KU Soccer inks nine for 2018
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas head soccer coach Mark Francis announced Wednesday that the Jayhawks have signed nine student-athletes to National Letters of Intent during the early signing period. Bri Amos (Tulsa, Okla.), Samantha Barnett (Edmond, Okla.), Italia Bradley (Coppell, Texas), Kaela Hansen (Burnaby, British Columbia), Sarah Peters (Lee’s Summit, Mo.), Avery Ripple (Papillion, Neb.), Maya Swaby (Hamilton, Ontario), Grace Wiltgen (Denton, Texas) and Chais Wright (Kansas City, Mo.) will all suit up in the Crimson and Blue next season.
“There’s a lot of talent, a lot of athleticism and a lot of versatility in this group,” said Francis of his 2018 signing class. “This is probably, overall, the most athletic group we’ve had. All of them are going to give us depth in every line. We’ve got players who can help us from goalkeeper all the way through the forwards. With the size of our squad that means there’s going to be competition at every spot and that’s going to be good for our returning players and good for this class coming in. It’s really going to help the culture and the competitiveness of the training environment.”
BRI AMOS • MIDFIELDER • TULSA, OKLA. • UNION HS
- A four-year starter for Brian Elliot’s Union High School squad that claimed three-straight 6A Oklahoma State titles in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
- Also helped Union win three district championships from 2015-17.
- Member of the teams that won Top Drawer Soccer national championships in 2015 and 2016 and was a finalist in 2017.
- Averaging an assist per game for the Redskins.
- Named to the All-Conference team following her junior year in 2017.
- Also impressive in the classroom, is a three-time member of the academic all-conference team.
- Her brother, Bradly, was a midfielder for the Central Arkansas men’s soccer team from 2014-17.
SAMANTHA BARNETT • FORWARD • EDMOND, OKLA. • EDMOND MEMORIAL HS
- Helped Edmond Memorial to the 2016 City Championship as well as the District title in 2017.
- Named to the all-city second team along with the Central Oklahoma All-Conference squad following her sophomore season in 2016.
- Added all-city honorable mention accolades following her junior campaign in 2017.
- For her club, Oklahoma FC, was a member of five state championship teams and helped lead the group to the national championships in 2017.
- During the national championships run, was the top scorer in Region 3 as well as the Super Y Finals and for her efforts was named SYL Nationals’ Top performer.
- Also helped Oklahoma FC to four Region 3 semifinal runs in a five-year span, advancing to the finals in 2013 and 2017.
- Father, Maurice, played soccer at Oklahoma City University. She will also join two cousins as a student-athlete in the Big 12. Kristian Doolittle is a sophomore on the Oklahoma men’s basketball team, and Kameron Doolittle was a wide receiver at Oklahoma State from 2013-15.
ITALIA BRADLEY • DEFENDER • COPPELL, TEXAS • COPPELL HS
- Member of the Coppell Cowgirls squad that claimed the 2015 6A Texas State title.
- Also helped the Cowgirls to the NSCAA National Championship in 2015.
- Named to the all-tournament team after stellar performances in the Allison Horn Memorial in 2015.
- A key player for Solar Chelsea’s impressive run over the last four years, which has seen the club claim four-consecutive conference titles.
- Helped Solar Chelsea to a runner-up finish in the 2016 ECNL Playoffs, as well as third and fifth-place finishes in the same tournament in 2015 and 2017, respectively.
KAELA HANSEN • MIDFIELDER • BURNABY, B.C., CANADA • BURNABY CENTRAL SECONDARY SCHOOL
- Was 16 years old when she made her debut in the Canadian Youth National Team in 2016 with coach Beverly Priestman.
- Earned first cap and played all 90 minutes in Canada’s 3-2 victory over Cameroon in the group stage of the U17 Women’s World Cup in 2016.
- Has also spent time in camp with Canada’s U20 squad, making the roster for the Three Nations Tournament in Australia in Summer of 2017.
