Penn State women’s soccer welcomes seven newcomers from U.S. youth clubs and abroad
The Nittany most recently won their eighth Big Ten Tournament title in program history and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the seventh time in the last nine seasons in 2019.
BEFORE PENN STATE: Played club soccer for the So Cal Blues for 10 years…Won a pair of state cup championships…Won four Surf Cup Championships…Rostered with U.S. Youth National teams at the U-15 and U-17 levels…Competed with the USYNT in China, Czech Republic, and Netherlands….Won the CFA International Women’s Youth Football Tournament Weifang, China (2018)…Earned four varsity letters a member of the Capistrano Valley High School and served as the team captain as a senior.
PERSONAL: Full name is Riley Alicia Gleason…Daughter of Alicia and Ted Gleason. Has two siblings, Connor and Ellis…Connor plays basketball at Concordia University Irvine…Cousin, Henry Gordon, played tennis for Penn State and graduated in 2019…Plans to enroll in the division of undergraduate studies…Born on August 20, 2003, in Mission Viejo, California.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE PENN STATE? “I chose Penn State because it is a world class education as well a phenomenal soccer culture created by the coaching staff, players, advisors, and the PSU community. The program and people involved push you to be the best person, student, and soccer player you can be all the while competing for National Championships, which is exactly the type of atmosphere that I wanted to experience. Even though it is across the country from me, it felt like home the moment I stepped on campus.”
COACH DAMBACH ON RILEY: “Riley will be a fantastic addition to our program as one of the top midfielders in the country. Riley’s passing range and ability to play with different weight and texture set her apart as does her incredible character. From the moment we met Riley we knew she would fit our culture and style of play incredibly well.”
BEFORE PENN STATE: Played soccer for Holmdel High School and club soccer for Match Fit Academy…Named Shore Conference Player of the Year as a senior…Earned first team All-State in 2020…Captured A-Central championship in 2020…Netted 32 goals and added 12 assists for Holmdel High School…Qualified to compete in 2018 Champions League with Match Fit Academy…Made ECNL all-conference teams in 2018-2019.
PERSONAL: Full name is Sofia Grace Mancino…Daughter of Stacy and Lawrence Mancino…Has two siblings, Olivia and Lawrence… Plans to enroll in the division of undergraduate studies…Born on July 19, 2003, in Holmdel, New Jersey.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE PENN STATE? “After visiting Penn State for the first time, I instantly knew it was the university that would enable me to succeed on and off the field. The hard work and dedication of the coaching staff and players was contagious, and was something that I wanted to be a part of. I’m ecstatic to spend the next four years with one of the top NCAA Women’s Soccer Programs in the nation, and be surrounded by teammates that will push and support me to become the best player on and off the field. I can’t wait to be a Nittany Lion!”
COACH DAMBACH ON SOFIA: “Sofia is joining us after a highly successful high school and club career and embodies the “blue collar” pillar that we take such pride in as a program. Sofia is incredibly competitive and also possesses excellent versatility that could see her impact the team in multiple positions. We’re extremely eager to have Sofia join us!”
BEFORE PENN STATE: Earned two varsity letters for Tesoro High School and played club soccer for Slammers ECNL Composite…Played over 1100 minutes as a senior…Finished as high school Valedictorian and a member of the National Honors Society.
PERSONAL: Full name is Kara Jane Ogden…Daughter of Jennifer and Jeff Ogden…Both Jennifer and Jeff attended Penn State, Jennifer was a member of the swimming team from 1991-1995…Has one sister, Brooke…Plans to major in biology…Born on August 20, 2003, in Coto de Caza, California.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE PENN STATE? “I chose Penn State because of the challenging yet supportive environment that it will provide me, both on the field and in the classroom. I know this program will push me to expand my boundaries as a student and athlete, where I will be able to achieve my athletic and academic goals. The school’s atmosphere coupled with the competitive soccer opportunity, made Penn State an undeniable decision.”
COACH DAMBACH ON KARA: “Kara bleeds blue and white and was a great discovery out of our summer camp program. Kara immediately caught our attention as a natural lefty with big potential and we know she’ll thrive as she becomes immersed in our competitive environment.”
BEFORE PENN STATE: Played high school soccer for Olentangy Orange High School and club soccer for Ohio Premier ECNL…Helped lead her high school team to a pair of conference championships in 2019 and 2020 and a district championship in 2019…Named Conference Player of the Year in 2020 and a 2020 Bimbo High School All-American. Earned first team All-Conference and first team All-District honors in 2020 and second team All-Ohio…Holds school records for shutouts in a career (29), shutouts in a season (13), fewest goals conceded in a season (9)…Member of Ohio Premier ECNL that was a ECNL national qualifier in 2018 and 2019…Played for SC Buitenvelert, a Dutch soccer club while she lived abroad in Amsterdam from 2013-2016.
