Vandal soccer signs 11
Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
          Release: 02/06/2013
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MOSCOW, Idaho – Replacing the most successful group in University of Idaho soccer history won’t be easy, but Vandal head coach Pete Showler believes he has a group up to the task of maintaining the program’s climb.

Showler announced a diverse group of 11 commits on Wednesday, the first day of the National Letter of Intent signing period. The group includes at least one player for every position on the field and several players who have experience at multiple spots on the pitch.

“I would like to welcome each and every one of the new players and their families to the Vandal family,” Showler said. "I'd like to take this opportunity to give credit to the hard work of my staff and the people behind the scenes in our department who have been involved in this whole process. It is greatly appreciated."

Idaho’s Class of 2013 ranges from the Pacific Northwest to Southern California, dips into Colorado and Nevada, and includes a hometown player from Moscow, Idaho. There’s one goalkeeper, three players who are primarily defenders, three primarily at the midfield and four forwards. There are several new Vandals who have played for national club championships and who have led their teams top-10 national rankings.

“The quality and depth of a group this size is top-notch,” Showler said. “Getting a group of this quality to come to Idaho really shows where this program is going and it’s a testament to what this team has done the last few years.

“We’ve found top players from many different areas. This group is blessed with quality, size and athleticism, paired with a wealth of good coaching behind them.”

Three Idaho signees come from the states of Oregon and Washington. There’s two from California and one each from Colorado, Idaho and Nevada.

Six of the newcomers have played multiple positions across the board, whether it be at forward, midfielder or defender, and Showler said that ability and awareness is going to help the large group mesh as he combines his incoming group with his 13 Vandal returners.

“Their ability to play different positions is key to how we’re looking to build,” Showler said. “It will help us flourish as a team, because it brings different dynamics into what we already have and it’s going to create a healthy environment for competition.”

At goalkeeper, Idaho signed Torell Stewart, from Highland Ranch, Colo. (Mountain Vista HS). The team added Madi Criner (Moscow, Idaho/Moscow HS), Madi Moore (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman HS) and Amanda Pease (Bend, Ore./Bend HS) at defender. In the midfield, Gabby Leong (Upland, Calif./Upland HS), Alyssa Lloyd (Colbert, Wash./Mt. Spokane HS) and Crystal Oliva (Visalia, Calif./West Salem (Ore.) HS). Forwards in the class include Kavita Battan (Vancouver, Wash./Hockinson HS), Kaysha Darcy (Maple Valley, Wash./Tahoma HS), Edna Ibarra (Bend, Ore./Bend HS) and Alyssa Pease (Bend, Ore./Bend HS).

Alyssa and Amanda Pease are twin sisters who play club soccer together with Ibarra with the Oregon Rush program. Criner and Lloyd are teammates with the Spokane Shadow club team. Darcy’s Tahoma High School team was ranked as high as seventh nationally in 2012, while Leong’s Upland High School squad has been ranked as high as No. 1 in California and No. 3 in the nation.

Showler said he still has two spots to fill on the roster, but that the 2013 group is coming together nicely.

“The key thing is this is going to be a big rebuilding year, because half the squad will be new players,” Showler said. “I think we have a couple more players left to find to put the puzzle together. I’m very happy with the way the returning players are already working this spring, and the quality of this new group coming in.

“Exciting times ahead for Idaho soccer and it’s a great day to be a Vandal.”


