Lehigh women’s soccer program reveals 2019 recruiting class
BETHLEHEM, Pa. (Via Lehigh University) – Lehigh head women’s soccer coach Eric Lambinus announced the Mountain Hawks’ incoming class of 2023 on Thursday, which features seven student-athletes from six different states who play positions all over the field. The incomers will look to mesh with a strong core of student-athletes returning from their run to the 2018 Patriot League Championship Game.
“We are excited to welcome the 2019 recruiting class to the LUWS family,” said assistant coach Lauren Calabrese. “Collectively, this group of incoming players exhibits an ethos of student-athlete excellence that is central to our purpose as a program, mission as a department and vision as an institution. All seven student-athletes display a strong commitment to the achievement of academic and athletic pursuits, a dedication to learning, critical thinking and growth. As individuals, each student-athlete presents unique talents and skill sets that, we believe, will positively inform our collective strength as a team and development as a program. As a coaching staff, we are confident that this cohort will strive to uphold and contribute to our culture of accountability, privileging the long-term goal of playing quality, purposeful soccer.”
Julianna Bonner – F/M – Ellicott City, Md. – Wilde Lake High School – Maryland United FC
A two-time Howard County Player of the Year at Wilde Lake High School, Bonner was a three-time first team All-Howard County honoree. She was named second team All-Washington Post in 2018, first team Baltimore Sun All-Met in 2017 and 2018, first team All-South Region in 2017 and All-American Player to Watch in 2018. Also a varsity basketball player, Bonner impressed in the classroom, standing in the top three percent in the Class of 2019. She was President of the Class of 2019, a member of the Principal’s Honor Roll and a member of the National Honor Society. Bonner was a Rho Kappa Member, Mu Alpha Theta Member and WLHS Letterman.
Why Lehigh? “My decision to attend Lehigh was shaped by my desire to play competitive soccer in an equally competitive academic environment. I felt a strong sense of academic fit, coupled with a great soccer program and a beautiful campus. I developed a connection to the Lehigh culture and I hope to flourish both in the classroom and on the field.”
Coach Lambinus on Bonner: “We originally saw Julianna playing as an outside back and thought she would be an ideal fit for our program. She is a strong 1v1 defender, understands defensive shape and most importantly, actively gets forward into the attack. Over the last few years, she has also developed into a dynamic outside forward who can score in multiple ways. And as any soccer coach with tell you, you can never have enough left-footed players on your team, especially how well Julianna can strike a ball. With the way we play, she will fit perfectly into either our outside back or outside midfield positions. On top of her soccer ability, she has proven to be a tremendous leader on all of her teams and should thrive in our environment.”
Celia Eitzel – GK – Leesburg, Va. – Riverside High School – Loudoun Soccer
Eitzel was a three-time first team All-Conference honoree at Riverside High School. A Virginia High School League first team All-Region and second team All-State honoree, Eitzel finished her decorated career with 776 saves. Twice, she was the Washington Post Spring Girls Soccer Saves Leader, along with a two-time Washington Post Honorable Mention honoree. Eitzel was named first team All-Loudoun County Sports, and was the Riverside Varsity Girls Soccer MVP on two occasions. She was a 2017 US Youth Soccer Virginia State Champion, a five-time Olympic Development Program Virginia State selection and an Olympic Development Program Region I selection. Strong in the classroom, Eitzel garnered the Academic Excellence Award for a 4.3 GPA or higher.
Why Lehigh? “I chose Lehigh because I loved the competitiveness of the school. Lehigh will challenge me, on and off the field, which will round me into such a good person. Coach Lambinus was a huge help in my decision too. He provided tons of insight to the school and was always honest with me. I can’t wait to play for him; I also can’t wait to have that bagel shop in walking distance… big decision maker.”
Coach Lambinus on Eitzel: “With the graduation of three goalkeepers from our team in 2 years, it was imperative that we added a goalkeeper in the class who had the tools to compete in the Patriot League. We were fortunate to identify Celia at a time when her recruiting process opened up. She has soft hands, good footwork and exceptional with the ball at her feet for a goalkeeper. These are all things we prioritize in the recruiting process for the position. We are looking forward to adding Celia to the position group and look forward to working with her over the next four years.”
