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NCAA Nov 19, 2020

Arizona State Soccer signs five incoming Sun Devils

TEMPE, Ariz. – Head coach Graham Winkworth and the Arizona State Sun Devil soccer team announced five student-athletes in the 2021 recruiting class.

“This is a very exciting time for our staff and program as we add these young ladies to our family,” said Winkworth. “When we were looking at 2021, we had specific needs that we wanted to address, and I feel very enthusiastic that we have been able to do just that with this recruiting class.”

The five are made up of two goalkeepers, one defender, and two forwards. The newest Sun Devils hail from Iceland, Hawaii, California, and Sun Devil Country – Peoria, Ariz.

“This class is very talented, and all five of the ladies have the potential to come in and impact our program early,” Winkworth continued. “I feel we have got the perfect balance of local, regional, domestic, and international talent with this group. Adding them will not only elevate our skill level as a team but will also increase the amount of competition for places in both the attacking and defensive ends of the pitch. Our depth in 2021 will be increased heavily, and this can only make us stronger. I am very confident we will also be announcing one or two more faces over the coming weeks that will again impact both ends of the pitch.”

Birta Gudlaugsdottir
Position: Goalkeeper
Hometown: Olafsvik, Iceland

  • Awarded best player on her club, Stjarnan
  • 2017 & 2018 Iceland U17 National Team player with seven appearances and 630 minutes
  • Participated in three-straight domestic cups with Stjarnan
  • In her career with Stjarnan, Gudlaugsdottir notched 2160 minutes in 24 appearances
  • Women’s Cup and League Cup Women A runner-up in 2018
  • Chose ASU for its high-quality education in computer science, the coaching staff, and elite training

Coach’s Comments: “Birta is a quality keeper who brings an immense amount of both club and national team experience with her. She loves to compete, and this is something we felt we needed in the goalkeeping position. Birta is a solid shot-stopper and an excellent communicator when addressing her backline. Her experience with Iceland’s Youth National Team will put her in a place where she has the potential to come in and compete for the position with our other keepers immediately.”

Lauren Kirberg
Position: Defender
Hometown: Peoria, Arizona (Sandra Day O’Connor)

  • Captain on her club squad, SC del Sol, for seven years
  • Team and Club representative in the GA league
  • 2015 ECNL Player to Watch
  • Chose ASU over three other schools, including a Pac-12 program, for the challenging team, atmosphere, and proximity to home
  •  Kirberg’s academic interests include criminology

Coach’s Comments: “It always excites me when we can attract the best local talent to our program. Lauren is one of the most talented central defenders in recent years to come out of the State of Arizona. She has been very well-coached, and her composure in possession of the ball will really give us another quality option as we play out of the back. She is solid in the air and is very capable of breaking lines in possession with her short- and longer-range passes.”

Kennedy Mayo
Position: Forward
Hometown: Pleasanton, Calif. (Amador Valley High School)

  • All-league Tri Valley selection, ODP Regional Team, PDP Invite
  • 2018 ECNL Selection Program while representing Pleasanton Rage club team
  • Team Captain
  • Chose ASU for its academic programs that support her interests in photography and sports journalism, the campus, and competitive soccer program

Coach’s Comments: “Kennedy is another fast, powerful forward who I am very excited to add to this class. She possesses some athletic skills that I feel we have missed in recent seasons but also has decent technical skills where she can hurt defenders in small spaces too. She will be another option we will have that I feel has goals in her from either a wide position or through the middle. Kennedy also possesses the versatility to be used as an attacking full back too, which is exciting.”

Caetlyn Johannes
Position: Forward
Hometown: Kihei, Hawaii (Maui High School)

  • Two-time ODP State Team, Region Team, 2017 GNT Germany Invite
  • Three-time State Champion and National Finalist with Leahi Soccer
  • Academic interests in English, Computer Science, Digital Media & Science
  • Drawn to ASU for the diversity and lively atmosphere as well as the coaches’ and team’s competitive drive and positive and fun energy
  • Hobbies include surfing, hiking, photography and videography

Coach’s Comments: “Caetlyn attended our camp what seems like a long time ago now. We spotted her not long after we arrived here as a staff. She is a very strong, powerful, fast, and explosive attacking option for us. Her versatility means she could play as either an attacking midfielder, winger, or center forward. Her pressing is very impressive out of possession. Caetlyn has been selected to attend US Youth National Camps in the past before injury, and I know she has the ambition to work her way back into contention once again.”

Julia Ortega
Position: Goalkeeper
Hometown: Moraga, Calif. (Campolindo)

  • Aided her Lamorinda SC Development Academy League team to 5th in the nation in spring 2020
  • Academic interests include sociology and psychology
  • Ortega looked for a top-level soccer program and wanted to be a part of a culture of excellence, she chose ASU for those reasons and the coaching staff

Coach’s Comments: “Julia is another quality goalkeeper that we added very late in the recruitment process. We felt we needed additional competition and depth as it is a position we have struggled with injury over recent times. Julia is a highly motivated player who loves to compete. She has a strong presence in the goal, is a solid shot-stopper, and will be excellent competition with our other keepers next fall. We are excited she decided to join us.”

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