MONDAY, JULY 29, 2002
JU Women's Soccer Recruiting Class Ranked 14th By soccerbuzz.com

July 29, 2002

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The 2002 Jacksonville University women's soccer recruiting class has been ranked as the 14th-best crop in the southeast region and as one of the top 100 classes nationally by soccerbuzz.com. Head coach Mike Johnson signed eight freshmen, including three forwards, two midfielders, two defenders and one goalkeeper.

"I am very excited about the incoming freshman class," Johnson said. "I felt we needed an influx of talent to put us back into a position of competing for the conference championship and getting back to the NCAA Tournament. This is the first time in the program's history that a freshman class has received national attention and hopefully this is just a starting point for future classes."

Johnson continues to bring in top talent from Norway as freshman forward Ranveig Aas-Hanssen (Skien, Norway) looks to follow in the footsteps of former Norwegian natives and Dolphin greats Marit Foss, Stine Kloster and Trine Riis-Groven. Meagan Farrell (Ft. Myers, Fla.) was an all-state midfielder at Cypress Lakes High School, while Suzanne Fossum (Bainbridge, Wash.) joins fellow Seattle-area native sophomore Hanni Wenzel (Camano Island, Wash.) on defense.

Forward Courtney Hardy (Austin, Texas) adds more "Lone Star" flavor to the roster, joining senior defender Juli Petrauskas, a fellow Austinite. Midfielder Amber Otto (DeLand, Fla.) was an all-state player and the all-time assists leader at DeLand High School, which was ranked No. 1 in the state last season. Defender Ariel Spears (Tallahassee, Fla.) is another in-state product who will help in the back.

Midfielder Regan Rone (South Amboy, N.J.) set the Middlesex County record with 155 career goals, and goalkeeper Jennifer O'Malley (Ormond Beach, Fla.) was a three-time all-county selection.

Johnson also signed two transfers, which are not included in soccerbuzz.com's rankings. Senior forward Nathalie Virem (Madrid, Spain) joins the Dolphins after playing at the highest club level in France for the past two seasons, while junior forward Inge Heiremans (Tremelo, Belgium) was named the NAIA Offensive Player of the Year and a first-team All-American at Lindenwood University in 2001.

The Dolphins open the 2002 campaign against George Washington on Aug. 30 at 4 p.m. in the UCF/Kappa Invitational in Orlando, Fla.