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NCAA Nov 14, 2021

Reigning SEC champion Arkansas signs 14 recruits from 10 different states

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Reigning SEC Champion Arkansas soccer and head coach Colby Hale have announced their next signing class ahead of the 2022 fall season which includes 14 newcomers that hail from 10 different states.

The class includes an Oklahoma Gatorade Player of the Year, multiple Youth National Team Camp invitees, as well as an 800m National Champion.

“First, we would like to thank everyone who helped us in this recruiting process,” said Hale. “For us and Razorback soccer, it is about finding talented players who are committed to growing and who understand that winning and growing are hard. We are looking for the right players and we believe in this class, we found them.”

Three signees – Jordan Doss, Taylor Berman and Izzy Luebbert – will be graduating early to join the Razorbacks in the spring of 2022.

Class Countdown

Six – members of Top 25 ECNL Clubs
Five – are part of the Olympic Development Program
Four – All-State selections
Three – High School State Champions
Two – YNT invitees
One – High School track National Champion

Taylor Berman

Forward
KS

Club

  • Part of KC NWSL Youth Development Team
  • Trained with Kansas City NWSL Full Team in summer of 2021
  • 2021 ECNL All-Star Game selection
  • Named to Top Drawer Soccer Standout Team multiple times
  • Part of the No. 20 club on list of Top 25 ECNL Clubs in 2020-2021

High School

  • 2021 Kansas Class 6A State Champions at Blue Valley West HS
  • Kansas All-State First Team
  • Team captain as a junior at Blue Valley West HS

Other

  • Member of the ODP State and Regional teams
  • 2017 USA Futsal National Team Member
  • Will be one of three in the 2022 class to graduate early and join the Hogs in spring of 2022

Berman on why she chose Arkansas: “I chose Arkansas because of the culture, the campus, and the coaches.”

Hale on Berman: “Taylor is a talented and creative attacking player who has unlimited potential. She has pace and some natural goal scoring instincts that will serve her well at Arkansas.”

Jordan Doss

Midfielder
TX

Club

  • 10-year member of Lonestar SC
  • Led Lonestar SC in goals in 2018, 2019, and 2020
  • 2019 U17 DA National Championship Finalist

High School

  • 2021 First Team All-District
  • 2021 All-Central Texas Team
  • 2021 Round Rock HS Offensive MVP
  • 2021 Round Rock HS leading scored with 22 goals
  • 2021 Academic All-District
  • Texas 6A 2021 Regional Finalists
  • Texas 25-6A Undefeated District Champions
  • 2019 and 2020 Round Rock HS Varsity Track Team
  • 4-year Round Rock HS Academic Award Winner

Other

  • US Soccer Market Center in 2018-2019
  • Will be one of three signees to graduate early and join the Hogs in the spring of 2022

Doss on why she chose Arkansas: “I chose to commit to the University of Arkansas because it felt like home the moment I stepped on campus. I love everything about it, the coaches, the elite level of the program, and the University itself.

Hale on Doss: “Jordan has a passion for the game and a work rate to match. She is an attacking player who strikes the ball as well as anyone in this class.”

Ainsley Erzen

Midfielder
IA

Soccer

  • Forward of the year for Carlisle HS
  • Carlisle finished 2nd in Conference
  • As a junior, played in 13 games tallying 19 goals and 12 assists
  • Team Captain as a freshman
  • Held the school record for assists in a single season as a freshman
  • Midwest Regional ODP Camp invitee

Track

  • 2021 National Champion in the 800m, with a time of 2.06.52
  • First runner from the state of Iowa to win a National Championship
  • 2021 State Champion in the 800m and 1,500m
  • Drake Relays Champion in the 400m and 800m
  • 3rd place at State as a team (best in Carlisle school history)
  • Holds the Carlisle School Record in the 400m, 800m, 1,500m, 5K, 4×4, 4×8, and distance medley

High School

  • Member of National Honor Society
  • Member of Student Council and Executive Council
  • Student Ambassador
  • Ranked No. 2 in Class based on GPA
  • Homecoming Queen

Other

  • Will also run track for the Hogs

Erzen on why she chose Arkansas: “I chose the University of Arkansas because they gave me the opportunity to compete in both soccer and track at the highest possible level and be surrounded by people that will make me a better athlete and person.”

