FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas soccer head coach Erin Aubry has announced an incoming class of 11 student-athletes for the 2010 season, following Wednesday’s first day of the national signing period.
“I am extremely excited to announce our 2010 incoming freshmen,” Aubry says. “Each and every one of them bleeds Razorback red and their loyalty to this school will translate onto the soccer field. This is a very special group of young women that we literally searched high and low for. From Alaska to Georgia, we used all our resources to seek them out. They will be an incredible addition to our already very special team.”
The class includes student-athletes from Alaska, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Ohio and Texas. It includes two forwards, five midfielders, three defenders and one keeper, all with extensive club and high school experience.
The 2010 class includes defender/midfielder Callie Authier and forward Yvonne Desjarlais of Anchorage, Alaska; midfielder Margo Davis of Chesterland, Ohio; defender Jenn Fryrear of St. Louis, Mo.; midfielder Jessie Givens of Rockwall, Texas; midfielder Taylor Green of Roswell, Ga.; forward/midfielder Bethany Labac of Rowlett, Texas; midfielder/defender Lauren Locklear of Fairview, Texas; keeper Angela Osburn of Allen, Texas; defender Evan Palmer of Overland Park, Kan.; and midfielder Alex Starrett of Tulsa.
Desjarlais and Starrett were both honorable mention high school All-Americans by ESPNRISE.
“If I had to describe this class in two words, they would be personality and diversity,” Aubry says. “Each of them play with such different personalities that we become richer in our arsenal. The diversity of student-athletes we’ve added to this team will certainly make us harder to defend. This is a testament to all the different regions we are pulling from for this class.”
Authier played for Cook Inlet Soccer Club in Anchorage, Alaska. She helped her team win state championships in 2007 and 2008. In 2008, CISC was a Vegas Coaches Classic finalist and in 2009 a Disney Showcase semifinalist. She was named to the Alaska state team in 2007 and ’08. She led Service High School to state titles in 2008 and 2009. The 2009 team earned a No. 47 national ranking by ESPNRISE. She was her team’s MVP after leading Service to a 22-0-1 record.
“Callie is one of the most technical soccer players I have seen in her age group,” Aubry says. “She executes every skill with great intention and perfection. She truly brings beauty to the game of soccer and will add something unique to our team. Because of her technical ability she will be one of our most versatile players and will be able to adapt to any position on the field. I believe she will be most effective in the midfield this year as she can generate an attack with a variety of different skills.”
Her teammate, Desjarlais, also played for Cook Inlet SC. She helped CISC win state titles in 2007 and 2008. In 2008, CISC was a Vegas Coaches Classic finalist and in 2009 a Disney Showcase semifinalist. She earned club level all-state honors three times. She also prepped at Service High School. In addition to earning honorable mention All-America honors, she is Service’s second all-time leading scorer. She had 19 goals and 25 assists last year.
“Yvonne is a tremendously gifted athlete who will make huge strides as a forward this year,” Aubry says. “Her speed and strength make her difficult to defend once she is on the run. She is the type of forward who always seems to be in the right spot at the right time and I know that is not by accident. She has great instinct as well as a passion to finish. She will be very dangerous and I have a lot of confidence that our fans will love watching Yvonne go to goal.”
Davis prepped at West Geauga High in Chesterland, Ohio, while also playing for Cleveland Alliance Soccer Academy. On the club level, she helped her team to state titles in 2007 and 2008, and a spot in the finals in 2009. She helped her high school team go 11-6-2 in 2008 and 12-5-3 in 2009 with a district tournament title and a trip to the regional semifinals.
“Margo is about as effective as it gets in the attacking third of the field,” Aubry says. “Her ability to face her opponent and run at them one-on-one is very special. She also strikes and finishes a ball with some of the best sophistication I’ve ever seen. She puts in hours of training a day so that she can compete with the best, and it will pay off for her as an individual and for the Razorbacks. She is extremely committed to fitness, which makes her a glowing example for her teammates and the new standards we are setting. Margo will be an enormous impact in our midfield this fall.”
Fryrear prepped at St. Joseph’s Academy while staring for the St. Louis Scott Gallagher club team. She led Gallagher to three straight state championships (2004-06) in addition to finals appearances in 2003 and 2008. An all-state selection on the club level, in high school, she started at forward and midfielder on a team finishing third in the state.
