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Women's Recruiting Dec 24, 2022

Kansas inks six incoming class of 2023 Jayhawks to National Letters of Intent

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas head soccer coach Mark Francis announced that the Jayhawks signed six student-athletes to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period.

Caroline Castans (Flower Mound, Texas), Sophie Dawe (Memphis, Tennessee), Montelene Dymond (Barrie, Ontario), Siera Herbert (Gilbert, Arizona), Jocelyn Herrema (Caledonia, Michigan) and Olivia Page (Shawnee, Kansas) will all join the Jayhawks next season.

“When we were recruiting this class, one of the biggest things we felt that we needed to address was athletically bringing in players that were going to be able to compete at the top level in the Big 12,” Francis stated. “Looking back at the last few years in terms of the teams that are consistently challenging to win the conference, we asked ourselves ‘what do we need to do to compete at that level’. The level of athleticism of this group is going to really take us to a different level. There is a lot of versatility with what formations we can play based on adding this group to the group coming back.”

“I think the group gives us versatility athletically with players that can play in different spots, which is going to be really beneficial plugging in some holes that we need to fill based on some of the girls that graduated this year from the team,” Francis concluded.

See below for more on the 2023 Kansas Jayhawks’ recruiting class.

Caroline Castans
Defender • Flower Mound, Texas • DKSC ECNL 04/05 (Marcus High School)

• Helped her team make the final four in the ECNL national playoffs in 2021 and 2022; team finished third in 2021
• Member of the team that was ECNL Texas conference champions and Dallas Cup champions in 2021
• ECNL Texas All-Conference Second Team in 2022
• All-District First Team in 2020 and 2022
• All-Area DFW Award in 2022
• District Freshman of the Year in 2020
• Picked Kansas over Alabama, Arkansas, UNT, Memphis, Vanderbilt, Florida and Oklahoma State
• Chose Kansas because, “I love the style of soccer they play, the culture of the team, the coaching staff, and the positive environment I felt when I visited the school.”

FRANCIS ON CASTANS: “Caroline has mostly played out wide in the back, so if you’re in a four-back system she can be one of our wide backs. I think if we’re in a 3-5-2 then she could play as one of the wide midfielder players, but she could also potentially play as a center back. She’s quick, very comfortable on the ball, very good playing out of pressure and comfortable with both feet. She’s tough 1v1 defensively and we look for her to come in and challenge the girls out wide and also in the back.”

Sophie Dawe
Goalkeeper • Memphis, Tenn. • Lady Lobos Rush 04/05 E64 (Houston High School)

• D1 AAA Regional Champions four straight years at Houston High School (2019-2022)
• D1 AAA District Champions three years at Houston HS (2019, 2020, 2022)
• Posted a goals against average of 0.26 her senior season
• D1 Southern Regional Champions in 2021 and 2022 (Lady Lobos Rush 04/05 E64)
• National Championship semi-finalist in 2021 (Lady Lobos Rush 04/05 E64)
• 2017-2022 D1 Tennessee State Champions (Lady Lobos Rush 04/05 E64)
• Played in the high school All-American game and the THSSCA/TACA Senior All-Star Game in 2022
• 2022 USYS National League 17U Best XI goalkeeper
• 2021 Goalkeeper of the Year, All-Metro team and Commercial Appeal Top 20 Players to Watch
• Her great-great grandfather is Dr. James Naismith, inventor of basketball and the first men’s basketball coach at Kansas
• Her sister, Gabbie, is also currently a goalkeeper at KU
• Picked Kansas over Samford, Arkansas State and Northwestern
• Chose Kansas because, “Ultimately my goal is to play professionally before pursuing my career in the medical field and I believe that KU’s highly experienced coaching staff, especially in goalkeeping, can help achieve these goals.”

FRANCIS ON DAWE: “Sophie is crazy athletic. I think even as a freshman coming in, she can challenge the girls that are returning because of her athleticism. For a freshman, that is saying a lot, but she has that kind of ability. She’s good with her feet and a really good shot stopper. Her mentality is one of the things that set her apart when we were looking for a goalkeeper. She commands the box, comes out for the ball, is very brave and not afraid of contact. That’s something that we look for, especially in the Big 12 and trying to compete nationally.”