Julia LaLama – D – Pittsburgh, Pa. – Mount Lebanon High School – Century FC
LaLama was a four-year varsity starter and two-time captain at Mount Lebanon High School. A three-time first team Big 56 and All-Section honoree (2016, 2017 and 2018), LaLama was named All-WPIAL in 2017 and 2018. LaLama was named All-State in 2018. She was named Mount Lebanon Rookie of the Year in 2015, the Unsung Hero Award in 2016 and team MVP in 2017 and 2018. Strong in the classroom, LaLama was a member of the National Honor Society.
Why Lehigh? “Lehigh is the total package. Along with its great athletics, it’s an extremely strong academic school, which I am super excited about. Lehigh’s campus is beautiful and in a great location.”
Coach Lambinus on LaLama: “Julia has all the tools to be an exceptional center back at Lehigh and comes highly recommended by her club coach, Randi Rohm. She is a strong, physical presence who can start an attack with the ball at her feet. She has an exceptional soccer IQ that allows her to excel on both sides of the ball. She reads the game well defensively to put herself in good positions and has the ability to win any type of ball. Where Julia really shines is when her team has the ball and she can initiate the attack through her feet, either by playing penetrating passes in the flow of the game or dangerous deliveries on free kicks. We look forward to continuing her development as a center back on our team over the next few years.”
Mattie Murphy – M – Apex, N.C. – Middle Creek High School – NC Courage Academy
Murphy enjoyed a decorated career at Middle Creek High School. In the ninth grade, she was named MaxPreps Player of the Year for MCHS soccer. That year, MCHS was East Regional Champions and a North Carolina State Finalist. In grade 10, Murphy was named first team All-Conference, was named to the News and Observer All-Metro Team and named the MCHS Player of the Year. Murphy also played on NC Courage Academy, ranked No. 2 nationally, and was the Mid-Atlantic Conference Champions for the 2017-18 season. Murphy attended the U.S. Soccer Market Training Centers and Combines, was a U.S. soccer ID2 camp participant, and qualified and played in the ECNL National Finals for three years. In the classroom, Murphy was a member of the National Honor Society, was named Academic All-Conference, earned a spot on the “All A” Honor Roll, “A/B” Honor Roll and won the MCHS Scholars Award.
Why Lehigh? “Lehigh University is the type of school I was looking for in academics, athletics and size. I fell in love with the beautiful campus, and the women’s soccer coaching staff made me feel very welcomed. I am looking forward to living in a different place, meeting new people and challenging myself for the next four years.”
Coach Lambinus on Murphy: “Mattie is one of the more technical players we have seen over the last few years in the recruiting process. She has been a mainstay on her highly successful NC Courage club team over the years and will bring that experience to our program. She has played mainly as an attacking center midfielder and we think her skill set can translate into any of our three central midfield positions. While she is somewhat understated in her personality and play, Mattie is definitely highly competitive and has the experience to perform in key moments. She will fit in very well with our other midfielders and we look forward to adding her to our already talented group.”
Ciara Saxton – F – Nanuet, N.Y. – Nanuet High School – World Class FC
Saxton was All-League and All-Section all four years at Nanuet High School. Also named All-County as a junior and senior, she was a captain as a senior. Saxton was a selection for The Journal News 2018 NY Section One Elite 12 Award. She was an invitee for the 2018 ECNL PDP Northeast (South) ID Camp. Saxton was the No. 8 ranked New York State player by Top Drawer Soccer. Also strong on the basketball court, Saxton was a two-time captain, received the Coach’s Most Improved Player Award in 2017 and was named All-League the following year. Saxton was a standout track athlete as well, garnering All-Section in multiple events and picking up second team All-County in the 400M. In addition, as a ninth grader, Saxton was awarded second team All-County on her high school varsity softball team. Strong in the classroom as well, Saxton was a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society and Math National Honor Society. Saxton made the High Honor Roll all four years of high school.
Why Lehigh? “I chose Lehigh for the excellent academics the school offers, the beautiful campus and athletic facilities, the camaraderie of the girls on the soccer team, the excellent coaching staff and the great competition the Patriot League provides.”
Coach Lambinus on Saxton: “Ciara definitely fits the mold of multi-sport student-athletes who have excelled in our program over the last few years. As a three-sport athlete in soccer, basketball and track in high school, she definitely brings a certain athleticism to her play on the soccer field. Ciara is a fast, creative and relentless wide forward who we believe is just scratching the surface of her soccer ability. We think she can really develop into explosive wide midfielder once she concentrates on soccer and works with the other players in our attacking group.”