“Jenn is another great addition to our defensive lineup,” Aubry says. “She is completely steady, composed and pensive from the center back position. She has the ability to evaluate an attack and thwart it immediately. Her anticipation and aggressiveness is of a very high level as well as her ability to compete in the air. She will certainly vie for one of our center back positions this fall.”
Givens prepped at Rockwall High School, Labac at Rowlett High, Locklear at Lovejoy High and Osburn at Allen High, but all played club soccer for the Dallas Sting.
With the Sting, they were 2007 state cup finalists, and 2008 and 2009 semifinalists. They were also CASL Showcase flight champions in 2008 and 2007 CASL shootout finalist.
At Rockwall High, Givens was the 2005 Female Athlete of the Year and 2006 Volleyball Player of the Year. With her club team, she helped the Sting win championships at the Groundhog Shootout, Pikes Peak Invitational and Winterfest tournaments. She was a four-time team captain for both the Sting and her high school squad.
“Jessie will fill a big void in our midfield left by Kathleen Paulsen,” Aubry says. “They have very much the same qualities in terms of courage in the air to win balls with their head, strong tackling and creative distribution. Jessie does some very special things with a soccer ball and can certainly run the game when she stays focused. There is no doubt that Jessie will impact our program immediately within the midfield.”
Labac, at Rowlett High, helped her team win the District 10-5A title and advance to the Region 2 semifinals. She led the 2008 squad to the Region 2 quarterfinals. She was all-district in 2008 and 2009, and her team’s offensive player of the year in 2007. She was also a two-time team captain.
“Bethany is a very fun player to watch because of her fearlessness and physicality,” Aubry says. “She will fit in well with our style of play in terms of feistiness and creativity in the attack. She is a player who, upon seeing her play, I just knew we had to add her to the roster. She has all those intangible qualities in an athlete that you can’t coach. Her attitude and mental toughness are what define her as a player. She will most likely slide into our midfield or frontline due to her ability to get forward quickly.”
Locklear, at Lovejoy, led her team in goals and assists, was offensive MVP and earned all-district honors. She was a four-time team captain in high school and a two-time captain with the Sting.
“Lauren adds size to our squad that we certainly need,” Aubry says. “She is a great ball winner, both on the ground and in the air, and we will look for her to provide depth in any of our defensive positions. She sacrifices her body for the fight of the ball, just like her other Sting teammates who are joining us. It is certainly a characteristic of her club and a testament to her previous coaches.”
Osburn, a keeper, led Allen High to the state finals and allowed just one goal last year. She helped her Dallas club team reach the semifinals of the 2006 Disney Showcase in addition to the 2007 state finals, and 2008 and ’09 semifinals.
“Angela is an addition to our already impressive group of goalkeepers,” Aubry says. “She will add an element of athleticism to their training sessions that is needed to take us to the next level. We are looking forward to Angela developing her skill to match her athletic ability. She will no doubt be yet another wonderful option for us in goal in 2010.”
Green attended Blessed Trinity High, but led Atlanta Fire United to the 2008 Georgia state championship, into the semifinals in 2009 and into the regional semifinals in 2007. Her 2009 club was No. 3 in Georgia and No. 12 in the nation.
“Taylor is an unbelievably tough player,” Aubry says. “She is strong, fearless and unwavering in her competitive spirit. Most of all, Taylor has a great voice of leadership on the field. She is encouraging to her teammates and helps them get the job done. Because of her ability to help ‘coach’ on the field, she will certainly be a wonderful problem solver for the Razorbacks this fall. I expect Taylor to contribute from the midfield position and help us score goals from distance.”
Palmer was highly successful on the high school and club level. With the Blue Valley Stars club team, she won four state cup championships from 2005-08 along with regional titles in 2005 and 2008. She earned all-district honors twice at Blue Valley High and was all-state as a junior.
“Evan will join our defensive line because of her great instincts,” Aubry says. “She understands the timing of a tackle and when to step to the ball. She is not afraid to slide, dive or jump into collisions for the sake of keeping the ball out of the net. She will give us even more scrappiness within our 18-yard box than we already have, which is a lot. I am excited to see Evan grow and develop as we teach her our defensive system. I have no doubt she will compete well in the SEC.”
