Every year athletic teams recruit new players to replace graduating seniors. This fall, however, the John Brown University women’s soccer team will welcome 10 new soccer recruits, an unusually high number of recruits for a single season.
One of the new recruits, Maggie Allen, is currently a senior at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. At Columbine, she won a state title and three consecutive league championships. She comes to JBU as a class of 2021 goalie wanting to pursue nursing.
“It’s going to be really fun to have more Coloradans on the team,” Jastin Redman, a sophomore soccer, player said.
Another recruit, Natalie Aycock, is from Edmond, Oklahoma. She is currently a senior at Edmond Memorial High School. She has earned conference and district awards on her high school team. She is a midfielder and is pursuing a major in accounting.
Recruit Audrey Balafas is from Gilbert, Arizona and is currently getting ready for her spring season as defender at Gilbert High School. She is pursuing a business administration degree.
Future Golden Eagle Emily Jordan is a Missouri native from Republic, Missouri. She plays for Republic High School where she set the record for the most assists in single games. She topped out with 91 points her sophomore season. She was named two-time all-conference and all-district player. She is going to major in family and human services.
Alix Keller is from North Richland Hills, Texas. Keller is a defender and she is majoring in business administration.
Another athlete from Colorado, Paige Kula, will join the Lady Eagles. Kula plays for Valor Christian High School where she earned academic all-state for two seasons. Valor Christian is alma mater to current JBU soccer player Jastin Redman. She is coming to the Golden Eagles as a defender and majoring in kinesiology.
“I’m excited to play with Paige again,” Redman said. “We had a great time in high school and I can’t wait to see what the next two years will look like.”
Caitlyn Logan is a Charlotte, North Carolina native. Coming from Metrolina Christian she will be a goal keeper for the Golden Eagles and will major in nursing.
Grace McKinney, another recruit for JBU, is from Tulsa, Oklahoma and currently plays for the Regent Preparatory School. She is coming in as a midfielder and will major in child and family studies.
Siena Nealon is a forward from Rogers, Arkansas. Nealon plays for Rogers High School. Nealon will also be a part of the class of 2021 and plans to major in nursing.
Anna Schuchardt is from Leawood, Kansas. She plays for Kansas City Christian School. She has been a team captain for three seasons. Schuchardt plans to major in kinesiology.
The team is very excited to have 10 new players, bringing the team up to 24 players total. In the past, the team has averaged 18-19 players.
“It’s not uncharted territory, but it will be a process to integrate them into the program,” Sara Frey, a junior soccer player, said. “It’s beneficial to have lots of freshman challenge each other to make healthy competition. Bringing so many girls in will help the diversity of our team which will make us a stronger team.”
Annika Pollard, a sophomore engineering major, agreed.
“I’m really excited,” Pollard said. I know all of them and I think they are really good soccer players.”
Redman is also excited about the addition of so many new players to the roster.
“I’m excited to see the new freshman come into our program and learn what we are all about,” she said. “I’m excited our team is going to have more numbers. I hope the bigger team pushes us all individually to become better and allows us all to come closer as a team to glorify God.”
Sophomore soccer player Kristen Howell is also excited to welcome in her new teammates.
“I am excited for the new recruits coming in,” she said. “When they came out and trained with us, I knew this would be the type of player, teammate, friend, etc. that I would want beside me on the field and at school.”