PERSONAL: Full name is Amanda Nicole Poorbaugh…Daughter of Gretcher and David Poorbaugh…Has one sister, Grace, who currently attends Penn State and is a student manager for the women’s soccer program…Fourth generation Penn Stater…Father David was a member of the Penn State swimming program from 1984-1989…Plans to major in biobehavioral health…Born on July 31, 2003, in Westerville, Ohio.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE PENN STATE? “For it’s outstanding education, top tier soccer program, and ties to my family. I will be a fourth generation Penn Stater, and ever since I was little I knew that Penn State was where I wanted to go to school. The women’s soccer program at Penn State is recognized as one of the best in the country, and because of incredible coaching staff, team, and the atmosphere that they have built, I knew that Penn State was where I belonged!
COACH DAMBACH ON AMANDA: “Amanda is another member of our 2021 class with strong Penn State ties and will strengthen our goalkeeping corps from the minute she arrives in Happy Valley. Amanda is an excellent shot-stopper who possesses equally impressive ability with her feet and she will be a perfect fit with our style of play. I’m looking forward to watching Amanda continue to grow in our goalkeeping environment.”
Julia Raich (Eagle FC)
BEFORE PENN STATE: Earned four varsity letters at Camp Hill High School…Also earned varsity letters in track & field, cross country and basketball…Played club soccer for Eagle FC…Named a United Soccer Coaches All-American in 2020…Set school records in career points and goals…Earned USC All-Region honors as a junior and a senior…Named PIAA All-State three times (2018-2020) and Mid Penn Conference Player of the Year three times (2018-2020)…Won state championship as a junior in 2019…Captured three conference championships and two district championships…Netted 98 goals and added 60 assists…Won Eastern regional championship with club, Eagle FC…Named to USYS national championships Best XI in 2019…Member of the ODP national team in 2020.
PERSONAL: Full name is Julia Katherine Raich…Daughter of Michelle and Michael Raich… Has two sisters, Emma and Grace…Mother Michlle and uncle Jeff Megown graduated from Penn State…Sister Emma currently attends Penn State…Plans to major in engineering science…Born on October 8, 2002, in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE PENN STATE? “I chose Penn State because it had everything I wanted in a school: outstanding athletics, academics, and school spirit. Once I visited I knew it was where I belonged, because it felt like home. The culture of the soccer program and school is second to none, making the decision easy. I knew that I would be pushed in all aspects to reach my potential, while having the support of a great team. I grew up with a Penn State family and cannot wait to join them!”
COACH DAMBACH ON JULIA: “Julia is one of the top players in the state of Pennsylvania in the 2021 class and it has been amazing to witness her growth over the last year. We want to make sure that the best in Pennsylvania play their college soccer at Penn State and we’ve made that a reality with Julia. A true attacking midfielder that can both score and set up goals, Julia will be a great addition to our midfield group!”
Mieke Schiemann (Germany)
BEFORE PENN STATE: Attended Sportschule Potsdam „Friedrich Ludwig Jahn”…Played club soccer for 1.FFC Turbine Potsdam …Won U17 European championship…Rostered with the U16, U17, U19 German national teams.
PERSONAL: Full name is Mieke Schiemann…Daughter of Nicole Schiemann and Martin Jürgens…Has one sibling, Hannes…Plans to enroll in the division of undergraduate studies…Born on March 11, 2002, in Berlin, Germany.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE PENN STATE? “I chose Penn State because of the welcoming environment and the successful athletic program. I will be able to compete alongside with some of the best college student-athletes.”
COACH DAMBACH ON MIEKE: “Mieke is one of the top European players at her age and continues a long tradition of elite internationals joining the Penn State program. With extensive experience at the highest levels of the game, Mieke possesses tremendous qualities in and out of possession. We couldn’t be more excited about seeing Mieke in blue and white!”
BEFORE PENN STATE: Played club soccer for NYSC and FC Fury…Member of the U17, U16, U15 and U14 Women’s National teams…Was a three-time All-American…Named to the DA Best XI in 2018…Netted 16 goals in 16 games with NYSC…Competed in Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, China, Portual and Sweden with the USYNT.
PERSONAL: Full name is Jillian Alexandra Shimkin…Has three siblings, Nick, Chloe and Lyla…Plans to major in marketing…Born on February 21, 2003 in Rockville Centre, New York.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE PENN STATE? “I chose Penn State because of the incredible family atmosphere, school spirit and competitive training environment this school has. The coaching staff and players are what will breed champions, and I want to win championships!”
COACH DAMBACH ON JILLY: “Jilly joins us with extensive experience competing with our U-17 national team and has hit the ground running since joining the program in January. Jilly has shown game-changing qualities in possession and can beat players off the dribble, play a final pass and score goals as well as being a strong presence on the defensive side of the ball. Jilly is a perfect fit for Penn State on the field and off and we are thrilled that she’s here!”