PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania women’s soccer program’s head coach, Darren Ambrose, has announced his incoming class. Seven women will join the program in August for preseason practices.
This is a very talented class for our program,” said Ambrose, who enters his 15th season at the helm in 2014. “A lot of credit goes to assistant coach Ken Masuhr, our coordinator, who really helped bring these young women to Penn. We knew we needed to replace several key contributors in our attack, and I think we have been able to do that. In addition, we have added some athleticism up top and deepened our midfield. I am really looking forward to having these young women come into Penn and contribute to getting us from second to first in the Ivy League.”
Penn will be looking to improve on an exceptional 2013 season, when the Quakers finished 12-1-4 overall -- setting a school record for fewest losses -- and finished second in the Ivy League at 5-1-1. Penn returns 15 letterwinners from last year’s team, including six starters and a trio of first-team All-Ivy players in juniors Caroline Dwyer, Erin Mikolai and Kalijah Terilli.
High School: Did not play soccer at her high school … Club team is Texas Rush … Region III Girls Team member … Interregional Training Event (Feb. 2011) and Camp (Nov. 2011) … As a guest player with Colorado Rush, finalist at Jefferson Cup and Manchester United Premier Cup U.S. Finals … ACT 30 and Above Club … Beta Club … HOSA … DECA … Haiti Medical Missions of Memphis 24 Hour Tour d’Sprit … Special Education Prom Assistant.
Personal: Daughter of Svetlana and David Davenport … Will enroll in the Wharton School of Business.
Coach Ambrose: “Natasha is a great 1v1 artist with the ball, and she loves running at defenders which is a rare skill in today’s game. She adds some creativity and diversity to our attacking core.”
High School: Four-year letterwinner in soccer, captain as a senior … Helped team to ECNL Southeast Division title in 2012 (11-1-4) … Three-team all-state, four-time all-conference … Club team is Charlotte Soccer Academy … Two-time team MVP … Also lettered once in basketball and swimming … Mu Alpha Theta, Rho Kappa … National English Honor Society and National Spanish Honor Society member … Cum Laude member … AP Calculus Award in 2013 … AP Scholar With Honors … National Merit Scholarship Competition finalist … Academic Prefect … Head Girl in residence house.
Personal: Daughter of Lynna and Kent Estep … Will enroll in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Coach Ambrose: “Anna is a true target player, she has a physical presence on the field. She holds the ball up well with her back to goal, and also can strike a ball with tremendous power.”
Los Altos Hills, Calif.
High School: Lettered four times in soccer, two-year captain … Helped Mountain View to De Anza Division league titles in 2011 and 2014, and Central Coast Section championship in 2012 … 2013 SCVAL League MVP … Three-time first-team all-league …Three-time Scholar Athlete Award recipient … Club team is MVLA … Certificate of Outstanding Achievement in Physics and Chemistry … California Scholarship Federation … With family, created Animal Assisted Help (AAH) in 2009, a farm where children with special needs can interact with animals and find happiness; has been AAH Club President since 2011.
Personal: Daughter of Vicki Amon-Higa and Peter Higa … Father played college soccer at Harvey Mudd College … Older brother, Greg, played club soccer at Cal Poly … Will enroll in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Coach Ambrose: “I am really looking forward to seeing Erica in a Penn uniform. She is one of the most technically gifted players we have brought to Penn in my tenure. She is quick and agile and so intelligent with her movement. She plays so much bigger than her size and will bring something different to our midfield.”
High School: Four-year letterwinner in soccer and track & field … Captain of both … In soccer, two-time all-state, All-West Jersey and all-conference … Two-time team Irons Award winner and MVP … Club team is PDA, also a member of New Jersey and Region 1 ODP … In winter track & field, second-team all-state and all-conference in the high jump … In spring track & field, sectional champion in the javelin … National Honor Society member … Student ambassador … Special Education Leader … Latin Club … InterAct and Able Club member.
Personal: Daughter of Susan and Joe Kennedy … Father played baseball at San Diego State as well as in the California Angels farm system … Will enroll in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Coach Ambrose: “Jill will be a tremendous physical presence on the field in our back line. She is a very capable defender, and also brings a very dangerous long throw that will cause trouble in the final third.”
High School: Three-year letterwinner in soccer, captain as a senior … Two-time first-team all-league (second-team in 2012 after an injury) … Second-team all-state in 2011 … Club team is Crossfire Premier … Also lettered once in basketball.
Personal: Daughter of Lora and Parker Mason … Will enroll in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Coach Ambrose: “We are excited to have Darby join us this fall. She has the ability to set foot in our midfield and contribute straight away. She has great feet and a very composed head on her shoulders. Her distribution is one of her strengths which will fit well in our midfield.”
High School: Lettered in soccer and track & field, captain of each team … In soccer, led Strath Haven to four Central League titles including an unbeaten campaign in 2012 … That 2012 team also won District I championship … Central League MVP, NSCAA All-Region, PA Soccer Coaches Association first team, Philadelphia Inquirer “Player to Watch,” and Southeast Pennsylvania Soccer Coaches Association second team as a senior … Two-time first-team All-Central League and All-Delaware County … Club team is FC Continential … In track, Delaware County champion in the 800 in indoor track in 2013 … Also in indoor, New Balance All-America in the DMR in 2012 … Member of state champion 4x800 relay team during 2012 outdoor track season … All-Delaware County first team in 2012, second team in 2013 … Holds or part of five school records in track: indoor 300, outdoor 400, indoor 4x400 relay, outdoor 4x400 relay, outdoor DMR … National Honor Society member … Haven Interact Service Club … Panther Pals member (club works with mentally handicapped kids at Strath Haven HS) … Religious education teacher.
Personal: Daughter of Jeanne and Charles Miller … Older sister, Ashley, played soccer at Gettysburg College … Will enroll in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Coach Ambrose: “Kristen is an athlete with pace and power. She is a also a natural goal scorer. She finds the net in many different ways, and we feel she can also figure into our attacking scheme early this fall.”
Chester Springs, Pa.
Owen J. Roberts
High School: Lettered three times in soccer, once in track & field … Helped team to Pac-10 title in 2010 … NSCAA Female All-State and All-Region II in 2012 … Second-team All-Southern PA … Pac-10 All-Conference team … Club team is FC Continental.
Personal: Daughter of Rosalita and Michel Provini … Will enroll in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Coach Ambrose: “Jules is a great athlete with speed and power. She is capable of beating players off of the dribble, and has the ability to score goals. We expect her to work her way in our front line this fall.”