Panthers Sign Six To National Letters Of Intent
MILWAUKEE, Wis. (Feb. 4, 2010) - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's soccer team has signed six high school seniors to National Letters of Intent to attend UWM and play soccer, head coach Michael Moynihan announced today.
Ashley Apazeller of West Bend, Wis., Caitlyn Bestwina of Tinley Park, Ill., Stephanie Condon of Western Springs, Ill., Melanie Coderre of Flossmoor, Ill., Hannah Kaul of Fredonia, Wis., and Sara Stern of McFarland, Wis., will join the Panthers next season.
"Overall this class looks to be quite strong," Moynihan said. "It will add great depth to our roster and we expect several impact players to emerge from this group. Fitting in with our philosophy, they are all wonderful people that share a desire to improve in soccer. They will fit in seamlessly with our current group in terms of both chemistry and playing style. They also bring a good level of experience with them from youth soccer and this will be an asset to our program as we continue to take on our traditionally difficult schedules."
Apazeller is a defender out of West Bend West High School, where she played as a freshman and junior. As a sophomore, she played with her club team, FC Milwaukee, year-round. Apazeller was a first team all-area and all-conference selection in each of her seasons with WBWHS tallying 18 goals and 14 goals as a freshman and 22 goals and eight assists as a junior. With FC Milwaukee, her team played for the state cup every year from 2005-10, winning cup titles three times.
"Ashley is a versatile player and plays with a definite edge," Moynihan said. "She started as a forward but has played a lot of outside back over the past two years. She loves to attack, but doesn't mind mixing it up defensively either. She's a competitor and she'll bring an important spark to our environment."
Bestwina played both forward and defender for Andrew High School. She was an all-conference forward as a freshman, scoring 15 goals. She then tallied 10 goals and 16 assists as a sophomore. As a junior, she shifted to outside defender and helped her team set school record with 10 assists and just 14 goals allowed. The Thunderbolts won regional titles all three seasons and finished first in the league the latter two. She is the first of three members of the Windy City Pride soccer club, which won a regional title in 2008 and took second in the state three times.
"Caity is one of three teammates to join us from Windy City Pride," Moynihan said. "Their club plays at a high level and plays an attractive brand of soccer, so we are excited to be bringing in players that will be familiar with each other and also ready for a similar style of play. Caity primarily plays as a defender. Don't let her small stature fool you, this girl is tough and she's competitive. She is tenacious and she's got good quickness to shut down opponents on the flanks."
Coderre also played club for Windy City Pride, while playing forward at Homewood-Flossmoor High School. She is a three-time all-sectional and all-conference player and, as a sophomore, scored 29 goals and was named Southtown Player of the Year. She was also named all-state as a sophomore and junior, when she scored 32 goals. She also excelled in the classroom, being named to the Chicago Fire Academic Team twice.
"Mel will likely play somewhere in the center of the field," Moynihan said. "She's got experience as both a central midfielder and as a central defender, but is capable of playing anywhere. She's strong, driven, excellent on the ball and great with her distribution. She has a good long serve and a shoots well from distance. She is also a good ball-winner and solid in the air."
Condon is the third member of Windy City Pride to sign with Milwaukee, playing her high school soccer at Lyons Township High School. She played defender and midfielder with the Lions. She earned all-sectional and all-conference at LTHS. Condon was also a member of the U15-U16 ODP regional pool and U14-U16 ODP Illinois team. She has made ODP trips yo Coasta Rica, Germany, California and Florida.
"Steph has Regional ODP experience which will help her make an immediate impact," Moynihan said. "She typically plays wide on the left side, is great 1v1 attacking, possesses good quickness and also reads the game very well. Recently she, too, has begun playing as an outside back and has added versatility to her game. "
A midfielder and defender, Kaul played one year at Cedar Grove High School. She earned all-conference first team honors and helped her team to the state semifinals that season. The last two seasons, she played club soccer year-round for FC Milwaukee. Kaul, whose older sister Abbie was a four-year letterwinner at league rival Butler (2006-09), was an ODP state pool player in 2006.
"After battling against her sister for four years in conference play, we knew we couldn't let Hannah get away," Moynihan said. "Hannah is a very composed player, clean on the ball, and possesses excellent vision. She has been working hard on ball-winning and her ability in the air has improved tremendously. She is primarily a central midfielder, but has recently started getting some experience as a central defender and has done quite well. Hannah plays for FC Milwaukee as does Ashley Apazeller, and the experience they have gained playing against the top teams in the country will help us tremendously. It will also be a great benefit to them as they make the transition to playing in college."
Stern has played forward in her first three seasons at McFarland High School. She earned all-state and all-area honors her last two seasons, while being named all-conference in all three seasons. She led her team to a second-place finish at state as a freshman and the state semifinals as a sophomore. Over her first three seasons, she has scored 69 goals and 162 points, including 33 goals and 75 points as a junior. Stern also has four years of ODP experience as a member of the Region II state team in 2007 and 2008.
"(Associate head coach) David (Nikolic) and I have both worked with Sara in ODP and we both fell in love her with her personality," Moynihan said. "On the field she is technically gifted, dynamic and has some wonderful moments of improvisation on the ball. She has the most experience as an attacking player, but has also played as an outside back for ODP. Her versatility will be a great asset."