Hale on Erzen: “Ainsley is an elite athlete as shown by her 800-meter National Championship. She will run track and play soccer at Arkansas. She is a tremendous soccer player and even better person.”

Ava Furrow

Midfielder
CO

Club

  • Qualified for ECNL Regionals in 2020
  • ECNL Northwest Conference Champs in 2020
  • Qualified for DA Regionals in 2017, 2018 and 2019
  • DA Conference Champs in 2018 and 2019
  • Club ranked 7th on list of Top 25 ECNL Clubs in 2020-2021
  • Top Drawer Soccer three-star athlete
  • Top Drawer Soccer Highlighted Weekly Standout 2017-2020

High School

  • Did not compete with High School Team due to USSDA Competition Rules

Furrow on why she chose Arkansas: “The second I stepped on to Razorback Field, my emotions got the best of me and I started to cry- that was the moment I knew Arkansas was where I was meant to play!”

Hale on Furrow: “Ava is an elite ball winning midfielder with a tireless work ethic. She is an energetic worker and an elite competitor.”

Sydney Handel

Defender
MO

High School

  • 4-year starter and letter winner – soccer and volleyball at Lee’s Summit West
  • Two Final Four appearances with soccer team
  • Three-time All-Conference and All-District First Team
  • All-District Defensive Player of the Year
  • All-Region Team Member
  • All-State Team Member
  • 3-time Academic All-State
  • Team Captain
  • Scored 7 goals as a defender in junior season
  • Evelyn Gates Award Finalist (Top volleyball player in Kansas City area)

Activities

  • Academic Letter Winner
  • National Honors Society
  • Student Activity Advisory Council
  • Titan Fellowship of Christian Athletes
  • Titan Smart
  • Future Business Leaders of America
  • Titan Legacy
  • Girls United
  • Superintendent Student Stakeholder Advisory Team

Handel on why she chose Arkansas: “When I first stepped on campus it just felt right. The atmosphere, coaching staff, and players helped make the decision easy. Can’t wait to be a Razorback!”

Hale on Handel: “Syd is a three-sport athlete who was recruited to compete in all three at the college level. She is an elite athlete and a fiercely confident and competitive human. She will be a great fit in our program.”

Club

  • Four-time Southeast Conference champion with Concorde Fire
  • Four-year starting center back with Concorde Fire
  • 2021 ECNL Quarterfinalist
  • Club ranked No. 13 in Top 25 ECNL Clubs in 2020-2021

High School

  • Won 2021 Class 5A GHSA State Championship
  • Semifinalist in 2018 5A GHSA State Championship
  • Back-to-back Region Champions at Blessed Trinity
  • 3-year varsity starter for Blessed Trinity HS

Koelsch on why she chose Arkansas: “Arkansas has high academic standards that will challenge me to do my best. The energy of the soccer environment, the coaches and the winning mentality make Arkansas the perfect choice for me!”

Hale on Koelsch: “Maddie is a versatile defender who can attack wide or shut down the attack central. Her pace, toughness, and ability to play with the ball will be great assets to the team.”

Kacie Laurie

Midfielder
CO

Club

  • Colorado Rush Player of the Year for 2018 and 2019
  • USSDA U15 National Finalist in 2018-2019 season
  • Top Drawer Soccer Talent ID Member – Frontier Conference – June 14 of 2021
  • Top Drawer Soccer Weekly Standout multiple times throughout her career

High School

  • Lettered for varsity in freshman season

Other

  • Academically lettered for Columbine HS

Laurie on why she chose Arkansas: “I chose to play soccer at the University of Arkansas because I wanted to play in a competitive conference with a team that wants to win!”

Hale on Laurie: “Kacie is a fit active two-way midfielder who can play any of the central midfield roles. We see her as a box-to-box player who will compete and continue to push herself each and every game.”

