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Women's Recruiting Jan 04, 2021

University of Detroit Mercy women’s soccer team announces eight signings

DETROIT – The University of Detroit Mercy women’s soccer team did not get a chance to showcase its recruits from the 2020 class this fall, but that did not stop the program from adding more talent as the Titans announced the signings of eight student-athletes.

Joining the Titans are: Ashley Bates, Sophia Butkovich, Genevieve CrockerMorgan Fox, Erica LeinweberMadison Oakie, Danica Paesano and Sarah Soraghan.

“First of all, I have to thank the staff for all of their hard work during this difficult recruiting season,”said head coach Steve Shelton. “Coach Brandmier, who spearheads our recruiting efforts, once again did a tremendous job finding players that not only fit our culture and personality, but also really wanted to be at Detroit Mercy. This year it was still a priority to improve our team speed and athleticism, but we knew we had to bring in defenders who could make an impact right away. I am really excited to add these young ladies to our program, and can’t wait to see the impact they will have in the revitalization of our program.”

Ashley Bates * D * Richland, Mich. * Gull Lake 

  • A varsity letterwinner in basketball and soccer
  • Tabbed MIP, All-Conference and All-District as a sophomore, helping her team reach the state semifinals
  • Played club with Kingdom for most of her prep career and guided her team to a first-place finish in the MSPSP P1 in 2019 and second this past summer
  • Planning to major in Biology

Coach Shelton on Bates – “Ashley is a strong, physical defender that has good pace and the ability to play anywhere within the back line. She comes from a very successful youth career where she found success at every level. She is someone that has the ability to be very impactful right away.”

Sophia Butkovich * MF * Lakeshore, Ont. * St. Anne

  • Lettered in ultimate frisbee, volleyball and soccer
  • Helped her team to a WECSSAA championship in 2018 and a finalist appearance in 2019
  • Played club with the Michigan Hawks in the competitive ECNL and helped the team win an Ontario Cup Championship in 2019
  • Also a Super Y League National finalist in 2015 and 2017 and was invited to the SYL US Technical Championship

Coach Shelton on Butkovich – “Sophia is a central midfielder with a high soccer IQ and the ability to connect the game. She is very good in possession and will help with dictating the pace of the game. She is a good ball winner and one that can become dominant in the middle of the field.”

Genevieve Crocker * MF * Waterford, Mich. * Kettering

  • Lettered all four years in soccer
  • Tabbed All-Conference as a freshman and sophomore
  • Played club with Liverpool FC IA for four years

Coach Shelton on Crocker – “Genevieve is a talented, versatile player. She has a very good left foot that allows her to have a huge range of pass and ability to score from distance. I think her size and athleticism will allow her to contribute to our defense right away.”

Morgan Fox * F * Berkley, Mich. * Berkley

  • Earned four varsity letters in soccer
  • Selected Honorable Mention All-State, All-Region and All-League as a sophomore, scoring five goals with 13 assists
  • Named team MVP and led her team to a district championship in 2019
  • Played club with the Nationals Union in the Premier 1 Division and helped her team to qualify for the playoffs
  • Will major in Biology

Coach Shelton on Fox – “Morgan is a creative player that we feel will fit in well in our attack. She loves to run at players in wide areas and has the composure to find ways out of pressure. She adds more depth up front and is a player that will be exciting to watch.”

Erica Leinweber * F * Willoughby, Ohio * Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin

  • A varsity letter winner in soccer, basketball and track
  • Earned North Coast League First Team honors in 2019, Second Team laurels in 2018 and Honorable Mention All-Conference in 2017
  • Also tabbed News Herald All-Stars Second in 2018 and 2020 and a four-time member of the All-Greater Cleveland Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association
  • Has posted 55 goals and 24 assists as a prep, leading her team in scoring in three of her four years
  • Guided her team to a district championship and regional semi-finalist appearance in 2019
  • Played club with the Cleveland Force Soccer Club

Coach Shelton on Leinweber – “I know Erica would fit into our system immediately after watching her. She is tall, fast, athletic and loves to take on defenders in wide spaces. What’s most impressive to me is that once she beats a player, it’s like she turns on another gear. She also gives us another pure goal scoring threat.”

Madison Oakie * D * Clinton Township, Mich. * Regina

  • Earned four varsity letter in soccer
  • Named Third Team All-State as a junior and Honorable Mention as a sophomore
  • Twice selected All-Region, All-District and All-League as well as Scholastic All-Catholic
  • Helped her team to a state title in 2019 after scoring 11 goals for her team
  • Named one of the top 100 soccer players in the state by State Champs
  • Played club with Nationals Union White, helping them to a ranking as high as fourth in the state
  • Entering the nursing program

Coach Shelton on Oakie – “What I love about Madison’s game is her defensive tenacity. What impressed me most when I first saw her play was the fact that she didn’t shy away from air balls, and had no fear in making hard tackles. We want to be a relentless, hard-nosed defensive team, and I believe Madison embodies exactly what we are looking for.”

Danica Paesano * F * LaSalle, Ont. * St. Thomas of Villanova

  • A varsity letterwinner in track and field, volleyball and soccer
  • Selected All-City as a sophomore, leading her team to an OFSAA semi-finals effort
  • Also guided her team to three-straight WECSSAA AAA titles
  • Played club with the Eastside Kickers and helped the program to an Ontario Cup championship
  • Plans to major in Business

Coach Shelton on Paesano – “Danica is someone we have watched for a while now. She has off-the-charts athleticism and is one of the fastest players I have ever seen. Also, she is one of those players that just finds a way to score goals. I can see Danica making a huge impact right away.”

Sarah Soraghan * F * Royal Oak, Mich. * Royal Oak

  • Earned varsity letters in basketball and soccer
  • Tabbed the team’s Offensive Player of the Year and All-District as a junior in soccer
  • Selected MVP and Honorable Mention All-State in basketball by the Detroit Free Press and First Team All-State by the BCAM as a junior
  • Played club with Liverpool International and ROFC
  • Looking to major in Biology

Coach Shelton on Soraghan – “Sarah is another in the group that increases our speed and athleticism. She is a very smart player that can play centrally or on the wing. She is very gritty and has an extremely high-work rate. I think Sarah has a chance to impact our team right away, but also has not even come close to her ceiling.”