Chloe Sherman – M – Morganville, N.J. – Saint John Vianney High School – PSA National
Varsity starter as a freshman at Saint John Vianney High School, Sherman was a multi-time All-Conference honoree. She was named second team All-State Non-Public as a junior. Sherman has competed with the club team PSA (Princeton Soccer Association) Wildcats, winning three New Jersey State Championships (2014, 2016 and 2019), along with a 2016 U-16 Disney Flight 1 Showcase Championship. In 2015, she was ranked No. 5 in New Jersey by the U.S. Soccer National Training Center. Also excelling in the classroom, Sherman was a four-year honor roll student. She was also a four-year AP and Honors student. She received a Certificate of Recognition from the National Council of Teachers of English (Promising Young Writer’s Program).
Why Lehigh? “I chose to attend Lehigh because of the challenging academics, the scenic mountainside campus, and the chance to fulfill my dream of playing NCAA Division I soccer with supportive and talented people.”
Coach Lambinus on Sherman: “From the minute we saw Chloe play for her NJ Wildcats team, we knew she would be a great fit for our program. We love her relentless attacking mentality and willingness to go at defenders 1v1. That willingness to go 1v1 is a lost art in women’s soccer and players with the confidence to do it consistently have the potential to change a game at any moment. What makes Chloe special is not only her ability, but also her strong desire to improve and incredible work ethic. She wants to be great and wants to do it at Lehigh, and we look forward to providing the platform to do it.”
Ryelle Shuey – F/M – Schaefferstown, Pa. – Eastern Lebanon County High School – PA Classics
Shuey was a four-year varsity starter and four-time Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 3 first team honoree. A senior captain, she was also a four-time Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 3 MVP, All-League “Big 11,” and All-Lebanon County. Shuey was a two-time All-State selection (2017 and 2018) and a 2018 Regional All-American. The all-time leading scorer at her high school with 86 goals, she was named a WGAL News Athlete of the Week. Shuey was a member of the Lancaster Inferno Rush women’s soccer team of the UWS (scoring two goals and appearing in eight games as a rising high school senior). Shuey guided ELCO to four section championships, the 2018 District 3 Championship and the school’s first-ever Lancaster-Lebanon League title. Shuey was also a standout basketball and track and field athlete. In basketball, she was a four-year varsity starter, senior captain and All-Lebanon County honoree. On the track, Shuey holds the school record in the shot put (37’3″). In the classroom, Shuey was a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and Superior Honor Roll (top 10 percent of class). She also finished in the top 10 percent of her class.
Why Lehigh? “Lehigh University offers stellar academics and competitive athletics that will challenge me as a student-athlete, but will also prepare and better me for my future. The coaching staff and team were so welcoming and made me feel right at home the moment I stepped onto the campus.”
Coach Lambinus on Shuey: “Ryelle is another multi-sport athlete in high school who fits perfectly into our recruiting philosophy. She is a special kid with certain intangibles that can’t be measured in anything other than the winning culture she helped develop in all of her teams, from soccer to basketball to track & field. Ryelle is a prototypical center forward who can score goals with both feet and in the air. She has also played as a wide forward and central midfielder over the past few years. She definitely has the soccer IQ that combined with her raw ability, can help her develop into one of the better attacking players in the Patriot League. Ryelle definitely brings a different dimension to our attack that we may have lacked in the last few years.”
NamePos.Hometown/High SchoolClub TeamCollege
- Julianna Bonner F/M | Ellicott City, Md./Wilde Lake High School | Maryland United FC | Business
- Celia Eitzel GK | Leesburg, Va./Riverside High School | Loudoun Soccer | Arts and Sciences
- Julia LaLama D | Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Lebanon High School | Century FC | Engineering
- Mattie Murphy M | Apex, N.C./Middle Creek High School | NC Courage Academy | Arts and Sciences
- Ciara Saxton F | Nanuet, N.Y./Nanuet High School | World Class FC | Business
- Chloe Sherman M | Morganville, N.J./Saint John Vianney High School | PSA National | Arts and Sciences
- Ryelle Shuey F/M | Schaefferstown, Pa./Eastern Lebanon County High School | PA Classics | Arts and Sciences