Saint Leo, Fla. (May 13, 2008) – Saint Leo University head women’s soccer coach Ged O’Connor has announced the addition of eight new players for the 2008 season.  The additions include one goalkeeper, two defenders, three midfielders and two forwards who will add to an already deep squad.

O’Connor guided the Lions to the most successful season in program history in 2007, establishing new program records for overall wins in a single season (15), matching the program record for conference wins (6) and earning their second consecutive berth in the NCAA Division II Tournament.  During the 2007 campaign Saint Leo also advanced to the SSC Tournament Final, and was runner-up in the SSC for the second consecutive season.

2008 SAINT LEO WOMEN’S SOCCER TEAM SIGNINGS

Kelcee Mai
5’9”, Freshman, Goalkeeper
McHenry, Ill./McHenry HS

Coach O’Connor’s Thoughts: “Kelcee is a goalkeeper who has great size, athleticism and communicates effectively with the team.  I’m looking forward to having Kelcee work with Lauren Hudson and develop her game to the next level.  In time, I hope Kelcee develops her skills and becomes a valuable asset to the program.”

Aija Benttrinder
5’9”, Freshman, Defender
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./American Heritage, Delray

Coach O’Connor’s Thoughts:  “Aija’s athleticism and speed will allow her to challenge for a starting position immediately and make an impact.  She is strong in the air, is technically sound and is tactically a strong player who will add depth to our defense.”

Francesca Williams
5’8”, Freshman, Defender
Formby, England/Range HS

Coach O’Connor’s Thoughts: “Fran’s experience includes Everton Ladies FC, and she is a regular member of the England setup.  I’m expecting this background to carry over and help give an added dimension to our side.  She is a tall, imposing defender who is good with both feet.  I’m expecting great things from her.”

Brittany Farsetta
5’4”, Freshman, Midfielder
Nanuet, N.Y./Nanuet Senior HS

Coach O’Connor’s Thoughts: “Brittany’s main assets are her speed, technical skill and ability to find the back of the net from a midfield position.  She has experience in ODP, and I am looking forward to seeing her develop as a threat for Saint Leo in the coming years.”

Lauren Kist
5’3”, Freshman, Midfielder
Tampa, Fla./Freedom HS

Coach O’Connor’s Thoughts: “Lauren brings a unique dimension to the squad.  Equally adept to play centrally or on the flanks, Lauren is certain to provide a headache to the coaching staff when it comes to finalizing a starting lineup.  She is tenacious and hard-working, and has ability to play with both her right and left foot.  I’m looking forward to watching her grow and mature on and off the field at Saint Leo.”

Jaime Smith
5’8”, Freshman, Midfielder
Valrico, Fla./Newsome HS

Coach O’Connor’s Thoughts:  “Jaime is another player who can play in multiple positions and is certain to provide depth to the squad in 2008.  She is technically solid with good attacking vision.  I am looking to see her contribute, especially in the assist department.”

Janessa Gunn
5’10”, Freshman, Forward
Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wesley Chapel HS

Coach O’Connor’s Thoughts:  “Janessa’s physical presence and speed are her two main assets.  She is a gifted left-footed player.  Janessa brings to the team the target-player mentality, as well as a fierce shot.  She is strong in the air and will help us to be a force on set pieces.”

Pia Sosemann
5’5”, Freshman, Forward
Berlin, Germany/Ev. Gymnasium zum Grauen Kloster

Coach O’Connor’s Thoughts:  “Pia’s international experience includes playing in Australia.  I’m expecting her tactical knowledge of the game to be a main asset to the team.  Equally adept in finding the back of the net as well as assisting others.  I am expecting Pia to become a major factor in the program from the outset.”

The Lions will return 13 players from the 2007 team that went 15-5 and finished second in the Sunshine State Conference with a 6-2 record in league play.  Among the returners are six All-South Region selections and six All-Sunshine State Conference Team members.