Soccer brings in seven recruits, signs first player from Oregon

On Feb. 4, Jackrabbit women’s soccer announced its seven-member 2015 recruiting class which features student athletes from South Dakota, Missouri, Minnesota and their first ever player from Oregon.

While head coach Lang Wedemeyer looks to return his starting group that won the 2014 Summit League Championship, he said that this class has an eye toward the future, with five starters, including 2014 Summit League Offensive Player of the Year Diana Potterveld, set to graduate following next season.

Filling these future holes might be just a little bit easier though. Thanks to his team’s success on the field, Wedemeyer said he has definitely seen SDSU’s draw increase among recruits.

“I think these girls recognize that they are coming into a high-caliber program and the expectations are high,” Wedemeyer said. “They’re excited about that challenge.” 

Brittany Jensen represents this growing frontier as the forward out of Medford, Ore. becomes the first Oregon native to make the trip east for Jackrabbit soccer.

“I do a lot of coaching education across the country where I go and instruct coaching courses for other coaches,” Wedemeyer said. “I had her high school coaches in courses on the west coast last year and so we created a relationship and they knew that Brittany was a pretty special player and they sent her my way.”

The 5-foot-7 forward earned Conference Player of the Year and all-state honors leading South Medford High School to a conference championship and also played for the SOSA Venom club team. She will look to continue that success when she arrives in Brookings, with Wedemeyer looking for her to play on one of the wings.

“Jensen is fast, dynamic, a very good one-v-one player who fits into how we play very well,” Wedemeyer said.  

Madison Chapman comes to the Jacks from Lee’s Summit, Mo. where she attended Lee’s Summit North High School. Chapman also played with fellow newcomer Kyli Nelson on the Futura FC club team. 

“Chapman is a very skilled midfielder, reads the game well, and has a great feel for the game,” Wedemeyer said.

Nelson hails from Smithville, Mo. where she attended Smithville High School and patrolled the back line for Futura FC.

“Nelson is a very tough defender, very technical, good on the ball,” Wedemeyer said. 

Maggie Smither could be the goalkeeper of the future. Smither led Lincoln High School in Sioux Falls to three state championships in her four years guarding the net.

“Smither is a great goalkeeper, has a fantastic kicking game – she scored several goals this year from free kicks,” Wedemeyer said. 

Coming from Rapid City, K.J. Medler looks to have the mix of brain and brawn that has characterized Wedemeyer’s teams, being named valedictorian at Douglas Hills High School and first-team all-state. She also played with the Black Hills Rapids’ club team.

“Medler is, we feel like, one of the best players from South Dakota, a very good midfielder, creative,” Wedemeyer said. 

Kelsey Wipf also hails from South Dakota and will make the short trip up to Brookings from Sioux Falls where she played at Roosevelt High School and also on the Dakota Alliance club team.

“Wipf is another of the best players from South Dakota, really tough player,” Wedmeyer said. “She plays either center-midfielder or center-back.”   

Rounding out the signings was Annie Williams out of Cottage Grove, Minn. The two-time all-stater played for Park High School and Minnesota Thunder Academy. 

“Williams plays for Minnesota Thunder which is generally the best team in that state and is a center-back, very athletic,” Wedemeyer said.

While Wedemeyer won’t truly know what he has until he gets these seven newcomers on the practice field, he is nevertheless optimistic about the future for Jackrabbit soccer. 

“You never really know until they get here and get on the field, but we’re very excited about the quality of the student athletes we have coming in,” Wedemeyer said.