University of Nebraska soccer program to welcome 11 newcomers in 2021
The group hails from five states, including: Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Texas and California, and also features two student-athletes from Canada. All 11 signees will join the team in the fall of 2021.
Margaret Altman will join the Huskers from Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep in San Francisco, Calif., where she plays forward for Coach Chris King. During the club season, Altman plays for Marin FC ENCL under Coach Tyler Gottschalk. The club won the NorCal State Cup and the Davis College Showcase Super Group in 2019. Altman was instrumental in the Davis College Showcase win, as she was named player of the tournament. Altman also performs well in the classroom, earning an academic excellence award for physics.
Altman on Nebraska – “I chose Nebraska for multiple reasons. First, for the coaches and their dedication to player development. Nebraska supports its student-athletes, and I like the competition in the Big Ten Conference. Lastly, I chose Nebraska because of the longstanding tradition of the Nebraska women’s soccer program.”
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (Bill Brothers Secondary School)
Ontario Regional Excellence Super Center
A 5-8 midfielder from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Florence Belzile trained under Brandon Frith the last two years at the Ontario Regional Excellence Super Center, a program tied to the Canadian National team. From 2016 to 2018 she competed for the Cumberland Cobras Soccer Club. In 2018 the Cobras reached the semifinals at the U15 Canadian National Championships and won the Ontario Cup Championship. In 2019 she attended U17 Canadian National Team camps in both Mexico City and Markham, Ontario, Canada. Belzile comes from a military and athletic family. Her father was All-Ontario University Athletics in rugby while attending the Royal Military College of Canada and her mother was a Quebec provincial champion figure skater. Florence has lived in Chicoutimi (Quebec), Florida, Winnipeg (Manitoba), Colorado and Ottawa.
Belzile on Nebraska – “I immediately fell in love with Lincoln and the UNL campus. I felt that the coaches were very positive and really focused on development. The girls on the team were very welcoming. I find Nebraska is the best place to challenge me both on the field and in the classroom.”
Burlington, Ontario, Canada (Frank J Hayden Secondary School)
Aislinn (pronounced Az-lynn) Boyle will join the Huskers from Burlington, Ontario, Canada, where she plays for Tom Van at Frank J Hayden Secondary School. Boyle was part of a team that took silver at the 2018 Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations Championships. Boyle also competes for the Burlington Bayhawks and Coach Case Downey. The program had a banner year in 2018, as it was OWSL U21 league champions, U17 Ontario Cup champions and finished third at Canadian Nationals. Individually, Boyle ranked third in the league in scoring in 2018. During the 2019 season she was second in scoring and ranked first in assists.
Boyle on Nebraska – “I really love the intensity of the program, and feel I can develop greatly under the coaches at Nebraska. I also feel like I can really thrive in the culture that Nebraska has to offer, as the players I met were incredible.”
Briley Hill plays for Coach Emily Mathews at Lincoln East High School and is joined in the signing class by teammate Haley Peterson. Hill helped the Spartans to back-to-back state tournament appearances in 2018 and 2019, including a runner-up finish in 2019. Hill scored six goals and had three assists as a freshman at East. She entered the starting lineup as a sophomore and scored 16 goals (the most by a sophomore in school history), while also adding 10 assists. Hill’s junior season in 2020 was canceled due to COVID-19. Hill has been an all-conference selection twice and was a Lincoln Journal Star player-of-the-year nominee in 2019. During the club season Hill plays for Gretna Elite Academy under Coach Marcus Kelcher. Hill excels on the basketball floor as well, helping the Spartans to a Class A state runner-up finish in 2020. In the classroom Hill is a two-time scholar-athlete award winner, a Lincoln East ambassador’s member, a National Honor Society member and has been a Lincoln East Shining Star.
Hill on Nebraska – “I have always looked up to Husker athletes, and I wanted to be part of the amazing program. Growing up in Lincoln it has always been a dream of mine to be a Husker.”
