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Pirates land key recruits for title defense
The Peninsula College women’s soccer recruiting class has head coach Kanyon Anderson and Pirate soccer fans everywhere smiling.
The prospect of defending their Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges’ soccer championship would seem remote, given that the Pirates are graduating 11 very talented sophomores, but with a strong freshman class returning, including NWAACC Player of the Year Bri Afoa, and arguably the finest recruiting class in the NWAACC, it’s not a prospect — it’s a plan.
“It is hard to imagine that we could have a much better season than we just had, but when I look at the players coming in for 2013, I can’t help thinking it is possible,” Anderson said. “The general trend that I see with the incoming class is a high level of technical skill and tactical awareness.
“Every single player coming in plays for an organized, top-level club team, which means these players are as ready for the college game as they can hope to be. And, since we have such a strong returning class, I was not in a hurry to sign players. The ones I did sign are players I think will be great at Peninsula.”
The recruiting class includes three players from Washington in Ashley Davis of Spokane, Kasie Lough of Roy and Larkyn Nelson of Bellingham; four players from Nevada in Alyssa Bertuleit and Katelyn Raatz, both of Sparks, Shania Butler of Henderson and Brenda Torres of Carson City; three players from Oregon in Emily Flinn of Forest Grove and Lindsey Atkinson and Mary Pierce of Beaverton; and sisters Brittney Yoshimura and Brooke Yoshimura of Mililani, Hawaii. Also joining that class will be sophomore transfer Bronte Fitzsimmons of Victoria, British Columbia.
Here is a closer look at that Pirates’ recruiting class:
Lindsey Atkinson (Midfield/Forward, Beaverton, Ore.)
Atkinson scored 14 goals and eight assists as a sophomore at Southridge High in Beaverton, but then did not play high school soccer her junior and senior years, instead beginning a career as a prolific scorer, assist leader and four-year team captain for BCS Portland, a club team. She also played for the Olympic Development Program team in Oregon in 2009 and was a four-year letter winner in golf.
Kayla Bell (Midfielder, Portland, Ore.)
Bell, a midfielder at Cleveland High School in Portland was named First Team All-Portland and 5A All State Honorable Mention. Bell also plays midfield for the Westside Timbers FC.
Alyssa Bertuleit (Forward/Defender, Sparks, Nev.)
While playing soccer at Sparks, Bertuleit earned a 4.0 grade-point average in 2009 and 2010 and won her high school’s Academic Achievement Award in 2009, 2010 and 2011. She also was the 2012 Midfielder of the Year, Team MVP and team captain. She also won a First Team All-League Midfielder award.
Shania Butler (Midfielder, Henderson, Nev.)
Butler, also an honor roll student and a Nevada State 200-meter track finalist, led her Foothill High School soccer team in assists and was team MVP in 2010. She then focused only on club soccer and was twice named tournament MVP in 2012.
Laura Barrett (Midfielder, Sparks, Nev.)
Barrett was a four-year varsity soccer player at Edward C. Reed High School in Sparks. She was named Second Team All High Desert League forward.
Ashley Davis (Midfield/Forward, Spokane)
Davis was a four-year varsity starter at Gonzaga Prep and the leading scorer for the Edge Soccer Academy in Spokane in 2012.
Bronte Fitzsimmons (Striker, Victoria, British Columbia)
Fitzsimmons, who came to Peninsula as a redshirt sophomore this year, was the 2010 Golden Boot winner at the University of Vancouver Island. She was named to the BCCAA First Team, was the BCCAA Rookie of the year and was also named All-Canada in 2010. She was second in the league in scoring her freshman year with nine goals in 11 games.
Emily Flinn (GK, Forest Grove, Ore.)
Flinn is another talented multi-sport athlete, who was named First Team Mid-Fielder at her Forest Grove High School. As a goalkeeper, she led her FC Portland club team to back-to-back Oregon state championships.
She was named Second Team All-League in basketball and team MVP. She also earned Second Team All League honors in lacrosse as a junior before focusing on soccer and basketball.
Kasie Lough (GK/Forward, Roy)
Lough is a tremendous multi-sport athlete. She was a three-year starter at Roy High School where she was named Second Team All-South Puget Sound League Striker her senior year when she served as team captain, led her team in goals and was named team MVP. She also was a three-year varsity player and the team captain of her basketball team and a state qualifier in the shot put event as a track and field standout.
Larkyn Nelson (Midfielder, Bellingham)
Nelson is an honor roll student who was a four-year varsity starter and a three-time First Team All-League winner, who led the Red Raiders with 17 goals and eight assists her senior season, earning the Player of the Year Award.
Mary Pierce (Striker, Beaverton, Ore.)
Pierce was a four-year starter at Aloha High School and has had significant success playing club ball as well. She currently plays for BSC Joga Bonita FC and helped that team qualify for the Far West Regionals. She also played for Oregon’s ODP team in 2009-2010.
Katelyn Raatz (Midfielder/Defender, Sparks, Nev.)
Raatz played four years of varsity soccer at Sparks High where she served as team captain her junior and senior years. She also was part of the Nevada Elite team that won the USCS West Region championship and qualified for nationals.
Brenda Torres (Midfielder, Carson City, Nev.)
Torres was the team captain for the Nevada Elite Futbol Club that won the Northern Nevada Region championship in 2011 and then went on to be USCS West Region champions and place third in the nation in 2012. She lettered three times at Carson High School where she was team captain and recipient of the Best Forward of the Year award.
Brittney Yoshimura (Midfield, Mililani, Hawaii)
Brittney Yoshimura made the top travel roster for the Hawaii Rush Soccer Club and was a big part of her Mililani High School team’s success, helping them to a third-place finish in the Hawaii State Soccer Championships.
Brooke Yoshimura (Defender/Midfield, Mililani, Hawaii)
Brooke Yoshimura, sister of Brittney, also made the top travel roster for the Hawaii Rush Soccer Club and also helped the Trojans to their top-three finish at state. Brooke was named Second Team All-State.