Women' Soccer Adds 10 Freshmen to 2012 Roster

June 25, 2012
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Courtesy: UNC Asheville
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - UNC Asheville women's soccer coach Michelle Demko has announced that the Bulldogs will have 10 newcomers on their roster in 2012.

All 10 newcomers are freshmen and the third-year Asheville coach is excited about what the new Bulldogs can bring to this year's club.

"We believe we've brought in 10 high-quality student-athletes who will help us starting this fall," declared Demko.

Below is a list of each new player, what they accomplished in their prep and club careers along with a quote from Coach Demko.

Melanie Cuisi, 5-4, Defender, Sanford HS, Triangle Football Club, Fayetteville, N.C.

Highlights: Four-year scholar athlete...earned All-Conference honors three times...team captain as a senior...also lettered in basketball, tennis and track and field.

Coach Demko Says: "Melanie comes to us with the ability to play as a defender or in the midfield.  She understands the tactics of both positions well.  Her ability to read the game and step to intercept passes is a strong quality from Melanie.  She will be used in that role and helping spring counter attacks for us.  She is a tremendously focused individual. We are lucky to have Melanie join us this fall."

Kennedy Garrett, 5-6, Forward, Panther Creek HS, CASL, Cary, N.C.

Highlights: All-Conference as a senior...served as team captain senior year.

Coach Demko Says: "Kennedy is a highly competitive forward.  She is dangerous in and around the box doing whatever it takes to put the ball in the back of the net.  She is comfortable playing with her back to goal or faced up at her opponents.  What sets Kennedy apart is her ability to play with a physical presence and be comfortable under pressure with the ball at her feet.  What I like about Kennedy is her mentality, and competitive nature, in the final third.  She will fight for every opportunity she gets.  I look forward to watching Kennedy grow and improving the strength of our program."

Allie Jacobius, 5-4, Defender, Reagan HS, 93' Lady Twins White, Winston-Salem, N.C.

Highlights: Four-year starter for Reagan...earned Player of the Week honors as s senior...2011 MVP and team captain for club team.

Coach Demko Says: "I am please Allie decided to join our program for four years.  Her fundamental understanding of the game is quite good because she plays for a high-level club team.  She is a solid defender who will add instant depth to our current backline.  She has an attacking mentality which ties in nicely with our backs getting forward and initiating our attack.  I look for Allie to challenge the players to be better around her, as well as help set the daily standard of excellence in our program."

Rachel Kish, 5-7, Defender, Reagan HS, NC Fusion Elite, Winston-Salem, N.C.

Highlights: Earned All-Region and All-Conference honors as a senior.

Coach Demko Says: "Rachel is a central defender who will add sophistication to our backline with her tactical knowledge and ability to organize our defense.  She is extremely confident on the ball and does well to connect passes under pressure.  She is relentless in her pursuit of the ball and has the ability to raise the level of those around her.  Rachel has a high commitment to the game and becoming a better player, as well as a better teammate, every time she steps on the field.  She will come to UNC Asheville and raise the bar of excellence on a daily basis."

Shenny Lenhart, 5-6, Midfield, Reynolds HS, Highlands Football Club, Asheville, N.C.

Highlights: Four-year All-Region and All-State...2011 and 2012 Western North Carolina Player of the Year...scored more than 100 goals in her career...helped lead Reynolds to state playoff for four straight years...selected to play in the Clash of the Carolinas All-Star game in Charleston, S.C. later this summer...will also play in the North Carolina East-West All-Star game in Greensboro in July.

Coach Demko Says: "As a midfielder, Shenny is one of the most versatile and creative players on our roster.    She could find herself playing multiple positions during her career.  Shenny is technically gifted, can read the game extremely well and has an enormous presence attacking and defending.   Her ability to be a successful linking player at the next level will help Shenny have a seamless transition to the college game.  Shenny's personality can easily take over games and put us in a better position to win.  She will be a big piece of our puzzle here at UNC Asheville."

Kelsey Palmer, 5-4, Defender, Forward, Lake Norman HS, Lake Norman Soccer Club, Mooresville, N.C.

Highlights: All-Conference and All-Region performer in high school in 2011...Region ODP team in 2011 and was invited to U19 National ODP Camp that summer...ran track for two years and was a regional qualifier in the 200.

Coach Demko Says: "Kelsey graduated high school early to enroll in classes at UNC Asheville starting this past January.  She has experienced the benefits of being on campus prior to her first fall season.  Kelsey will be an immediate impact at the outside back position.  She has great speed that compliments her abilities to get into the attacking third.  She does a great job knowing when and how to initiate runs from the backline.  The transition has been seamless for Kelsey, as she has played a familiar style, and system, for a few years with her club team.  In addition, Kelsey is also comfortable playing as a forward and may find herself in that position should games dictate that move for us."

Bethany Spano, 5-3, Forward, Southlake Christian Academy, Lake Norman Soccer Club, Huntersville, NC

Highlights: All-Conference and All-State as a senior...led team in scoring in 2012 and was named team MVP...also served as team captain.

Coach Demko Says: "I am pleased to add another dynamic forward to our 2012 class.  Bethany has explosive speed and a "go-to-goal" mentality.  She understands how to break a line and get in behind defenders.  Bethany will be a handful for opponents due to her ability to create space and take a shot on goal.  She is very good running at defenders in the final third.  Bethany will continuously push a back line to stretch defenders so she can penetrate through the gaps.  We are a more dangerous team with Bethany on our roster."

Alex Stradford, 5-5, Defender, Wakefield HS, CASL, Wake Forest, N.C.

Highlights: Earned All-State honors as a defender...team captain senior year...ODP player

Coach Demko Says: "Alex comes from CASL, a premier club in the country, so her knowledge of defending will be excellent.  She might find herself playing anywhere on the backline, as she possess the tools to play in the center or on the outside.  Alex's speed is a huge asset to her ability to get forward into the attack."

Paige Trent, 5-6, Forward, Mt. Tabor HS, NC Fusion Elite, Winston-Salem, N.C.

Highlights: All-State and All-Region player as a senior...four-year starter at Mt. Tabor...led team with 11 goals last spring...served as team captain.

Coach Demko Says: "Paige will be one of our most dynamic forwards on the roster.  She is incredibly explosive with and without the ball.  Paige has the ability to cover ground quickly while attacking or defending.  She is very good one-versus-one and her speed, and technical ability; allow her to get in behind players.  Paige wants the ball in the final third and thrives on accepting responsibility for the team and the outcome.  Paige will wear opponents down because she is always on the move scheming for the ball.  I look for big things from her career at UNC Asheville."

Bria West, 5-4, Midfield, West Ottawa HS, West Michigan Hawks, West Olive, Mich.

Highlights: Three-year starter, team captain and All-Conference performer.

Coach Demko Says:"Bria is the complete soccer player.  She is extremely technical, watches the game, trains on her own, studies the game, helps her teammates and accepts nothing but the best from herself.  She is focused on becoming a better player daily.  Bria, a midfielder, will have an immediate impact on our program.   She will demand a higher level of commitment from her teammates that will aid in our future success.  Bria is comfortable playing any role in the midfield.  She is a great linking player who likes to get forward in the attack.  She will also keep us organized and make sure we are balanced in the midfield.  I am thrilled Bria is joining our program for four years; she will help others understand what it takes to be a committed soccer player."


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