AZUSA, Calif.-- The reigning Pacific West Conference champion Azusa Pacific women’s soccer team picked up five commitments for the 2014 season, head coach Jason Surrell announced Wednesday. Last year the Cougars won the National Christian College Athletics Association national championship and claimed their 11th conference title in program history with 15 different players seeing action in their first season with the program.
”We’re really excited about this class. Obviously our newcomers had a huge impact last year, and we have a lot of talent returning so this year’s group is a lot smaller. But I think we are getting key players in key areas, and I’m excited to see them in the Fall. All of the girls we’re adding are very accomplished in the high school and club ranks, and they’ll definitely make an impact as we transition into full NCAA Division II membership,” said Surrell.
The Cougars, who added 16 players to the program with the 2013 recruiting class, have added five high school seniors for the 2014 season. Azusa Pacific picked up commitments from forwards Allison Pepper and Darby Emmons, defenders Mallory Walton and Brittany Gisin, and goalkeeper Zoey Bauman.
AZUSA PACIFIC WOMEN’S SOCCER 2014 RECRUITING CLASS
ZOEY BAUMAN: Goalkeeper - San Ramon Valley HS - Danville, Calif.
Bauman helped San Ramon HS to the 2013 North Coast Section Championship in an undefeated 20-0-5 season, culminating with a 1-0 victory over Monte Vista in the title match. Bauman, who plays club soccer for the Mustang Soccer Club, led the Wolves to 18 shutouts as a junior, and through 19 matches this season has San Ramon HS ranked No. 31 in the country by Maxpreps.com with a 14-0-5 record.
DARBY EMMONS: Forward – Clovis North HS – Fresno, Calif.
As a sophomore Emmons was a member of Clovis North’s CIF Valley championship, and after taking a season of high school soccer off to focus on her club soccer team, the San Juan Spirits, is back with the Broncos. On the season Clovis North is 14-3, and ranked No. 8 in California with a perfect mark (6-0) in Tri-Rivers League play.
BRITTANY GISIN: Defender – Ponderosa HS – Shingle Springs, Calif.
Gisin has been a member of the Ponderosa HS varsity team since her freshman season, appearing in 47 games on the backline in that span. The future Cougar also plays club soccer for the Cal Blues Strikers, where she helped the program reach the 2013 National Cup semifinals, while winning the Northern California Spring Showcase and FC Portland Winter College Showcase championships in 2012.
ALLISON PEPPER: Forward – Vista Del Lago HS – Folsom, Calif.
Pepper burst onto the season as a freshman at Vista Del Lago, scoring three goals while adding six assists to lead the Eagles to a 15-2 record, 12-0 in Sierra Valley Conference play. The 5-7 striker plays for the Cal Blues Stikers with fellow 2014 commit Brittany Gisin. On the season she’s scored three goals, tied for second most on the team.
MALLORY WALTON: Defender – Lakeridge HS – Lake Oswego, Ore.
The lone 2014 commitment from outside California, Walton scored Lakeridge HS’s first goal of the season in a 2-0 win over Oregon City. The former ballet dancer plays club soccer for Crossfire Ore., and will be one of 10 Cougars from outside California for the 2014 season.