FHSU women’s soccer adds 14, including Hays High’s Robben
Fort Hays State head women's soccer coach Blake Reynolds has announced an incoming class of 14 student-athletes, including five transfers and nine true freshman.
"This is a very dynamic class full of tremendous student-athletes," said Reynolds. "We placed a major emphasis on high-character individuals that will impact us positively both on and off the field. Within this class we addressed the significant losses we had due to the graduation of seven seniors and looked to really improve the depth of the roster.
"We are always looking to improve our program. This 2020 class in particular is so deep, it immediately addresses some of the holes in our roster, while also preparing us for the future as well. I want to send a big thank you to my assistant coaches, Tyler Smaha and Mark Nowak, for all of the tireless work they did on the recruiting trail. This class is truly a reflection of their hard work. Additionally, a big thanks goes out to the current team members for showing each and every recruit that visited what kind of family atmosphere we have within our program. We wouldn't be able to secure commitments from these 14 incredible women without the current roster showing why FHSU is the place they call home.
"In this class, we are bringing in four Division I transfers, along with an international from Japan that we think can all make a major impact right away. Additionally, we have a strong freshman class that has individuals that will vie for both significant playing time and potentially starting spots as well. In fact, every year I've been a head coach, I've had at least one freshman starter. It's exciting to think that could continue, and to wonder who that person, or persons, might be. When you add this group into our returning core - we think we've got something special."
Amanda Rapaduski | Junior | Forward | 5-7
Algonquin, Ill. | University of Nebraska-Omaha/Butler University
The forward has appeared in 35 games at two D1 institutions (Butler University & University of Nebraska-Omaha), starting in nine of those contests and tallying two goals and one assist. She has started in games against the likes of Kansas State, Iowa State and Oklahoma State this past year and against Kansas in her freshman year at Butler.
Coach Reynolds on Rapaduski: "Amanda joined us for the spring semester, which was nice to get her into the culture, albeit for an abbreviated season. Her experience the past two years at the Division I level will be an immediate boost to our attack next fall. She has played against some of the biggest programs in college soccer. She is a high-volume shooter and she's so incredibly strong on the ball as a true center forward. We had the top defense in the conference last year statistically, but we also took the fewest shots of any team in the league. Amanda will help us move up that statistical category immediately - she is a huge get for us."
Skylar Forrest | Redshirt Freshman | Midfielder | 5-6
Tecumseh, Ontario | University of Illinois-Chicago
Skylar is an exciting pickup from the University of Illinois-Chicago. She medically redshirted her freshman year at UIC, but is back healthy and ready to compete in the fall. Though she is from Canada, she played her prep soccer with the prestigious Michigan Hawks ECNL club, just a short drive across the border.
Coach Reynolds on Forrest: "Unfortunately for Skylar, when schools make coaching changes and you are no longer playing for the coach who recruited you, you don't always fit into the new coach's plans. At FHSU she will be able to showcase her abilities as a connecting midfielder. I was very impressed with her vision, her technical speed and her game intelligence. We were missing a little bit of that technical element ion last year's team, and struggled at times to keep the ball the way we had in previous years. Skylar reminds me a lot of former player, Kylie Thomas, and that's a big compliment, because everyone loved Kylie! Honestly, I'm incredibly excited to see how Skylar develops over the next several years. I think she can be a very important piece of our present and future."
Sydney Johnson | Redshirt Sophomore | Forward | 5-8
St. Michael, Minn. | North Dakota State University
Our next transfer comes to Hays after spending two seasons at North Dakota State University. As a freshman, Johnson appeared in 16 games, starting eight contests and recording three assists. Her sophomore campaign was cut short after three appearances due to injury. Before NDSU, Sydney played her club ball for the Minnesota Thunder Academy ECNL.
Coach Reynolds on Johnson: "Syd is such a great compliment to Amanda and returning All-MIAA forward Cailey Perkins. Each one of these forwards has a different type of game, and all three are super versatile, having the ability to play anywhere up top. Sydney specifically has power, speed and athleticism. She is a threat to get in behind the defense and will be a big weapon for us. We haven't had a player like her since I got here. Thinking about the potential of these three lining up together gets me really excited for the season. She still has work to do to get back to 100% health, but she should get there in time for the season."
Carly Walker | Redshirt Freshman | Midfielder | 5-6
Wyoming, Minn. | University of Nebraska
Like Sydney, Carly Walker is from Minnesota and played for the Minnesota Thunder Academy ECNL program. After spending her freshman year as a redshirt at the University of Nebraska, Walker will join the Tigers as an attacking midfielder.