Merrin Lien

Defender
CO

Club

  • Colorado Rush Defensive Player of the Year, 2019
  • Colorado Rush Team Captain, 2018-2020
  • USSDA U15 National Finalist in 2018-2019 season
  • Top Drawer Soccer DA Playoff’s Best XI in 2019
  • Club ranked seventh in Top 25 ECNL Clubs in 2020-2021
  • Selected to US Soccer Training Center 2016-2021
  • Top Drawer Soccer 4 Star Rating
  • In the Top Drawer Soccer 150 Rankings of the 2022 Class
  • Ranked 18th in Rocky Mountain Region for 2022 Class

High School

  • Did not compete with High School Team due to USSDA Competition Rules

Lien on why she chose Arkansas: “I chose Arkansas because it provides everything I wanted in a university, from the academics to the athletics to the community. I love the vibe of the coaches and the closeness of the soccer team, all of which makes the University of Arkansas feel like home to me.

Hale on Lien: “Merrin is a tenacious defender who has both the athleticism and mentality to be an elite defender in the SEC. She is the perfect example of the kind of person and player who will help us grow our program.”

Izzy Luebbert

Defender
MO

Club

  • Her squad took fourth place at ECNL Nationals in 2019
  • Club ranked No. 5 in Top 25 ECNL Clubs in 2020-2021

High School

  • Scored 44 goals with 31 assists in career at Capital City HS
  • All-District First Team
  • All-District Player of the Year
  • All-Conference First Team
  • All-Conference Offensive Player of the Year
  • All-Regional First Team
  • All-State First Team

Other

  • Sister Sarah is a forward for the NWSL’s Chicago Red Stars
  • Will be one of three in the 2022 class to graduate early and join Arkansas in the spring of 2022

Luebbert on why she chose Arkansas: “I chose the University of Arkansas because of the atmosphere and culture. I feel at home on the campus, and I know it will be a great fir for me because it matches my competitiveness.”

Hale on Luebbert: “Izzy is what we look for when we look for future Razorbacks. She can play on both sides of the ball and brings an intensity and energy that fits well with our style of play.”

Makenzie Malham

Midfielder
OK

Club

  • Named to 2021 ECNL U19 Texas 2nd Team All-Conference
  • ECNL – PDP participant
  • Chosen for ECNL Selection Game – San Diego 2021
  • Top Drawer Soccer Top 150 in 2022 class
  • Top Drawer Soccer ranked No.2 player in South Region
  • Top Drawer Soccer four-star Prospect

High School

  • Named 2021 Oklahoma HS Gatorade Player of the Year
  • Finalist for Oklahoma All World Player of the Year (June 19th banquet)
  • Team MVP 2019, 2021 (No 2020 awards due to COVID)
  • All-District 2019, 2021 (No 2020 awards due COVID)

Other

  • United States Soccer Coaches All-State 2021

Malham on why she chose Arkansas: “I chose Arkansas because I wanted to play for one of the top programs in the country, in one of the most competitive conferences in the country, as well as playing for a staff that can push me to be the best player I can possibly be.

Hale on Malham: “Mak is one of the top players in the 2022 class nationwide. She has every tool to be a top player in the SEC at multiple positions.”

Ella Riley

Defender
TN

Club

  • 2021 ECNL – U17 Ohio Valley First Team All-Conference
  • 2015-2016 Tennessee State Champion
  • 2016-2017 Tennessee State Finalist
  • 2017-2018 Tennessee State Champion
  • 2018-2019 Tennessee State Finalist
  • Club ranked 17th on list of Top 25 ECNL Clubs in 2020-2021

High School

  • Oakland High School Freshman of the Year in 2018-2019
  • Division 7AAA Freshman of the Year in 2018-2019
  • Oakland High School Most Valuable Player 2019-2020
  • Southeast All-American in 2020-2021
  • THSSCA Girls Soccer D1-AAA All State Team 2020-2021
  • Vision 7AAA All-District Team 2018-2020
  • Rutherford County All-Tournament Team 2018-2020

Other

  • US Soccer YNT Identification Center in 2020

Riley on why she chose Arkansas: “I chose Arkansas of the soccer team’s competitiveness and work ethic on the field, and also for it’s supportive community and hometown feel.”

