Women’s soccer signs eight for 2009
The JU women’s soccer team has signed eight players that will join the program for the 2009 season.

The first full recruiting class for head coach Brian Copham brings the Dolphins some talented players from across the country to build off of last year’s 9-9-2 record.

“I am very excited about this recruiting class,” Copham said. “This is a large class numbers-wise, but I feel they will bring a high level of play as well. We graduated a great class of players and leaders that will be missed, but I feel we have an excellent group of players to come in and make an impact right away.

“We have addressed a number of needs with this group including attacking players, defensive players and adding depth which will allow us to be more competitive all over the field.”

Emily Culbreth comes to the JU from Fayetteville, Ga., after a stellar career for the Tophat ’09 Gold club program. Culbreth helped lead her club team to the Region 3 Premier League Championship in 2008 and a Georgia State Championship in 2007.

Culbreth played for Whitewater High School, serving as team captain in 2008 and helped lead the team to the state championship in 2007. She has collected first team all-region and all-county honors. She has excelled in the classroom as well, being named to the NSCAA Academic Team the past three seasons.

“Emily is great competitor and very versatile player,” Copham said. “She works extremely hard in the center of midfield and is always creating chances for herself and her teammates.”

Kaitlyn Lorenc joins the JU family after leading the Parkland Predators to the state championship in 2005 and the state semifinals the past three years. A member of the Florida ODP team, she was the MVP of her high school team the past two seasons and earned first team all-county and all-conference honors.

“Kaitlyn is an extremely hard working player,” Copham said. “She puts herself in good positions and makes good decisions with the ball. She is an athletic player that can compete for time at any of the wide positions.”

A native of Littleton, Colo., Kelsey Latham signs with JU after an impressive career with the Colorado Rush club program. With the Rush, she led the team to the 2005 state title and the 2007 Disney Showcase finals – serving as one of the team captains.

At Chatfield Senior High, she was a three-year starter and led the team to the Jefferson County League Championship the past two seasons, earning all-conference defender honors.

“Kelsey is a strong athletic defender that organizes well,” says Copham. “She is the type of defender that not only is an excellent one-on-one defender but also an excellent leader in the back line.”

Joining Latham in signing with JU is club teammate Arianne Heaton. A native of Highlands Ranch, Colo., she was a key member of the 2005 state title club and was a team captain for the past four years.

A four-year letterwinner at Cherry Creek High School, she led the team to the Class 5A state finals in 2007, and in 2008 she scored the game winner in the semifinals, and served as the team captain for 2009.

“Arianne is an excellent outside back,” Copham said. “She has the toughness we like on defense and ability to win balls in the air, gets forward into the attack and gives excellent service. She is a leader by example.”

After a successful prep career for the Irvine Strikers, Becca Massip signs with JU after being one of the top players in the prestigious Cal South Premier League. A three-year starter at Mission Viejo High School, she served as captain during her senior season, garnering high school star of the week for Orange County Soccer.

“Becca is an excellent attacking player,” Copham said. “She is crafty with the ball at her feet and she plays dangerous passes into the final third. She is the type of player that defenses always have to be aware of where she is. She can play a number of attacking positions because of her versatility.”

Rachel Vollero comes to Jacksonville from Lewisberry, Pa., and a solid career with the PA Classics. She has helped her team climb to second place in the state rankings and advanced to the semifinals of state cup in 2008.

A four-year starter for Red Land High School, she served as the captain of her school team.

“Rachel is strong presence whether she plays in the midfield or the back line,” said Copham. “She wins balls in the air and is able to start the attack with the ball from her defensive position.”

Alex Schulte signs with the Dolphins after playing for the Tophat ’09 Gold. A native of Alpharetta, Ga., she helped lead Tophat to the state championship in 2006 and 2007 while helping her Norcross team to the championship in 2003 and 2004.

Most recently she and her club team won the Region 3 Premier League in 2008 and finished as the runner up in the state championships.

A star at St. Pius X High School, she led the team in assists and was third in goals in 2007. In 2008 she helped lead the team to the State finals.

“Alex is a player that finds a way to get the job done,” Copham said. “Whether it is by scoring a goal or getting an assist, she is able to make any team she is on better. She is a great competitor which will transfer over nicely to the college game.”

Eva Leeper rounds out the recruiting class after a stellar career for the Parkland Predators. A native of Weston, Fla., she helped lead the Predators to five straight state cup Final Four appearances, winning the state title in 2005.

In a stellar career at Cypress Bay High School, she led her team to four straight district championships while being team captain – scoring 14 goals and eight assists her senior season.

“Eva is a hardworking player that is always dangerous in the attack,” Copham said. “She likes to run at players with the ball and create opportunities for herself and her teammates. She is the kind of player that can change a game with her tempo and creativity with the ball.”