Idaho Class of 2013 Signee Biographies:

Kavita Battan
#2, F/MF, 5-8
Vancouver, Wash. (Hockinson HS)
VUSA Timbers

High School/Club: Battan was a four-year varsity player at Hockinson High School (Brush Prairie, Wash.) from 2009-12 … registered 67 goals and 21 assists in her high school career … a four-time All-Greater St. Helens League honoree, with a Second-Team selection in 2009 and First-Team All-GSHL honors every year from 2010-12 … was honored as the 2012 GSHL co-Offensive MVP in 2012 after leading HHS to a 15-6-1 record and the second round of the Washington 2A State Tournament … earned Washington 2A All-State Second Team honors in 2012 as a senior … assisted the game-winning goal in Hockinson’s 2-1 comeback win – the first state tournament victory in school history – over Lindbergh High School in the first round of the state playoffs … helped lead the Hawks to four-consecutive Washington 2A State Tournament bids … also earned a 2010 Second-Team All-State honor as a sophomore … was a 2012 team captain and a three-time team Offensive MVP … most recently competed for the VUSA Timbers club team, which she helped lead to a pair of Surf Cup semifinals and a 2012 Washington State Cup final … competed as a member of the Oregon Olympic Development Program.

Personal: She is the daughter of Kevan and Roni Battan … has one brother, Shamele, who also plays collegiate soccer as a goalkeeper at Seattle Pacific University … plans to major in Business at Idaho.

Coach Showler Says: “Kavita has great pace, wonderful balance and she’s great technically … she plays in a club system where demands are very high, and she matches those demands … she can weave and bob, bob and weave, and she’s silky smooth with the ball at her feet … she brings a lot of dynamic movement to the forward line and also has the ability to excel on the outside … it’s always nice to add someone with her goal-scoring mentality.”

Madi Criner
#4, D, 5-3
Moscow, Idaho (Moscow HS)
Moscow United/Spokane Shadow

High School/Club: Criner was a four-year varsity player at Moscow High School … as a senior, helped lead MHS to its first Idaho 4A State Tournament berth since 2008, where the Bears finished fifth … was a 4A All-IEL selection as a sophomore … played for the Moscow United club team for six seasons and the Spokane Shadow for one year, along with fellow signee Alyssa Lloyd … helped lead the Shadow to the 2012 President’s Cup title and the 2012 Northwest Cup final.

Personal: She is the daughter of Mark and Angela Criner … has three siblings, Calin, Jackson and Brooklyn … helped MHS earn the Distinguished Team Scholastic Award … plans to major in Animal Science/Zoology at Idaho.

Coach Showler Says: “Madi is a feisty, hard-nosed player … she’s very athletic and she strikes a great ball, which is great for free kick and dead ball situations … she has pushed herself to get to that next level with skill development, and her game has just improved along with it … it’s exciting to see where this local player has developed, and I’m sure we’ll see that continue, with a lot more to come.”

Kaysha Darcy
#9, F, 5-7
Maple Valley, Wash. (Tahoma HS)
ECNL Crossfire

High School/Club: Darcy was a Washington 4A First-Team All-State forward for Tahoma High School in 2012 as a senior … also earned First-Team All-Area honors from the Tacoma News Tribune and was a First-Team All-South Puget Sound League honoree after leading THS to a 21-1 record and third-place state finish … scored the game-winning penalty kick in Tahoma’s 1-0, double-overtime win over Gig Harbor in the Washington 4A third-place game … the Bears were ranked as high as No. 7 in the nation in girls soccer by the end of the season … scored 18 goals and tallied four assists in leading THS to an 11-0 regular season … helped lead THS to a 2010 state runner-up finish … in 2011, helped the Bears to a 4A state consolation final victory … was the team’s offensive MVP in 2009 as a sophomore … also earned 2012 Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Outstanding Scholar-Athlete honors ... a five-year starter, three-year team captain and MVP with Eastside FC 94 Red club team … has competed with Crossfire Premier club team, which has been ranked as high as ninth nationally, for four years.

Personal: She is the daughter of Bob and Cindy Darcy … has two siblings, Chris and Emily … intends to major in either Business or Marketing at Idaho.

Coach Showler Says: “Kaysha is a very high-level player on a nationally-recognized team … she just puts everything together on the attacking side of the game … she’s smooth on the ball, very good technically, she’s tactically astute and she has a killer instinct when finishing opportunities … she’ll create a lot of opportunities for us offensively both with and without the ball … we look forward to her hitting the ‘ol onion bag many times in the Vandal uniform.”

