Feb. 6, 2013
TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona State University head women's soccer coach Kevin Boydtoday announced that five student-athletes - Mckenzie Grossman, Madison Leek, Katie Mohr, Nadine Reed and Larisa Staub - have signed national letters of intent to study and play soccer at Arizona State.
Coming off the program's third NCAA Tournament appearance in four seasons and its highest finish in Pac-12 play since 2004, Boyd is excited about the potential this year's class has to help ASU continue progressing in its endeavor to be one of the nation's elite programs.
"This is a good class that I think fits our needs very well," Boyd said. "We graduated a large class last season, but we also had several young players who were regular contributors throughout the year. So this class was designed to fit what our younger players were going to need in order to continue building on last year's success. And I think it does it very well because we needed backs and forwards and we got two backs and three forwards. We think all five players show a lot of promise to help us and a couple of them could be ready to contribute immediately."
Grossman will be coming to ASU from Manhattan Beach, Calif., where she set the career and single-season goals records for her Rolling Hills Prep School squad. A four-year starter on the varsity team, Grossman has been named first-team All-Coastal League three times. Grossman, who has played club soccer for South Bay Force since 2004, has three years of ODP experience (started every game last two years). She helped her ODP squad to a pair of regional titles and a national title last spring. Grossman earned her school's Outstanding Athletic Achievement and Excellent Sportsmanship Awards in 2009-10.
"Mckenzie is a versatile defender as shown by her scoring prowess with her high school team, who has great communication skills," Boyd said. "She has the ability to play any of the back five. I like her at center back but I don't know if she'll be ready to play that position at this level in her first year so we'll probably be looking at her at wide back early on. She's quite accomplished having won a national title with her Cal South ODP team. She has the potential to help us right away."
Leek will be joining the Sun Devils from West Linn, Ore., where she has been a three-time first-team All-Three Rivers League recipient and captain of her West Linn High School team each of the last two years. Nearly half of her 61 career goals came during her senior year when she scored 30 goals. After being named team MVP her freshman year she would win the award again as a senior. Leek, who has three years of ODP experience, played on six state cup championship teams as a member Tualatin Hills United Soccer Club. An outstanding track athlete, Leek will bring speed to the Sun Devils as she holds her school's records in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 4x100m relay, and was fourth at state in the 400m dash in 2012. A strong performer in the classroom as well, Leek has been accepted to ASU's prestigious Barrett Honors College.
"Madison is a fast player, who has a knack for scoring goals," Boyd said. "I think the single toughest trait to teach is the ability to score a goal and she just has it. She gets in the box and knows what to do when she gets there. Her speed is what has helped make her so successful and so she is going to have to learn how to create those opportunities for herself at this level because there won't be as big a separation in speed. She'll still bring a lot of pace to our team and that is one of the reasons why we liked her. I feel that she will be able to help us, but how soon that will be up to her."
Ranked among the top 50 in ESPN's class of 2013, Mohr has led her Maria Carrillo High School team in goals and assists each of the last two seasons. The Santa Rosa, Calif., product has earned all-league and all-empire honors every year of her career. A team captain each of the last two seasons, last fall Mohr helped lead her team to the 2012 NSCAA national championship. An active participant in the US id2 program, Mohr was selected to the U15 national team and got the opportunity to play in a pair of international contests. Mohr, who has been named to ESPN's Regional Starting 11 three consecutive years, has been captain of her club team, Santa Rosa United Shock, for five years. Mohr was named Santa Rosa United Girls Player of the Year as she led her squad in goals and assists in helping lead the team to the CYSA state title.
"Katie will probably help us immediately," Boyd said. "She can score goals and she scores in a lot of different ways: She can get behind, she can run at you, she can hit the long shot, she can head it. She's rugged and really physical. She almost thrives on physical play. She is made for the college game and I think she is going to do well right away."
Hailing from Arroyo Grande, Calif., Reed is currently in the last season of what has been an outstanding career at Arroyo Grande High School where her career statistics include 57 goals and 22 assists [and counting]. Reed led the Pac-7 in goals last year and is currently the leader this season. Reed also led her club team, Santa Barbara Soccer Club, in goals in 2012 as she scored more than any one else in the Southern California Developmental Soccer League (GU19, Flight 1). While competing for the Central Coast Condors in the spring of 2010, Reed led her team in points as the Condors went on to win the California State Cup. Like Leek, Reed also excels in track as she has earned first-team all-league honors in every event she has competed in: 100m, 200m, 4x100m and 4x400m relay.
"Nadine is a player who we found late and were really lucky to find," Boyd explained. "She has tremendous speed and is good running with the ball. She will be tested a little more in that she hasn't had some of the experiences a few of the others have had and so the jump for her is a little bit bigger, but her athleticism will fit in really well. She is a player who will definitely help us in the long run."
Staub, who will be coming over from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, will be the second player in program history to join ASU from Canada (Kylla Sjoman- 2005-08). Staub made her debut in the Canadian youth program in 2011 at the age of 15. Last year Staub was nominated for U17 Player of the Year as she helped the Canadian U17 squad win a silver medal at the 2012 CONCACAF Women's Under-17 Championship in Guatemala (Canada qualified for Azerbaijan 2012). She then represented Canada at the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in Azerbaijan where, as a starter and captain, she helped Canada make it to the quarterfinal round.
"Of all the players we are signing, Larisa is the one who will probably be most ready to immediately help us," Boyd said. "She was one of the captains of the U17 Canadian National Team that played in the World Cup. She has a captain-like personality, which is similar to Mckenzie Grossman. She is calm, is not intimidated and she is physical as well. She's got pace and she can run a long time and so the physical and mental criteria won't be any challenge for her. For Larisa, it will be a matter of how fast she can fit in the system and adjust to the level of talent."
The five new student-athletes will join a Sun Devil squad that returns nine players who started 14 or more games last season. Included among the returners are three of the team's top four scorers from last season, forwards Cali Farquharson, Devin Marshall and Holland Crook, and defender Jasmine Roth, who has started 57 games over the last three seasons.