Allison Napora will join the Huskers from Papillion La-Vista South High School where she plays for Jake Watson. Napora’s junior campaign was canceled due to COVID-19, and she was coming off a sophomore season that saw her score 10 goals. Napora also competes for Coach Sean McCoy on one of the top club soccer programs in the state, Sporting Omaha FC. She has been part of teams that have won Nebraska State Cup titles in four of the last five years (2016, 2017, 2018, 2020). Napora was part of the Nebraska Olympic Development team in 2015, 2016 and 2017. She also attended the Development Academy in 2018 and 2019, and earned National Championships Best 11 honors in 2017. Away from the field, Napora is a member of the National Honor Society at Papillion La-Vista South.
Napora on Nebraska – “Nebraska provides an incredible opportunity to be successful in academics and athletics. Not only does Nebraska have unbelievable facilities, but I get to play in my home state under an amazing coaching staff. I can’t wait to be a Husker!”
Lincoln native Haley Peterson is one of two Lincoln East Spartans to sign with the Huskers, as she is joined by teammate Briley Hill. Peterson contributed right away as a freshman in 2018 with 10 goals and four assists, setting a freshman record at East with 24 points. As a sophomore in 2019 she totaled eight goals and two assists while the team made a run to the semifinals at the Class A state tournament. For her performance Peterson earned second-team all-state honors from both the Lincoln Journal Star and Omaha-World Herald in 2019. Peterson’s junior season was canceled due to COVID-19. During the club season Peterson competes for Villarreal Nebraska and Coach Jorge Sambataro. The program has notched Nebraska League titles in three of the last four years, including 2017, 2019 and 2020. Peterson traveled to Spain in November of 2019 to spend a week training with Villarreal CF Academy teams in their professional facilities. Peterson has also contributed to the Spartans’ success on the hardwood, as she has been part of three straight trips to the state tournament, including a Class A runner-up finish in 2020. Off the field Peterson is a three-time scholar-athlete award winner, two-time academic all-state honoree and is part of the National Honor Society.
Peterson on Nebraska – “Nebraska feels like home. I have been watching Husker soccer since I was five years old. I love the atmosphere of the program and how it feels like a family. Not only does Nebraska have nice facilities, but they also have a great coaching staff. When I went for a visit at Nebraska I knew this is where I wanted to be. They have so much to offer as a program and I am so excited to be a Husker.”
Bennington’s Abigail Schwarz will join the Huskers from Omaha Roncalli Catholic High School where she has been a prolific offensive player. Schwarz contributed right away to Pat Stoffel’s program as a freshman in 2018 when she scored 29 goals and chipped in 11 assists in just 16 games to help the Crimson Pride to a district title and an appearance at the Class B state tournament. Over 12 games as a sophomore in 2019, Schwarz totaled 30 goals and 11 assists, earning second-team all-state honors for the second straight season. Schwarz’s junior season was canceled due to COVID-19. She also competes for Evolution 402 under the direction of Brandon Palmer. During the 2020 club season, Schwarz notched 36 goals. Schwarz also contributes to Roncalli’s basketball team, as she was named first-team All-River Cities in 2019. For her work in the classroom she was named Exchange Club of Omaha Outstanding Sophomore in 2019. She has been named to the President’s List five times, earned the Pride for Life Award in 2019 and is a two-time citizenship award winner.
Schwarz on Nebraska – “I love the atmosphere at Nebraska and the developmental focus in the soccer program. Overall, Nebraska is home and it has always been a dream of mine to go here!”
One of two goalkeepers in the class, Cece Villa will join the Huskers from Altoona, Iowa, where she attends Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines. Villa posted 73 saves and allowed eight goals as a freshman in 2018 for Coach John Pearson. As a sophomore in 2018 she stopped 94 shots, while allowing 11 goals and helped the Maroons to a third-place finish at the state tournament. Villa’s junior season was canceled due to COVID-19. During the club season Villa trains under Coach Deb Grief of GPS Iowa. A three-time team captain, Villa led the team to a second-place finish at the 2016 state tournament, and she has participated in the Iowa Olympic Development Program. In the classroom Villa has been named to the Presidential honor roll four times, is a member of the National Honor Society and part of the National Council of Youth Leadership.
