The Chicago Red Stars have signed five players from recent open tryouts to the team’s 2012 Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL) Elite League roster. The group will join a roster that already includes former U.S. Women’s National Team standout Lori Chalupny, and local Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) stalwarts Jen Buczkowski and Julianne Sitch.
The WPSL Elite League was created following the decision of Women’s Professional Soccer to suspend the 2012 season. Besides the Red Stars, the league includes former WPS teams Boston Breakers and Western New York Flash, WPSL sides ASA Chesapeake Charge, FC Indiana, New England Mutiny and New York Fury, and the Philadelphia Fever.
In a highly competitive weekend that saw several of the current Red Stars players attend and take part in scrimmages, the tryout attendees had to provide a standout performance for Head Coach Rory Dames. The five players who stood out and were invited to join the Red Stars for the 2012 season are Lauren Alkek, Allison Doyle, Ashlee Elliott, Brittany Hengesh, and Lindsey Schwartz.
“I’m so excited to be able to play for the Red Stars,” said Hengesh, who graduated from nearby Olivet Nazarene University. “I was completely shocked to have made a team of this caliber and know I am going to learn so much by training with them.”
“The try-out process was exciting but also nerve-racking at the same time,” remarked Schwartz. “It was fun to compete against some extremely talented women, and I was thrilled when I found out I made the team. I am definitely looking forward to the season and the opportunity to compete at a top level against some great competition.”
More about the Red Stars’ newest players:
Lauren Alkek is a 23 year-old defender from Victoria, Texas, who graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2010. Formerly a forward, Alkek was moved to the back line near the end of the 2008 season. She was named to the Academic All-Big 12 First Team her junior and senior years and to the 2010 Big 12 All-Tournament Team. Alkek started 68 of the 71 matches she played in, finishing with one goal and two assists. In 2011 she was invited to the WPS Sky Blue FC training camp.
Allison Doyle is a 21 year-old forward from New Lenox, Illinois, who graduates from Trinity Christian College this year. In 2011 Doyle was named as the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Player of the Year after leading the conference in all nine offensive categories. Her 26 goals and 17 assists gave her 69 total points, 16 ahead of her nearest competitor. Her six game-winning goals were also a conference best.
Ashlee Elliott is a 23 year-old defender/midfielder from Mira Loma, California who graduated from the University of Florida in December, 2010. Elliott earned All-SEC honors as a sophomore, junior and fifth-year senior after missing her regular senior year with an injury. In 2010 she helped lead the Seminoles to the SEC Championship over South Carolina, starting all 24 games and finishing the year with two assists. Overall Elliot started 83 of 99 matches, with 14 goals, five of which were game winners, and 13 assists. She also has experience with the U.S. Women’s National Teams, playing with the U-20 team that won the Four Nations Tournament in La Serena, Chile, and the U-23 team that took two from the England U-23 Women’s National Team in 2008.
Brittany Hengesh is a 23 year-old defender from Canton, Michigan and a graduate of OlivetNazarene University. Hengesh started 80 of the 86 games she played in and finished with four goals and five assists, including one game winning goal as a senior. She earned several CCAC and NCCAA Regional honors during her career, including NCCAA National Tournament Defensive MVP as a sophomore.
Lindsey Schwartz is a 25 year-old forward from Bettendorf, Iowa, and a graduate of the University of Minnesota. Schwartz finished her college career in the top ten of every offensive category, including second all-time in shots with 282 in 83 games. She also tallied 28 goals and 20 assists for 76 overall points, and received several All-Big Ten honors.
The WPSL Elite League features eight teams: The Boston Breakers, Philadelphia Fever, Western New York Flash, Chicago Red Stars, FC Indiana, New England Mutiny, New York Fury, and ASA Chesapeake Charge.