Coach Reynolds on Walker: "Really love Carly's skillset and especially her competitive mentality. Having spent a year in that type of environment at a Power Five school like Nebraska, she can make a huge impact for us next fall. She has that ability to break defenders down on the dribble and create matchup nightmares for defenses. We haven't had that type of player in my three years here so far, although Jasmine Beaulieu had some of those qualities for sure. Obviously the level at Nebraska is really high, and she didn't get a chance her freshman year to play, so I think she is looking forward to showcasing her abilities this fall. I'm excited to see how she fits into the puzzle."
Satsuki Hirose | Transfer Freshman | Midfielder/Forward | 5-2
Kanagawa, Japan | Kokushikan University
The second international player in the class comes to Hays from Japan. Hirose is technically a transfer student after spending her first three years in school at Kokushikan University and playing for their collegiate team. She primarily plays on the wing or inside as an attacking midfielder.
Coach Reynolds on Hirose: "Satsuki is exactly like what you see from the players on the Japanese Women's National Team, which is one of my favorite national teams to watch. She is super technical, super quick and has a great feel for the game. Our men's coach, Gerry Cleary, has connections all over the world and he helped us with Satsuki. We owe a big thank you to Gerry on this one. Her immediate success here will depend on how translates to the collegiate game, as it's so physical over here. Skill-wise, there's no doubt she's ready. She could have a major impact right away, or she could take a little time to adjust. But either way she will be a very important player for us."
Jersey Garoutte | Freshman | Utility| 5-7
Pueblo, Colo. | Pueblo West HS | Pride Predators
One of four signees from the state of Colorado, Jersey Garoutte lot of success from both high school and club. At Pueblo West, she earned multiple All-State honors, including first team All-State as a junior. With her club team, Pride Predators, she was able to win a state title in 2018. She also has experience last summer playing with the semi-pro team, Pride-to-Pro, of the United Women's Soccer League located in Colorado Springs. Additionally, Garoutte served as Senior Class President. She plans to major in communication and science disorders.
Why she chose FHSU: "It feels like a home away from home, all of the girls seem so close like a second family, and I can't wait to be a part of that!"
Coach Reynolds on Garoutte: "Jersey kind of came out of nowhere for us last summer. She registered for our residential camp and on the first day she caught my eye. Getting to spend those three days with her really left a big impression on me, and we offered her a scholarship just a couple of weeks later. She is very versatile, and I'm honestly not sure yet where she is going to fit the best. But I know her versatility will be very important for her, and will help her get on the field quickly. She's a great kid, and she's going to fit in here perfectly."
Taylor Harr | Freshman | Forward | 5-9
Aurora, Colo. | Grandview HS | Colorado Rapids
Taylor Harr is the first of three club teammates from the Colorado Rapids joining our freshman class. She is also high school teammates with Shelby Talley at powerhouse Grandview. Harr helped Grandview to a state championship during her junior season. The outside forward is a natural left-footed player as well. Taylor will study political science.
Why she chose FHSU: "I chose FHSU because of the family aspect. The whole team is so close and the campus felt like home! It was a place that fit me well both athletically and academically."
Coach Reynolds on Harr: "Taylor was one of several girls at our Winter ID camp that we loved and ended up offering. She's obviously got great size for an attacker, and she's a true lefty, but I really noticed her soccer IQ. She's going to have a shot to contribute to a revamped attack next fall. It'll be a lot of fun to see how she develop over the next four years. She could be really good for us."
Emily Hutchings | Freshman | Midfielder | 5-6
Olathe, Kan. | Olathe West HS | Blue Valley Showcase
The Sunflower League Midfielder of the Year in 2019 as a junior, Emily Hutchings capped off an impressive career at Olathe West as a part of the inaugural program in its first 2 years. She was a first team All-State selection as a junior and earned second team honors as a sophomore. She played club ball for Sporting Blue Valley Showcase.
Why she chose FHSU: "Not only for the fantastic academic programs, but because I wanted to play for a program and a coach that values me personally and my academic success, along with allowing my love for soccer to grow."
Coach Reynolds on Hutchings: "Emily played high school soccer for Matt Trumpp at Olathe West, and Matt was my teammate at Baker University. Very early on after he started the program there, he said 'I've got a girl you have to see.' He was right, too. From the first time I saw her play as a sophomore, I knew I wanted her at FHSU. She's a winner. She does so many things well, but the best way I can describe her is she is a leader and a winner. Emily will impact this program in a big way."
Sullivan Kelly | Freshman | Defender | 5-7
Davenport, Iowa | Assumption HS | Iowa Rush
Sullivan Kelly is a three-time state champion at Assumption High School in Davenport Iowa. She also won the 2019 Iowa State Cup Champion with her club team, Iowa Rush. She's garnered multiple awards at the high school level including both first and second team All-State honors. Kelly will be a nursing major at FHSU.
Why she chose FHSU: "I chose FHSU because of its academic fit, welcoming family-like atmosphere on campus, and the competitive soccer program."
