Feb. 1, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. -
The Stanford women's soccer team has announced a freshman class for the 2012 season that features five Californians, four recruits with youth national team experience, and two sets of club teammates.
The five-member class strengthens a program coming off its first national championship, its fourth consecutive College Cup appearance, third consecutive Pac-12 title and third consecutive undefeated regular season.
The class is comprised of Kate Bettinger (Belvedere, Calif.), Sarah Cox (Newport Beach, Calif.), Katie Donahue (Corona del Mar, Calif.), Laura Liedle (San Diego, Calif.), and Maya Theuer (San Diego, Calif.).
Despite losing three first-team All-Americans to graduation -- Hermann Trophy winning midfielder Teresa Noyola and Soccer America Player of the Year forward Lindsay Taylor, and defender Camille Levin - the Cardinal returns seven starters, including five who have received All-America recognition, from last season's 25-0-1 team.
The following is a look at each member of Stanford's newest class:
Kate Bettinger, MF (Belvedere, Calif./St. Ignatius Prep/Mountain View-Los Altos Avalanche, Marin FC): Bettinger, the middle girl in a soccer-playing family, is ranked as the nation's No. 17 college prospect in her class by ESPNHS and has been a participant in U.S. national team camps since the under-14 level. Bettinger joins current freshman Hannah Farr in making the jump from San Francisco's St. Ignatius Prep to the Cardinal. The three-time West Catholic Athletic League first-team selection helped the Mountain View-Los Altos Avalanche to a CYSA-North State Cup title in 2011 after playing eight years with Marin FC.
Sarah Cox, GK (Newport Beach, Calif./Corona del Mar HS/Slammers FC):
Paul Ratcliffe: "Kate Bettinger is a competitive midfielder with exceptional leadership qualities. Kate's skill and playmaking ability will be a great asset to our midfield."
The 5-foot-11 Cox is ranked as the nation's No. 51 college prospect in her class by ESPNHS. She was a participant in the U.S. U-15 national team camps in 2009 and 2010, and starred for the Region IV Olympic Development Program team. Cox, whose hobbies include trap shooting, has played 10 years with Slammers FC, helping the team to two Surf Cup titles, and was an All-CIF Southern Section choice as a sophomore at Corona del Mar High.Paul Ratcliffe:
"Sarah Cox is an outstanding goalkeeper. She has excellent size and has the talent to be an impact player at the collegiate level."
Katie Donahue, MF (Corona del Mar, Calif./St. Margaret's Episcopal School/Slammers FC): The former track champion was a 2011 NSCAA High School All-America and Scholar All-America. Donahue helped Slammers FC to the 2010 USYSA Far West tournament semifinals and two Surf Cup titles. Donahue was the All-CIF Southern Section Division VI Player of the Year and first-team All-Orange County selection after leading St. Margaret's Episcopal School of San Juan Capistrano to its first section title. She had nine goals and 18 assists in her junior season and is ranked as the nation's No. 115 college prospect in her class by ESPNHS. Donahue also set the school record in the 400 meters as a freshman at St. Margaret's.
Paul Ratcliffe: "Katie Donahue is a hard working wing midfielder or defender. She has incredible speed and is a threat to opponents in transition."
Laura Liedle, D (San Diego, Calif./Torrey Pines HS/San Diego Surf): Liedle is ranked as the nation's No. 3 college prospect in her class by ESPNHS. Called into the U.S. U-18 national-team camp in January, Liedle made the U-17 World Cup qualifying roster in 2010 and captured the Nordic Cup title with the U.S. U-15s in 2008. Though she has not played high school soccer at Torrey Pines High, she has competed on the surfing team, winning the Interscholastic Surfing Federation women's shortboard contest in 2009. Liedle helped the San Diego Surf, where she was a teammate of fellow Stanford recruit Maya Theuer, to the U-15 USYS national championship in 2009 and the Elite Clubs National League U-17 title in 2011.
Paul Ratcliffe: "Laura Liedle is one of the top prospects in the country. She has played on the U.S. youth national team for many years and brings great experience to Stanford. Laura possesses a combination of excellent technical ability and athleticism."
Maya Theuer, D (San Diego, Calif./The Bishop's School/San Diego Surf): Theuer, the No. 16 college prospect in her class by ESPNHS, was called into the U.S. U-18 national- team camp in January and has been part of U.S. youth training camps since the U-15 level. Theuer has captained the San Diego Surf since 2009, leading the team to the U.S. U-15 USYS national championship in 2009 and the Elite Clubs National League U-17 title in 2011. She also captains her high school team at The Bishop's School in La Jolla, capturing the CIF San Diego Section Division IV title in 2009 and three Coastal League championships. Theuer also was the Coastal League 100-meter runner-up as a sophomore.
Paul Ratcliffe: "Maya Theuer is an intelligent and skilled defender. She has a good understanding of the game and a strong presence on the field."