Hale on Riley: “Ella has everything we look for in a central defender. She has the athleticism and competitiveness to be elite.”

Zoe Shepherd

Forward
CA

Club

  • 2020 ECNL CSP Selection
  • 2018-2020 PDP State Pool
  • 2019 ID2 National Camp Selection
  • 2019 starter versus Japanese National Team
  • 2020 Davis Player of the Tournament

High School

  • Two-time First Team All-League selection
  • Broke the MCAL record for most assists in a season
  • Two-time varsity captain
  • Four-year varsity starter
  • Three-year Honor Roll member

Other

  • 2019 ODP West Region Championship – Top 18

Shepherd on why she chose Arkansas: “I chose Arkansas because I wanted to take my soccer career to the next level and challenge myself to be the best player I could be. I also wanted to put myself in a different environment than I am used to, to learn more about myself as a player and a person.

Hale on Shepherd: “Zoe is a smart soccer-playing attacking talent with a real passion for growth and soccer. Her commitment to getting better has shown at every step of the process.”

Zoe Susi

Midfielder
NC

Club

  • Named to 2021 ECNL – U17 Mid-Atlantic First Team All-Conference

High School

  • 125 goals and 65 assists at Wilkes Central HS
  • As a freshman, scored 2nd most goals in North Carolina state history
  • 2019 Mountain Valley Athletic Conference Player of the Year as a freshman
  • Two-time North Carolina All-Region Selection
  • Two-time North Carolina All-State Selection
  • Two-time Conference Player of The Year
  • 4-year Scholar-Athlete with 4.0 GPA at Wilkes Central
  • 4-year National Beta Club member
  • 2-year National Honors Society member

Other

  • Ranked the No. 34 player in the South Athletic Region by Top Drawer Soccer
  • Three-time ODP Region 3 team member
  • Three-time ODP National Team Training Invitee
  • 2019 Region III International Team

Susi on why she chose Arkansas: “I chose the University of Arkansas because when I came to campus, the players and coaches made me feel like I was at home, and I love the chemistry of the program as well.”

Hale on Susi: “Zoe is a great fit for our style of play. She is an elite pressing attacking center midfielder who will cover every inch of the field. Combined with her creativeness, savvy and competitiveness she will continue to add to our style of play.”

Taylor Tommack

Forward
TX

Club

  • ECNL Texas All-Conference team for 2018 and 2019
  • Attended the ECNL National Training Camp in 2019
  • 2018-2019 ECNL U15 Texas All-Conference Team
  • 2018 – 2019 ECNL Club Player to Watch
  • 2018 – ECNL PDP – Dallas, Texas

High School

  • First Team All-District, 2018-2021
  • First Team All-Academic, 2018-2021
  • Newcomer of the Year in 2018
  • District Champions, 2018-2019
  • NHS Member

Other

  • Member of the US U14 Girls National Team for 2018
  • 2019 ECNL National Training Camp – Portland
  • 2019 ODP Region IV Trip – Spain
  • 2019 ECNL CSP Texas – Ft. Worth, Texas
  • 2018 – ODP Interregional – Boca, Florida
  • 2018 – US U-14 GNT Camp – Ft. Collins, Colorado
  • 2018 – ODP National Training – Phoenix, Arizona
  • 2017-2018 USSF Training Center Combine
  • 2017 – ODP Interregional – Boca, Florida
  • 2016 – 2017 ODP Region III Camp – Birmingham, Alabama

Tommack on why she chose Arkansas: “I choose Arkansas because I feel like the environment and community behind this program is exactly what I dreamed to see myself in someday.

Hale on Tommack: “Taylor has the potential to be one of the top wide backs in the conference. She has electric speed and great tenacity. She can defend the top wide forwards in our league as well as provide an attacking threat in the run of play.”

Featured Players

Defender, Midfielder
Defender, Midfielder
Forward, Midfielder
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