- A member of Vancouver Whitecaps FC Elite, helping the team to numerous titles, including the 2013 BC Premier Cup, the 2015 BC Soccer Premier League Divisional Championship and the gold medal at the Western Summer Games, also in 2015.
- Named the Whitecaps’ Showcase Standout in April of 2016 after making the Showcase All-Star Team the year prior.
- Father, Ed, won a national title with the University of New Brunswick Redshirts, while her mother played soccer with Langara College in Vancouver.
SARAH PETERS • GOALKEEPER • LEE’S SUMMIT, MO. • LEE’S SUMMIT NORTH HS
- A three-year letterwinner for Ryan Kelley’s Lee’s Summit North squad that has claimed three-straight district titles and is coming off a conference championship and a runner-up finish in the Class 4 state tournament last year.
- Named the Class 4 Missouri Goalkeeper of the Year following her junior year in 2017 after she tallied 12 shutouts, a goals-against average of 0.69 and collected 156 saves in leading the Broncos to a 22-4-0 record.
- Also garnered First Team All-State, All-Conference and All-District selections in 2017 which follow All-District honors in each of the two years prior.
- Will forego playing for Lee’s Summit North as a senior after joining Sporting Kansas City’s Development Academy for her final year before joining the Jayhawks.
AVERY RIPPLE • MIDFIELDER • PAPILLION, NEB. • PAPILLION LA-VISTA SOUTH HS
- A member of Elite Girls Academy’s highly successful run over the last four years.
- Helped the club to back-to-back state titles in 2016 and 2015 as well as a runner-up state finish in 2014.
- She led the Elites to qualification runs to regionals in both 2015 and 2016.
- Also on the team that twice qualified for National Premier League (NPL) Nationals in 2014 and 2015.
- Father, Reggie, played baseball at St. Ambrose University in Iowa.
MAYA SWABY • DEFENDER • HAMILTON, ONTARIO • BISHOP RYAN SECONDARY
- Has seen several stints with the Jamaican Youth National Teams, including securing a roster spot for the team’s CONCACAF Champions Qualifier.
- Spent five very successful years with the Stoney Creek Soccer Club, which was highlighted by National Cup and Ontario Cup titles in 2014, back-to-back League Cup championships in 2012 and 2013 and a pair of Premier League victories in 2011 and 2012.
- Also spent time with the Team Ontario programs, most recently with the REX and Provincial programs in 2015.
- Has an uncle and a cousin who played collegiate soccer. Her cousin, Kesely Perrin, also played football at Kent State and saw time with the Winnipeg Blue Bommers of the Canadian Football League.
GRACE WILTGEN • FORWARD/MIDFIELDER • DENTON, TEXAS • DENTON HS
- Has collected three letters as a member of Rock Monk’s Denton Broncos team.
- With her on the squad, the Broncos repeated as bidistrict champions in 2016 and 2017 and added district and area titles in last year as well.
- Turned in a school-record 41 goals in 2017, surpassing the previous mark of 20. That accomplishment earned her Team and District MVP honors as well as a spot on the second team all-area.
- She was also named to team’s Newcomer of the Year in 2016.
- Played the last three years with FC Dallas.
CHAIS WRIGHT • DEFENDER • KANSAS CITY, MO. • PARK HILL HS
- A key member of the Park Hill Lady Trojans’ impressive run over the last three years, which included a state-record 25 wins in 2016.
- With her holding down the back line, Park Hill tallied three-straight district and sectional championships from 2015-17 and posted shutouts in 23 of its contests in 2016, which included 12-straight clean sheets during that season.
- Also got into the offensive mix, scoring 17 goals and adding 13 assists in her first three years with the Lady Trojans.
- Twice named to the Missouri Best 11 Team in 2016 and 2017 and added all-conference, all-district and all-region nods those years as well.
- Spent time with both KC Fusion and FC Kansas City Club teams.
- With KC Fusion, she was twice a Kansas State finalist, claiming the Kansas State title one of those year.
- Helped FCKC Juniors to a Missouri State title and placed third at the National Championship Series.
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