Women's Soccer Announce Five More Signees for 2006 Season
May 2, 2006
For Immediate Release
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The University of Memphis women's soccer program announced the signing of five student-athletes for the 2006 fall season on Tuesday. The five athletes bring the program's 2006 signing class to 11.
The Lady Tigers sign Hutchison School multi-sport standout Eliza Welford. The Memphis native is a four time Commercial Appeal All-Metro selection in both soccer and track and field. She is the third local player to sign with Memphis joining currently released signees Brittany Baldwin (Collierville HS) and Lia Fannin (Houston HS). All three played club soccer for U of M women's assistant coach Jodi Fisher.
Among the five new signees, the Lady Tigers will be joined by two transfer students. Maiko Higashiyama is a NAIA All-American defender from Martin Methodist who transfers to the U of M after helping the RedHawks win the NAIA National Championship. Memphis native Geneil Newbern also transfers to Memphis after a two-year stint at Georgia where she totaled 30 points in 36 games. Region III ODP pool player Jocelyn Whitehead and Alberta Provincial team player Roma Rozanska also have signed national letters of intent with Memphis.
"Our recruiting class this year is takings us in the right direction," said Memphis head coach Brooks Monaghan. "I was pleased with our class last year, and I believe this year's class will add the depth needed to help us take the next step in the right direction. We feel we have everything in place to compete in the Conference USA championship and working toward receiving a spot in the NCAA Tournament."
Transfers to Memphis after one year at Martin Methodist College where she helped the team become the 2005 NAIA National Champions ... Named to the NAIA All-America First Team as a freshman ... Also earned First-Team All-Conference, First-Team All-Region and was the NAIA National Tournament Outstanding Defensive Player ... Played in all 25 game for the RedHawks with 23 starts in the defense ... Assisted on five goals as a freshman ... Stellar defense led the RedHawks to 17 shutouts and a .316 goals against average with only eight goals allowed in 25 games ... Helped Martin Methodist finished the 2005 season with a 23-1-1 record ...Played for NAIA 2005 National Coach of the Year Gerry Cleary ... Attended Fujimura Women's High School in Tokyo ... Competed on a Japanese U-19 team.
"Maiko's work rate is next to none," Monaghan said. "She is a fantastic defender with great speed and a phenomenal player marker. She has great vision on the field. Maiko is the total package, and she brings tremendous experience from the youth national level and from being part of an NAIA national champion. She will make an immediate impact."
Transfers to Memphis after playing two years at forward for the University of Georgia ... Played spring soccer with the Tigers and scored six goals in nine games ... Scored 12 goals with six assists for 30 points in 36 games for Georgia ... Third at Georgia in points, goals and assists as a freshman in 2002 ... Scored six goals with five assists for 17 points in 2002 and started 19 of 20 games for the Bulldogs ... Named All-SEC Honorable Mention as a freshman ... Scored six goals with one assists as a sophomore in 2003 and stared four of 16 games played ... Scored the game-winner in 2003 to upset a then No. 23 Ole Miss ... A 2001 Tennessee GATORADE High School Player of the Year and candidate for the award again in 2002 ... Led her Ridgeway High School squad to four-straight state titles and was named the State Tournament MVP in 1998, 2000 and 2001 ... Named "Top Five Best of the Preps" by The Commercial Appeal and was All-State and All-Metro the four-straight years ... Named a Regional All-American in 1999 and 2000 by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America ... Also was a member of the varsity track squad and was on the varsity basketball squad in 2000 and 2001 ... Led her Brentwood Lady Express club team to six club state titles ... Was a member of the Region III ODP team fro 1999-2002 and state ODP squad from 1996-2002 ... Featured in the October 2001 issue of Sports Illustrated for Women.
"Geneil is the whole package," Monaghan said. "She is as athletic as anybody out there and is the epitome of a goal scorer. We feel fortunate to have her back in Memphis, and we believe she will help take this team to the next level."
Played two years on the Alberta Provincial team ... Invited to trials for the National Training Center (National Pool), but was forced to withdraw due to an injury ... Has played three years for the U18 Victoria Soccer club ... Club team won provincials indoor and outdoors ... Club team placed fifth in the country at Nationals in 2004 ... Coached by Rocky Deluca in club soccer ... Played in the Archbishop O'Leary Soccer Academy coached by Ross Ongaro for three years during high school ... Nominated as the Player's Choice two years in a row ... Was born in Poland and lived in Germany for two years.
"Roma is a very technical center-mid who reads the game well," Monaghan said. "She is coming back from an injury but is someone we feel will battle back and contribute right away. Romo has good vision and a fantastic work rate, and she will give us more depth in the midfield."
A four-year All-Region player who prepped at Hutchison School ... A four-time Commercial Appeal Best of Preps All-Metro Team selection and was the finalist for player of the year in 2004 and 2005 ... All State as a junior and senior ... Named the Most Valuable Player in 2003 ... Coached in high school by former Memphis soccer player Larry Creson ... Led school team to a 15-4-2 record as a senior ... Scored four goals against Collierville in 2005 ... Totaled 28 goals with five assists as a senior and 87 goals with 22 assists in her four years at Hutchison ... Plays club soccer with the Memphis Mercury coached by U of M assistant Jodi Fisher and was a teammate of fellow signees Brittany Baldwin and Lia Fannin ...Also a four-year letterwinner in track and was named to The Commercial Appeal Best of Preps All-Metro team from 2001-05 ... Named the Outstanding Athlete at the Harding Relays in 2004 and was the pentathlon winner in 2004 ... Holds the Cordova Invitational 300 meter hurdle record and the Division II West Region records in the 300-meter hurdles, 4x100 relay and 4x400 relay.
"Eliza has a ton of potential," Monaghan said. "She is still a little raw but is very fast and athletic. Eliza is a player who you like more and more each time you see her. She is someone we always knew had the ability, but she will continue to improve. I believe the sky is the limit for her. She's an athlete that has split time between track and soccer, and when she gets the chance to have all the eggs in one basket at Memphis, she will continue to excel."
A Region III ODP pool player ... A four time "A" team member ... Captain of her Florida State ODP team ... Playing in the Women's Premier Soccer League for the Central Florida Strikers coached by Bill Eissele and Steve Slain ... Captain of her Oviedo High School team coached by Scott Waisanen & Bill Parker ... A three time All-Conference, Scholar Athlete and team Offensive MVP ... Also named to the All-Central Florida team ... The point leader in both goals and assists in all three years at Oviedo HS ... Had 16 goals with nine assists as a senior ... Played club soccer with Indialantic Force as a center midfielder ... Coached club by Figi Haig, the 2005 U.S. Youth Soccer Coach of the Year ... Scored a goal to help her club team win the Florida State Cup ... Club team twice was the Florida State Cup runner up and the Region III Premier runner up ... The club team point leader in both goals and assists in 2004 .
"Jocelyn is a very versatile player who can play any position for us on the field," Monaghan said. "She is a technically strong player who will suite our team best in the midfield. But she gives us the option to play her in multiple positions."