and I fell in love with the campus. Meeting coach Marovich helped to ensure that I would love my experience at Valpo."