Something special could be building for the Badgers Women's soccer program under head coach Paula Wilkins. Last season the Badgers were young but finished the season 12-8-1 and after announcing the newest members of the Badgers program for 2013 it's clear that things are only beginning to heat up in Madison.
Wisconsin added eight players in the 2013 recruiting class, a class highlighted by four in-state prospects and three players that have participated in the National Team program. In fact, 5 of the 8 players signed are four star prospects according to TopDrawerSoccer.com and that alone should tell you just how good of a class will take the field next fall.
“This class is exciting because it has a lot of depth and talent," said head coach Paula Wilkins. "The biggest reason why I believe they will make an immediate impact next season is because they complement the returners so well. The ceiling is very high in terms of what these girls can achieve and I can’t wait to get them on campus in the fall and get started.”
Receiving national attention are midfileder Micaela Powers (Beavercreek, OH/Beavercreek HS) and Rose Lavelle (Cincinnati, OH/Mount Notre Dame HS). Powers is a two time NSCAA high school All-American and spent time training with both the U15 and U17 United States national teams. Lavaelle was named the Cincinnati Player of the Year and was recently selected to the United States' U20 national team as they head to the 12 Nations Tournament in La Mange, Spain this March.
Coach Wilkins expects both to have an immediate impact on her 2013 roster and sees Powers as a big time physical presence in the midfield especially.
“Micaela has a great ball-winning presence in the midfield, said Wilkins. "Along with being very good in the air, Micaela is also going to be great on set pieces and in terms of giving us that physical component in the midfield that we’ve been missing. She was also a player of the year in Ohio and will make an immediate impact on our program.”
LaValle is a rare commodity up front as a left footed player with some international experience already under her belt (having trained with the U18 National Team), which is something coach Wilkins can lean on moving forward.
“I think she’s going to be a huge part of our attacking group," Wilkins said. "Rose is going to add some flair and creativity to our solid core of forwards. We’re really excited about her. She’s already played in the Women’s Pro-Am Soccer League with older, more mature players and has done quite well.”
Here is the rest of the class:
Sara Waters (Forward, Shorwood, WI/Shorewood HS)
– 4* by TopDrawerSoccer.com
– All-Event Team at 2012 ECNL (Elite clubs National Teams)
Kylie Schwarz (Defender, Plymouth, MN/Wayzate HS)
– 4 time all-state & member of 2012 state championship team
– member of U15 U.S. Girls National Team
Morgan Taylor (Defender, Hudson, WI/Hudson HS)
– early enrolle this spring semester & will participate in team practices
– played for Minnesota Thunder ECNL team
Holly Heckendorf (Midfielder, Menomonee Falls, WI/Hamilton HS)
– member of FC Milwaukee for 7 years
– national 3v3 runner up in 2008 and 2009
– 3.8gpa at Sussex Hamilton HS
Meghan Ledin (Goalkeeper, Middleton, WI/Middleton HS)
– second team All-Big Eight as a junior
– ODP team member
Caitlin Clem (Goalkeeper, Okemos, MI/Willimston HS)
– four year ODP team member
– named to ECNL roster for upcoming Detroit PDP.
– competed in 2011 U.S. Youth Nationals