Edna Ibarra
#8, F, 5-2
Bend, Ore. (Bend HS)
Oregon Rush

High School/Club: Ibarra played midfield and forward at Mountain View High School for three years before transferring to Bend High School as a senior … was a 2010 Oregon All-Star Honorable Mention in the Intermountain (6A/5A/4A) region … played for the Oregon Rush club team for nine years, along with fellow Idaho signees, Alyssa and Amanda Pease … helped lead Oregon Rush to a 2012 Bend Premier Cup title and 2012 Oregon State final, along with a 2011 Oregon State title and a 2010 Bend Premier Cup victory.

Personal: She is the daughter of Edgar and Leticia Ibarra … has one sibling, Nelida … plans to enroll in the Pre-Physical Therapy program at Idaho.

Coach Showler Says: “Edna is strong on the ball, great technically and brings a lot of upside to the game … she’s very aware tactically … she finds the little holes in defenses, sits off, creates space and produces a lot of attacking plays as a result … she’s a tenacious player who brings a lot of scrappiness and fights for every ball in the box to create those little chances, which she finishes well.”

Gabby Leong
#25, MF/F, 5-2
Upland, Calif. (Upland HS)
Slammers FC

High School/Club: Leong is a four-year varsity soccer player between Curtis High School (University Place, Wash.) and Upland High School (Upland, Calif.) … has helped the team to a 20-3 overall record and 7-1 Baseline League record so far in the 2012-13 season … the team is ranked No. 1 in California and No. 3 in the nation, according to MaxPreps.com … earned First-Team All-Baseline League honors in 2011-12 as a junior and also was a Second-Team Division 2 All-CIF Southern Section honoree … plays for the Slammers FC club team, which finished the 2011-12 season ranked third in Southern California and 13th in the nation … she helped Slammers FC win the 2011 Surf Cup … while playing with the FC Crush in 2009, she helped lead the team to a Washington state club title.

Personal: She is the daughter of Gregory Leong and Shelley Klein … she is undecided on a major at Idaho.

Coach Showler Says: “Gabby comes from one of the nation’s top club teams that competes at national championships, year in and year out … playing at that level gives her a great understanding of the technical and tactical components of the game … she’s got a great engine and can run all day … she’s a box-to-box player who creates chances for her teammates and also scores goals … the mental aspect and the focus she brings is key to us continually improving as a team.”

Alyssa Lloyd
#14, MF/F, 5-10
Colbert, Wash. (Mt. Spokane HS)
Spokane Shadow

High School/Club: Lloyd was a four-year varsity player at Mt. Spokane High School (Mead, Wash.) … a First-Team All-Greater Spokane League honoree as a senior and a Second-Team All-GSL pick in 2011 as a junior … tallied 11 goals and 11 assists as a senior in 2012 to earn Team Offensive MVP and Team MVP honors … led Mt. Spokane to a 20-1 overall record, a GSL title and a Washington 3A state runner-up finish in 2012 … a two-year team captain for the Wildcats … led MSHS to a quarterfinal state finish in 2011 … competed for the Spokane Shadow club team for three years, along with fellow signee Madi Criner … also earned NCAA recruiting attention in women’s basketball … helped lead the Spokane Shadow to a 2012 President’s Cup title and Northwest Cup final, as well as a 2010 Crossfire Nike Challenge title.

Personal: She is the daughter of John and Tamara Lloyd … has two sisters, LeAnna and Lindsay, and one brother, Joshua … a National Honor Society member with a 3.97 grade-point average … intends to major in Wildlife Resources at Idaho.

