Women of Troy Ink Nine for 2014 Season
May 29, 2014
LOS ANGELES - The USC women's soccer program is excited to welcome nine newly signed Women of Troy to the program, head coach Keidane McAlpine and his staff have announced. The class of 2014 boasts top flight talent, including two players ranked in the top 20 in California. The class includes Noel Askins, Lindsay Bettinger, Allie Bruder, Abigail Callahan, Sydney Johnson, Nicole Molen, Julia Murphy, Sydney Sladek and Natalie Willis.
"I am really looking forward to this 2014 class," said first-year head coach McAlpine. "They bring a great mix of different attributes, but the one thing that is clear is that they are all very competitive and athletic women that I think will contribute to the culture that we are trying to create here. Each comes from a really competitive background that should have them prepared from day one, and we expect them to compete for positions from the time they step foot on campus."
The Women of Troy, under the new leadership of McAlpine and first-year assistants Jen Klein and Jason Lockhart are adding this class to a group of strong returners that finished 8-10-2 overall and 3-7-1 in the Pac-12. This year's team will be looking to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010. A big key for the Women of Troy will be to find the back of the net more under offensive-minded McAlpine, as eight of the team's 10 losses last season came by one goal, despite the Trojans outshooting their opponents in seven of those eight games.
Askins, a forward from Pasadena, Calif., and a graduate of Polytechnic High School is a two-time All-CIF Division III First Team honoree and was named the Pasadena Sun's 2013 Player of the Year. She led her team to the 2012-13 CIF Regional Division III title and a Prep League championship. She also led her club team to the 2013 Surf Cup title. Askins is also a standout track athlete.
Bettinger, an attacking center midfielder from Belvedere, Calif., is a graduate of St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco, where she leads the team in scoring and assists, while earning All-West Catholic Athletic League honors. A four-year captain of Marin FC Blue '96, she has led her club team to three consecutive U.S. Soccer Regional Championships, three Surf Cup finals with one championship and the Gothia Cup semi-finals in Sweden, where she earned MVP honors. She is also a member of the California '95 ODP team and the Region IV ODP team.
Bruder, a forward out of Oaks Christian High School is ranked the No. 9 player in the class of 2014 by Top Drawer Soccer. She has led Oaks Christian to the California Division IV CIF title and the California Southern Section State championship. She plays her club ball for Real So Cal and has led her team to the Surf Cup title in 2013, a national championship in 2012 and League Cup title. She is also a part of the Regional ODP Pool and has earned ODP Player of the Week honors.
Callahan is a versatile left-footed player that hails from Coronado, Calif. A graduate of Coronado High School, she led her team to the CIF Division IV title and has earned All-CIF and All-League honors. She also earned the CIF Sportsmanship/Citizenship medal at the Regional Championship game. Rated a top-30 player in her age group, she is a starter on the ODP Region IV team, is a member of the ODP Cal South State Team and has won an ODP National Championship.
Johnson hails from Alta Loma, Calif., and is expected to be a striker/midfielder for the Women of Troy. She led Los Osos High School to the 2012 CIF Division II title and has earned All-CIF honors. She also helped her club team Legends FC to win the U15 national title and has been a part of an ODP National Championship. A standout in the classroom as well as on the field, Johnson earned CIF All-Academic honors.
Molen, a central midfielder, is ranked the No. 17 player in her age group in California. A graduate of Westlake High School in Westlake Village, Calif., she led her team to three Marmonte League titles, was named the league's Defensive MVP and earned First Team All-CIF honors. She was a member of the 2011 ECNL Phoenix All-Event team and participated in the 2013 ECNL/id2 National Training Camp.
Murphy comes to Troy from Newport Beach, Calif., and is one of the top goalkeepers in her age group nationally. A starter for her club team, the No. 1-ranked Slammers, she has led her team to a national title, where she won the Golden Glove Award for the top keeper in the tournament. She has also been a part of the So Cal ENCL Player Development Program and was named a Top 20 Player to Watch by the OC Register as she has been a starter at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif., since her freshman year.
Sladek is the only member of the class not from California, as she hails from Pahrump, Nevada. A midfielder, she is an ODP Region IV pool player and was a nominee for the 2012 Nevada State Gatorade Player of the Year award. She currently holds the Nevada single-season scoring record with 78 goals and ranks second in Nevada career goal scoring records with 128. She earned All-State MVP honors in 2012 and was the Nevada Southern Region MVP in 2010-12. She led Pahrump Valley High School to state championships in 2011 and 2012.
Rounding out the class is Willis, a defender who is a graduate of Santa Margarita Catholic High School. She earned honors as her high school's Defender of the Year in 2011 as the team won the Trinity League title. Team captain on the nationally prominent So Cal Blues club team, she has been a part of a team that was a finalist in the 2012 and 2013 ECNL National Championships. Her squad won the 2013 Blues Cup and was a semifinalist at the Surf Cup.
The new crop of Trojans, along with 21 returners under the leadership of new head coach McAlpine will begin the season on Friday, August 22.