Starrett, in addition to earning honorable mention All-America honors for Bishop Kelly High, led the Hurricane FC to four state championships, one trip to the Region 3 finals two to the quarterfinals. In high school, she was all-district three times, all-metro twice, scored two goals in the state final as a freshman and scored the game-winning goal in the state final as a sophomore.
“Alex is an incredibly gifted athlete and we are so excited to have another native from Tulsa join the team along with (current junior) Rachel Carlson,” Aubry says. “Alex will keep defenses off balance with her attacking ability from the midfield. She can score from distance and finish serves into the box, which is something we certainly struggled with this year. She truly loves the game and will be a wonderful fit into our training style with her undying work ethic. I expect her to have a great impact on this program from day one.”
The 11 newcomers join a team coming off the first consecutive winning seasons in program history. The Razorbacks were 8-7-4 in 2009 after going 11-8-0 in 2008. Along the way, Aubry’s club set school records with 10 shutouts, four Southeastern Conference shutouts and a 0.80 goals against average.
Over the course of the year, Arkansas recorded victories over Michigan, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State and Air Force, and had ties against Alabama and Kentucky.
Arkansas was 4-2-4 on the road for a .600 winning percentage, which is the school’s best since the 1996 team was 6-3 (.667).
The newcomers join a group of returning veterans including keeper Britni Williams, forward Laurel Pastor, forward Allie Chandler and defender Kailey Anders, among many others.
In 2009, Williams became Arkansas’ all-time leader with 22 shutouts and she is second with 26 victories. Second in the SEC in save percentage (.860), third in saves (98), third in saves per game (5.16) and tied for third in shutouts (nine), she is also fifth on Arkansas’ career list with 258 saves.
Chandler was named to the SEC’s All-Freshman team. She started 14 games and played in all 19. She led the team with five goals, 12 points, 71 shots and 34 shots on goal. She was fifth in the SEC with 71 shots and 3.74 shots per game. She was also seventh on the team with 1,167 minutes.
Anders, a sophomore in 2009, earned SEC Player of the Week honors on Aug. 24 and on Aug. 25 became the first Razorback to earn Soccer America Women’s Team of the Week honors. She scored a goal and keyed the defense in that week’s 2-0 victory at Michigan.
Additionally, Aubry became the first first-year coach in program history to record a winning season. She is the seventh head coach at Arkansas. Two went .500 in their first year — Marcia McDermott in 1990 (7-7-1) and Janet Rayfield in 1993 (10-10-0).
The Razorbacks, who recorded the first consecutive non-losing seasons at Arkansas since 1992 (8-8-1) and 1993 (10-10-0), were third in the SEC in saves (105), third in shutouts (10), fourth in goals allowed (16), fourth in goals against average (0.80) and sixth in shots (309). Pastor was seventh in the conference in shots (56) and ninth in shots per game (2.95).
2010 Arkansas Soccer NewcomersName, Position, Hometown, High School, Club TeamCallie Authier, D/MF, Anchorage, Alaska, Robert Service HS, Cook Inlet SCMargo Davis, MF, Chesterland, Ohio, West Geauga HS, Cleveland Alliance Soccer AcademyYvonne Desjarlais, F, Anchorage, Alaska, Robert Service HS, Cook Inlet SCJenn Fryrear, D, St. Louis, Mo., St. Joseph’s Academy, St. Louis Scott GallagherJessie Givens, MF, Rockwall, Texas, Rockwall HS, Dallas StingTaylor Green, MF, Roswell, Ga., Blessed Trinity HS, Atlanta Fire UnitedBethany Labac, F/MF, Rowlett, Texas, Rowlett HS, Dallas StingLauren Locklear, MF/D, Fairview, Texas, Lovejoy HS, Dallas StingAngela Osburn, GK, Allen, Texas, Allen HS, Dallas StingEvan Palmer, D, Overland Park, Kan., Blue Valley HS, Blue Valley StarsAlex Starrett, MF, Tulsa, Okla., Bishop Kelly HS, Hurricane FC