Coach Showler Says: “Alyssa is a very physically imposing player … she’s strong in the air and great on set pieces … she has great technical and tactical attributes, along with the ability to use her body to hold off players, which will allow us to add a different dimension to our game … she can play anywhere in the midfield and up top, as well … she’s very strong in holding players off and putting her technical attributes to good use in connecting well with teammates … any time you take a team to 20-0, it shows the kind of mentality and expectations you have as a player and we look forward to that translating on the pitch for Idaho.”

Madi Moore
#5, D, 5-5
Las Vegas, Nev. (Bishop Gorman HS)
Players SC 95

High School/Club: Moore helped lead Bishop Gorman High School to a 9-4 overall record, 7-2 Southwest League record and a Nevada 4A Sunset Region semifinal as a senior … was a 2012 All-Southern Nevada, All-Sunset Region and All-Southwest League selection as a senior … helped lead Bishop Gorman to a 2011-12 Southern Nevada Class 4A title and Sunset Region title as a junior … helped lead the Gaels to a 15-4-1 overall record in the 2010 season … played 14 years with the Players SC 95 and helped the team win U.S. Youth Soccer Region IV titles in 2006-07, a 2011 Surf Cup title, Nevada state titles from 2005-10 and 2012 … also participated in the Nevada Olympic Development Program from 2008-11.

Personal: She is the daughter of Michael and Donna Moore … has a twin brother, Austin … a National Honor Society, Math Student Honor, Spanish Honor Society and Scholar Student-Athlete honoree … plans to major in Psychology at Idaho.

Coach Showler Says: “Madi is a tenacious outside back … she’s a tough tackler and she’s great getting up and down the line … she has a quality left peg and could open a can of beans with that left foot … she’ll be great for us in free kick situations and putting in crosses … technically and tactically, she’s very astute and she brings a great dynamic attacking aspect to the game for an outside back … she’s got a great mentality of getting things done that spreads to others and will be a positive influence on the team.”

Crystal Oliva
#15, MF/D, 5-5
Visalia, Calif. (West Salem (Ore.) HS)
OSSA 95 Blue

High School/Club: Oliva was a four-year varsity player and a three-year starter at West Salem High School … led the Titans to a 12-3-1 overall and 9-0-1 league record, an Oregon 6A State Tournament berth and a Central Valley Conference title in 2012 as a senior … voted team MVP and as a junior and senior … A two-time First-Team All-CVC pick in 2011 and 2012 and a Second-Team selection as a sophomore in 2010 … has competed for the Oswego Southside Soccer Academy (OSSA) 95 Blue club team since 2009 … helped OSSA 95 Blue win Oregon State Cup titles in 2009, 2011 and 2012, the 2011 Northwest Champions League, Oswego Nike Cup and Surf Cup Gold Bracket titles and the 2012 OPL Winter League, Showcase of Champions and PCU Summer Classic titles … participated in the 2008 Oregon and Region IV Olympic Development Programs.

Personal: She is the daughter of Andres and Carmen Oliva … has one sister, Erika, who plays soccer at Western Oregon … was an Honor Roll student and an Oregon Dairy Farmers Academic Award recipient … undecided on a major at Idaho.

Coach Showler Says: “Crystal is a very strong player who gets the job done simply, cleanly and concisely, with no fuss … she adds a physical presence on the defensive side of the ball … she’s very composed and very effective and in the role she plays, that’s vitally important … she sees the field well and connects her passes effectively and with great composure … Crystal comes from a club program I know very well and brings the skills necessary to compete at the next level.”

Alyssa Pease
#12, F/MF, 5-3
Bend, Ore. (Bend HS)
Oregon Rush

High School/Club: Pease was a 2012 Oregon 5A All-State Second Team honoree as a senior at Bend High School after leading the team to an 11-4 overall and 4-2 conference record … helped the Lava Bears outscore opponents by a 68-15 margin during the 2012 season … earned First-Team All-Intermountain Conference honors in 2012 as a senior, Second-Team honors in 2011 as a junior and Honorable Mention in 2010 as a sophomore … helped lead the Lava Bears to a 2012 Oregon 5A state quarterfinal and a 2011 state semifinal appearance … helped lead BHS to a 2011 Intermountain Conference title … competes for the Oregon Rush club team, along with twin sister Amanda and fellow Idaho signee, Edna Ibarra … helped lead Oregon Rush to a 2012 Bend Premier Cup title and 2012 Oregon State final, along with a 2011 Oregon State title and a 2010 Bend Premier Cup victory.