Coach Reynolds on Kelly: "A native Iowan himself, Tyler Smaha found Sully and was able to get her to sign up for our winter ID camp so we could see her in person. Pretty quickly we saw exactly what we were hoping for and knew we wanted her to be a part of the program. We project her as an outside back, but she's very versatile and could play other places too. I think she's going to be a terrific player for us."
Ryan McCabe | Freshman | Midfielder | 5-8
Highlands Ranch, Colo. | Mountain Vista HS | Colorado Rapids
The second of the Colorado Rapids coalition, Ryan McCabe is a defensive midfielder who is calm on the ball and distributes it well.
Why she chose FHSU: "I loved the college town and the school. The big reason why I chose FHSU as my school is the soccer team and the girls were so welcoming, it just felt like a second home."
Coach Reynolds on McCabe: "We needed to get bigger in the midfield, and Ryan brings not only that size, but she also has a good feel with the ball at her feet. Her transition to the physicality of the college game will determine how quickly she gets on the field. But I like her foundation and I look forward to seeing how she grows in our program. She comes from a good club and high school, so she won't be intimidated coming here."
Jadyn Newell | Freshman | Defender | 5-8
Broken Arrow, Okla. | Broken Arrow HS | Tulsa Soccer Club ECNL
An exciting pickup out of the state of Oklahoma, Jadyn Newell is a talented defender that will help fill the void of three graduating senior starters from last year's backline. As a junior at Broken Arrow High School, she was All-District and Academic All-Conference.
Why she chose FHSU: "I chose FHSU because of the amazing nursing program, the soccer coaches care and kindness towards me and my parents, and the team's competitive and encouraging family-like environment!"
Coach Reynolds on Newell: "We were super pumped to land Jadyn! She had a lot of interest from the best programs in her home state, but nursing was such a key element to this. We are blessed to have a nursing program that works with us to make sure our student-athletes can do both. On the field, Jadyn is a beast. She is a big, strong, but also skilled defender who likes to get forward on the outside. She plays for a great club and high school, and that level of competition will help her to impact us early on."
Isabel Robben | Freshman | Goalkeeper | 5-8
Hays, Kan. | Hays HS
Local product Isabel Robben joins the program as our second goalkeeper from Hays, joining Deonna Wellbrock between the pipes. Isabel is a three-time all-conference performer, including first team honors as a junior. She was also a team captain. During the club season, Robben played for Mid-Kansas United and Hays Soccer Club as a youth. Isabel will major in accounting.
Why she chose FHSU: "It's in my hometown and because I like how welcomed it felt when the coaches contacted me."
Coach Reynolds on Robben: "We were late to recruiting Isabel, which is ironic since she's in our backyard. We actually thought she didn't want to play in college so had kind of moved on. Then all of a sudden she was back in the picture and we were thrilled she wanted to stay home and attend FHSU. She's got a ton of potential! Super athletic, great instincts, fearless - I'm excited to get her into the program and get her started working with Mark Nowak (keeper coach) on a daily basis. I think she's going to take off under his supervision."
Shelby Talley | Freshman | Defender | 5-10
Aurora, Colo. | Grandview HS | Colorado Rapids
Shelby Talley is the final member of the Colorado Rapids trio. A physically imposing center back, Shelby has worked her way back from hip surgery junior year, which forced her to miss the state championship season for Grandview. Talley lists one of her biggest accomplishments as being back to 100% following her injury and having the opportunity to play college soccer.
Why she chose FHSU: "I chose FHSU because it wasn't too far away from home. But also it was a good fit for me academically and athletically."
Coach Reynolds on Talley: "Shelby is the final of the three Colorado Rapids girls, and as a center-back she is the biggest of the three, which is never a bad thing as a center back! I don't think I've even seen close to the best Shelby has to offer because she was still coming back from her injury when we offered her. Obviously her high school program is a powerhouse, so she's played at a good level. She's going to get to learn from some great center backs we have on the roster currently, but she's going to be a good one I think."
Paige Whitney | Freshman | Defender/Forward | 5-7
Raymore, Mo. | Raymore-Peculiar HS | KC Athletics
A versatile athlete on the field, Paige Whitney comes to FHSU from Raymore, Mo. and the KC Athletics soccer club. She projects to play at either of the outside positions (forward/outside back), but has a utility aspect to her, which may see her used at other spots as well. She's known for her blue collar, hardworking mentality on the field. Paige will major in business at FHSU.
Why she chose FHSU: "I chose FHSU because of the atmosphere and the people. It definitely felt like home here."
Coach Reynolds on Whitney: "Paige is crazy! I mean that in the most endearing way, though. She's such an impressive young woman, we really liked her immediately when we met her at our winter ID camp. She is a raw athlete, but she's got a ton of potential. One of the unique things about her is she's a pilot, and wants to work/save up to buy her own personal plane to fly to school. That's definitely a recruiting first for me! She's going to be a great addition to the family and I'm excited to see her learn and grow in our environment."