Montelene Dymond
Forward/Midfielder • Barrie, Ontario • Barrie Soccer Club (St. Joan of Arc Catholic High School)

• Ranked No. 2 overall and the No. 1 attacking player in FTF Canada Top 100 rankings
• Ontario Cup finalists (Barrie Soccer Club)
• 2022 I-model central regional champions (Barrie Soccer Club)
• Picked Kansas over Penn State and Iowa State
• Chose Kansas because, “I’m in love with the school from the campus to the people and just the general vibes I get from them. The weather is also amazing.”

FRANCIS ON DYMOND: “Montelene can play as a forward and can also play in the midfield out wide. She’s a left-footed player that is comfortable with both feet, is dynamic and is really good in 1v1 situations attacking. She’s scored a lot of goals in her youth career and is very composed in front of the goal. I think she’ll challenge up front or out wide depending on the system that we are playing.”

Siera Herbert
Defender/Midfielder • Gilbert, Ariz. • Utah Royals Arizona (Perry High School)

• Guided her high school to be region champions and the state championship game in 2021-22; scored 12 goals and had 13 assists on the season
• All-State First Team
• All-6A Conference First Team
• All-District First Team
• All-Premier Region First Team
• All-American West Girls Honoree
• WPSL – Best 11 In Desert Conference
• Picked Kansas over Idaho State, Wyoming, USC Upstate, Campbell
• Chose Kansas because, “I fell in love with the state and campus was absolutely gorgeous. The coaching staff is amazing and I knew they could help me grow and achieve my goals for my future. The teammates I stayed with were so sweet and I loved hanging out with them.”

FRANCIS ON HERBERT: “Siera is athletic and good with both feet. Athletically, she has the ability and the motor to get up and down the field. She also has the ability to serve the ball from wide which is important for a wide player. Defensively, she does a good job on that side of the ball as well and is aggressive putting pressure on the opponent. I think she will be able to give us some depth out wide.”

Jocelyn Herrema
Forward • Caledonia, Mich. • Midwest United FC (Caledonia High School)

• ECNL Midwest All-Conference Second Team
• Won the California Cup with her U19 team
• Picked Kansas over Michigan, Bowling Green and Kentucky
• Chose Kansas because, “This is the best opportunity for me. I will push myself like never before. I really love the coaches and the style of play Kansas plays with I feel like will suit me well.”

FRANCIS ON HERREMA: “Jocelyn has mostly played as a center-forward. She has the pace and the athleticism to play out wide if we needed her to. She’s an extremely hard worker and very athletic. She does a really good job defensively and has a great mentality on both sides of the ball. She’s very brave in and around the box and we look for her to come in and challenge up front or possibly out wide.”

Olivia Page
Defender • Shawnee, Kan. • KC Fusion Academy ECRL 05 (Mill Valley High School)

• 5A All-State First Team in 2022
• All-Sunflower First Team and All-Metro First Team in 2022
• Sunflower League Defensive Player of the Year in 2022
• 2022 All-Region League Heartland
• 2019 State Champions with KC Fusion Academy
• Won her high school conference championship as a freshman and junior
• Picked Kansas over Kansas State, Purdue, Nebraska, UMKC and Nebraska-Omaha
• Chose Kansas because, “I’ve always wanted to play here since I was a little girl. I love the environment, the facility, the coaching staff and the players. I just couldn’t see myself going to any other college other than Kansas.”

FRANCIS ON PAGE: “Olivia has played center-back in her club and high school career. She’s extremely athletic, fast, phenomenal in the air, has good size and is strong. Defensively, she’s tough to beat 1v1 and is very comfortable on the ball. She’s going to fit in with our style as far as what we look for out of our center-back position, which is the ability to play under pressure and play out of pressure. She does a really good job of that. She has tons of potential and I think she’ll come in and challenge the girls.”

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