FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas Lady Razorback soccer team signed three players to national letters of intent and has already welcomed a fourth on campus head coach Gordon Henderson announced on Tuesday morning.
Nikki Crocco and Kailey Anders both hail from Texas while Daniella O’Shea comes from Georgia and transfer Erin Moskos joins the team from California by way of Clemson University.
“I am very excited about our new class of players,” Arkansas head coach Gordon Henderson said. “We didn’t sign as many as we have in years past but that’s because we didn’t need to. We have a great group of young players on campus already and this class compliments them tremendously. I expect each of these young women to come right in and fight for a starting position this fall which should make training as competitive as it’s ever been.”
Nikki Crocco of Carrollton, Texas, was a highly decorated player not just in the high school ranks, but reaching as far as the ODP Region III pool for three seasons. She led her club team to a second-place finish at the 2007 US Youth Soccer National Championships after winning the Region III title and garnered multiple all-district titles as a member of Carroll Senior High School.
“Nikki currently plays on one of the top teams in America,” Henderson said. “She is primarily used as a forward or flank midfield player. She has incredible speed and a work ethic that is second to none. Nikki’s drive to succeed will make her a special player in the SEC. We are certainly very pleased she chose Arkansas over some other very highly rated programs that she had offers from.”
Anders also comes from a high level of competition in Texas and was a club teammate with Arkansas signee Crocco. Anders is a midfielder by trade, but has the rare ability to move from the interior of the field to the flank making her an interesting combination of speed and skill. She was also on the Dallas Texans’ team that won the 2007 Region III Championship and finished second at the national championships.
“I think we have a gem,” Henderson beamed. “Since transferring to the Dallas Texans two years ago, Kailey has shown tremendous growth and has developed into one of the ‘go to’ players on a formidable club team. She is a very comfortable with the ball at her feet which sets up her ability to serve some magnificent balls. Kailey loves to take on the last defender and shows great composure in front of goal.”
Arkansas’ final signee, O’Shea, lives in Marietta, Ga., and is also a fixture on the ODP circuit. A member of Georgia’s state team, O’Shea has also been named one of North Atlanta’s Elite in 2008. She is very much a forward and according to the Arkansas coaching staff has a scorer’s mentality. Last season she earned second-team all-Area honors for Lassiter High School.
“Daniella is very quick, but more importantly quick with the ball at her feet in tight spaces,” Henderson said. “She loves to take players on 1v1 and has a very quick release on her shot. She will fit in very well with our system this fall. Maybe a little bit overlooked by some top programs, we think Dani will do very well at Arkansas.”
Rounding out the Lady Razorback signing class is Moskos who transferred to Arkansas at semester from Clemson Univ. Moskos was a club teammate of current Lady Razorbacks Britni Williams and Camille Flores and like her teammates was highly recruited by the nation’s top programs. Prior to joining the Tigers, Moskos was a two-time first-team all-league player, team MVP and led her Los Osos High School team to a league championship and two runner-up finishes before leaving for Clemson prior to her senior season.
“We think that Erin has the potential to have a huge impact on this team for 2008,” Henderson said. “She is incredibly quick with a great work rate, even better; she is very smart with the ball. Her capacity to run the flank and serve quality balls or take players on 1v1 should make her a player to watch in the SEC.”
The Lady Razorbacks are currently working out and preparing for a short spring schedule which begins in early March. For more information about Lady Razorback soccer or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.