March 31, 2009
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue women’s soccer team has signed 10 athletes in its 2009 signing class that was announced Tuesday.
“I’m really excited about our ’09 class,” head coach Robert Klatte said. “I feel their athletic and technical strengths will fit well with the rest of the players within our program and address the needs our team has. With the loss of only two players from last year, our team is growing in size and competition, which will only facilitate improvement. We’re adding depth to every position on the field. We have players representing all regions of the country. The coaching staff has gone across the country to assemble this group. The depth of competition this group will add to our team is going to spur our development.”
Purdue’s signing class is made up of athletes from seven states, stretching from as far east as Pennsylvania and westward all the way to California. In 2009, the Boilermakers are welcoming three players from Indiana, two from Illinois, and one each from California, Ohio, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Texas.
Tayler Francel represents Purdue’s farthest signee from the West Lafayette campus. Francel, from Alpine, Calif., played for the San Diego Surf Club and Granite Hills High School. She was a four-year letter winner at Granite Hills, where she was twice voted team captain and was a two-time All-CIF Team and first-team All-League performer. Francel also served as team captain for her club team for 10 seasons, during which the team won two Surf Cup championships and the 2008 Red Bull National League title. Francel’s sister, Taryn, is currently a sophomore on the University of Wisconsin soccer team.
“I felt that Purdue was a great fit for me because of its outstanding academics and its well-known soccer program,” Francel said. “It’s was nice to know that they were interested to know who I was as a person and not just as a student-athlete. I look forward to competing against by sister in the Big Ten, but more importantly, I cannot wait to officially become a Boilermaker.”
Remi Gibba comes to West Lafayette after amassing multiple honors during high school. The Gaithersburg, Md., native was given the Washington Post All-American Player of the Year award as a senior and also was named to ESPN’s All-American second team and given the NCSAA All-American High School Award. Gibba, who played at St. John’s College High School, won the 2006 US Youth Soccer U16 national championship with the McLean Freedom and was an ESP adidas camp participant that same year.
“I found the college recruitment process overwhelming,” Gibba said. “However, I was able to boil it down to a few colleges. When I visited Purdue, everything just clicked. The campus was beautiful, the team was so down-to-earth and cool and Coach Klatte was everything I wanted out of a coach. I’m so excited to be a Boilermaker, and I’m even more excited to be playing soccer for Purdue.”
Kelly Grott traveled the shortest distance to become a Boilermaker. Grott, a midfielder from West Lafayette, has put together an impressive resume on and off the field. This past season, Grott led McCutcheon High School to the first sectional and regional titles in school history and was voted the team’s Most Valuable Player. She also was an All-Area and All-Conference selection in 2008 and 2009. Grott, who is an Academic All-State in the classroom, is in the top five percent of her class, serves as Student Council president and yearbook editor and was voted Homecoming Queen as a senior.
“I am so excited to be a Boilermaker,” Grott said. “This has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. Growing up in Tippecanoe County and attending games and camp in the summer helped me get to know Coach Klatte and the program. I still can’t believe my dream is coming true. I am looking forward to being a member of Coach Klatte’s team.”
Vanessa Ibewuike comes to Purdue from East Plano Senior High School in Plano, Texas. The forward won the 2008 US Youth Soccer ODP national championship with her club team, the 1991s, that also went to the Region III ODP Invitational Camp that same year. In 2007, Ibewuike was a member of the Region III ODP and attended the adidas ESP camp and the ODP Thanksgiving Interregional.
“I chose Purdue because I felt like Rob was not only a good coach, but a good person,” Ibewuike said. “His staff hasn’t fallen far from the tree, with assistant coaches that have the same mentality as Rob. I got a chance to watch the team play, and I was very impressed. I look forward to being an addition to their team.”
Clara Kridler is making her way to Purdue from Upper Arlington, Ohio. The goalkeeper was a four-year letter winner at Upper Arlington High School. Kridler led the Golden Bears, nicknamed after Upper Arlington alum Jack Nicklaus, to the state semifinals last season while serving as team captain.
“Purdue has a great reputation around the world for its academics and its athletics,” Kridler said. “I am proud and excited to have this opportunity to be a part of this great university.”
Marta Lynch represents the farthest east recruit of this year’s class. The Upper Black Eddy, Pa., native has been a two-sport standout for Palisades High School. She has been named Most Valuable Player of the soccer team and a PIAA state qualifier in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. Lynch also plays for the Players Development Academy Pride and has been a member of the Eastern Pennsylvania ODP and a participant in the Region I ODP camps.
“Purdue was everything I was looking for,” Lynch said. “It’s a Big Ten school that has a great engineering program and an excellent soccer program. The team has so much chemistry, and Rob is the most personable coach I know. I am extremely excited to be a Boilermaker next year.”
Anna Parsons decided to stay in her home state to continue her soccer career. The Carmel, Ind., native helped Cathedral High School win the 2007 state championship and served as the team’s captain in 2008. Parsons also has been voted a three-time captain for her club team and is known for being able to execute a flip throw from out of bounds.
“I really had no idea where I wanted to go until I came to Purdue,” Parsons said. “I knew right away this was the school for me. I am ecstatic to play for Coach Klatte and the rest of the team.”
Brittani Ready is a midfielder and first-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. The Millstadt, Ill., native is a three-year regional pool player with the Illinois ODP and was a 2007 US Club Soccer national finalist while attending Shattuck St. Mary’s Prep School in Faribault, Minn. Ready, who now attends Belleville West High School, also is a four-year scholar athlete.
“I chose Purdue because I want to be the best I can be,” Ready said. “I feel that with Coach Klatte’s positive attitude I will be motivated day in and day out to succeed. I’m excited to be a Boilermaker.”
Mary Kate Reed is Purdue’s other signee from the state of Illinois. Reed, who just started her senior season at Providence Catholic High School earlier this month, is a four-year varsity starter, two-time team captain and a three-time All-Conference and All-Sectional selection. She was named to the Chicago Southtown/Fire All-Area team and a first-team All-Area performer by the Joliet Herald in 2008. In club play, Reed has made four Illinois State Cup finals, won two, and was on three Illinois State ODP teams.
“Purdue is the perfect fit for me,” Reed said. “When I visited, I was impressed with Coach Klatte, the team’s style of play and the whole soccer program. Not only is Purdue close to home, but also the ideal fit when it comes to academics. I will be majoring in pre-pharmacy, and their program is among the best in the nation. I am very excited to be a Boilermaker next year.”
Jessica Warren is the third signee the Boilermakers grabbed from within the state’s borders. The Avon, Ind., native ranks in the top-15 on Avon High School’s all-time lists for goals, assists and total points. Warren was named first-team All-State, All-Conference and All-District in 2008 and was added to the school’s Wall of Fame following her senior season. Warren, who plays club soccer for the Carmel Fire, has been invited to play in the North/South All-Star Game in July.
“I am excited to be a Boilermaker this fall,” Warren said. “I look forward to attending Purdue, where I will further my education and my soccer career. I am eager to learn from Coach Klatte and become part of the team.”
The signees will put on a Purdue jersey for the first time on August 28, when the 2009 regular season begins in College Station, Texas, against Texas A&M.