Villa on Nebraska – “After visiting the campus and going to a few individual camps, I knew the soccer program, the coaches and the school were what was best for me. It was my goal to come to Nebraska to play soccer and study athletic training after my first camp in 10th grade. I am so happy my dream could come true.”
Gretna, Neb. (Gretna)
Sporting Omaha FC Premier
The 2019-20 Nebraska Gatorade Player of the Year and a two-time first-team all-state selection, Sarah Weber will join the Huskers following her senior season at Gretna High School where she is coached by Digger Hawkins. Weber was a key member of the Dragons’ offense as a freshman in 2018 with 24 goals and 14 assists. As a sophomore she was the top scorer in Class A with 62 points, including 28 goals and six assists. Weber’s 2020 high school season was canceled due to COVID-19, but she still earned All-America honors and was the United Soccer Coaches Association High School State Player of the Year in Nebraska. During the club season she plays for Coach Sean McCoy and Sporting OFC Premier after also playing for Coach Doug Trenerry of Gretna Sports Club. Weber has been involved in the U.S. Youth Olympic Development Program the last four years, qualifying for the Inter-Regional Thanksgiving Tournament and being selected to the U.S. Youth Soccer ODP Inter-Regional All-Star Team twice (2017-18, 2018-19). She has been invited to three National Training Camps and in 2019 she made the U.S. Youth ODP National 02 and 03 teams. In April of 2020 Weber made the 18-player cut for the Olympic Developmental Program that was scheduled to compete in Paris, France, but the trip was canceled due to COVID-19. In the classroom Weber earned NCPA academic all-state honors in 2020 and has been a part of the National Honor Society at Gretna since 2019.
Weber on Nebraska – “Nebraska had everything I was looking for in a school from esteemed academics to outstanding athletics, not including the top-notch facilities and all-around school spirit. As far as the soccer team, they have excellent and dedicated coaches who emphasize player development while the team has the natural aspect of high inner squad competition. I’m extremely excited to play for my home state and compete in the Big Ten.”
One of two goalkeepers in the class, Mia (pronounced MEE-uh) Wildeman will join the Huskers from James Madison High School in San Antonio, Texas. Wildeman posted 16 shutouts during her junior season in 2020 to help Coach Michael Babcock’s team to a 20-1 record and a Class 6A District 27 title. On the season Wildeman totaled 64 saves and allowed just five goals. For her success on the field, the four-year starter earned multiple honors in 2020, including district goalkeeper of the year, was named to the Soy San Antonio Top 20 Player list, earned all-district honors for the second straight year and was named San Antonio Express-News Player of the Week on Jan. 6, 2020. During the club season she has played for Lions FC and Coach Bryan Smith, as well as San Antonio City SC and Coach Dennis Bryan. Wildeman was part of a team that won the USYS State Cup championship in 2019. In the classroom, Wildeman earned academic all-district honors in 2020 and is a member of the National Honor Society. She is the cousin of Husker football player Tate Wildeman.
Wildeman on Nebraska – “I want to compete in the Big Ten and Lincoln is a special place. I can’t wait to be a part of the Husker tradition!”
Jordan Zade will join the Huskers from De Soto High School where she is coached by Jesse Smith. Zade contributed to a Frontier League championship as a freshman in 2018 with 10 goals and 19 assists. For her success she was named team MVP and earned first-team All-Frontier honors. Zade became even more of a threat on the offensive end of the pitch in 2019 with 20 goals and 16 assists, helping the Wildcats win the UKC League title. She was tabbed UKC Co-Player of the Year, first-team All-UKC, earned second-team all-state for the second straight season and was voted the team’s offensive player of the year. Zade’s junior season in 2020 was canceled due to COVID-19. She also completes for KC Fusion Academy under Coach Sara Matthews. Zade was a four-time team captain and the club was NPL Central States champions in 2019-20.
Zade on Nebraska – “After participating in many soccer camps I fell in love with the program. I instantly felt welcomed and encouraged by the coaching staff and the players. I am so impressed with Nebraska’s strong traditions and their comprehensive academic support system. I know Nebraska was the university I wanted to call home.”