Personal: She is the daughter of Mike and Patrice Pease … has a twin sister, Amanda, who is also signing with the Idaho soccer team … intends to major in Biology at Idaho.

Coach Showler Says: “Alyssa connects very well with other forwards, but also finds space in the seams and channels and consequently, she’s a very tough player to mark … she’s so effective at creating space, but is equally comfortable attacking defenders with the ball … we’re getting a very good player who brings a different dynamic to the forward line … she has great technique and tactical awareness to break teams down effectively and bring others into the game effectively.”

Amanda Pease
#11, D, 5-8
Bend, Ore. (Bend HS)
Oregon Rush

High School/Club: Pease was a 2012 Honorable Mention All-Intermountain Conference honoree as a senior at Bend High School after leading the team to an 11-4 overall and 4-2 conference record … helped the Lava Bears outscore opponents by a 68-15 margin during the 2012 season … also earned Honorable Mention All-IMC honors in 2011 as a junior … helped lead the Lava Bears to a 2012 Oregon 5A state quarterfinal and a 2011 state semifinal appearance … helped lead BHS to a 2011 Intermountain Conference title … was twice honored as the BHS Sprinter of the Year in track and field in 2011 and 2012 … competes for the Oregon Rush club team, along with twin sister Alyssa and fellow Idaho signee, Edna Ibarra … helped lead Oregon Rush to a 2012 Bend Premier Cup title and 2012 Oregon State final, along with a 2011 Oregon State title and a 2010 Bend Premier Cup victory.

Personal: She is the daughter of Mike and Patrice Pease … has a twin sister, Alyssa, who is also signing with the Idaho soccer team … intends to major in Biology at Idaho.

Coach Showler Says: “Amanda is a very athletic player who gets up and down the line like a fiddler’s elbow … being one of the top sprinters in the state of Oregon, her pace will cause teams problems … she just has endless energy and makes herself a strong presence on the pitch … she has the ability play centrally or outside and be strong in everything she does … she will add a steely-eyed determination to the defensive side, which will help everyone around her in all aspects of the game.”

Torell Stewart
#1, GK, 5-9
Highlands Ranch, Colo. (Mountain Vista HS)
Colorado Storm

High School/Club: Stewart was a four-year varsity player at Mountain Vista High School … helped lead the Golden Eagles to a 13-1-2 record and Colorado 5A state title in 2011 as a junior and a 2010 state runner-up finish … led MVHS to three-consecutive 5A Continental League titles from 2010-12 … a 2012 Second-Team All-Continental League honoree as a senior … competes for the Colorado Storm ECNL club program … helped lead the team to a 2010 Storm Classic title and 2011 Storm Classic runner-up finish, along with a 2010 Arsenal Cup runner-up finish … a Colorado ODP participant since 2008 … participated in the 2012 Denver ECNL Player Development Program … a 2013 US Soccer Player ID invitee.

Personal: She is the daughter of Daryl and Kari Stewart … has one sister, Tyla … helped MVHS earn back-to-back Colorado Academic Team Champion honors in 2011 and 2012 … National Honor Society  and Spanish National Honor Society member … undecided on a major at Idaho.

Coach Showler Says: “Torell has great hands and is a physical presence in the nets … she adds an authority in the box, controls the defense very well with great communication and plays well with her feet … she has a good vocal aspect to her game, which helps her connect all the dots well with the defensive unit … she brings a lot of positives to the goalkeeping position.”
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