Saint Louis University head women’s soccer coach Katie Shields has announced that six student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to attend the University and play for the Billikens. All six players will have four years of eligibility beginning next fall.
The new Billikens are defender Kacey Bright (Fenton, Mo./Rockwood Summit), forward Kirsten Clemens (Platte City, Mo./Platte County), midfielder Tori Marshall (Noblesville, Ind./Noblesville), defender Alyssa Mastroianni (Carol Stream, Ill./St. Francis), forward/midfielder Cristina Rodriguez (St. Charles, Mo./St. Dominic) and midfielder Shaney Sakamoto (Waipahu, Hawaii/Kamehameha-Kapalama).
“This is an exciting first recruiting class for our coaching staff,” Shields said. “We were committed to bringing in players who understand our goals and are committed to helping us reach them.
“All six players share our program vision to return SLU women’s soccer to national prominence, and they are excited to be part of building a championship-level program,” Shields said. “I am confident they will push our program forward and provide us with an immediate spark in the fall of 2013.”
As a junior, Kacey Bright was named to the Missouri Class 3 All-State second team and the All-Metro third team, and she collected a third consecutive Suburban South All-Conference nod. She is a two-time Rockwood Summit Defensive Player of the Year.
Bright recently garnered a four-star rating and the No. 11 Heartland Region ranking from Top Drawer Soccer. She participated in the Elite Clubs National League/id2 Elite Regional Player Development Program last February and was a member of the ECNL U17 All-Event Team at the Phoenix National Showcase in 2011.
A member of St. Louis Scott Gallagher Elite since 2003, Bright has been a team captain since 2009. She has competed with the club in the ECNL the past four years and helped lead Scott Gallagher Elite to the 2008 Missouri State Cup title. Bright also was a member of the 2010-11 Missouri ODP team and participated in the 2011 Region II ODP camp.
“Kacey is a hard-nosed, hard-working defender who will compete for a spot on our backline immediately,” Shields said. “She is a smart and technical defender who will fit seamlessly into our style of play.”
Kirsten Clemens earned a spot on the All-District and All-Conference first teams as a junior, a year in which she also captured Class 2 All-Kansas City plaudits for a second straight season. She was named to the Missouri Class 2 All-State first team as a sophomore and is a two-time recipient of Platte County’s Offensive Player of the Year, Golden Boot and Silver Boot awards.
Clemens helped lead her Harambe Viati club team to several championships, including the 2012 Missouri State Cup crown. She was a member of the Missouri ODP team from 2009-11.
Clemens also excelled in softball and basketball. She was a second-team All-District choice as a junior and a two-time All-Conference honorable-mention selection in softball, and she was named All-Conference honorable mention in basketball her junior year. Clemens is a National Honor Society member and a four-year Principal’s Honor Roll student who will graduate with 12 varsity letters.
“Kirsten is a fierce competitor with a strong desire to score goals,” Shields said. “She will provide our attack with speed and a relentless work rate that puts opponents under extreme pressure for 90 minutes.”
A team captain and three-year starter, Tori Marshall collected All-State, first-team All-District and Hoosier Crossroads All-Conference honors and was named to the Indianapolis Star Indy Super Team as a senior. She earned a second-team All-District nod in her junior campaign.
Marshall was a Region II ODP participant last year and a member of the ODP state team in 2010 and 2011. She has played the past two years with Carmel United’s ECNL team.
Marshall twice has received All-Academic laurels and is a National Honor Society member. She competed in track and field as a sophomore and junior and was a member of Noblesville’s state championship team her sophomore season.
“Tori possesses a unique combination of technical sophistication and tactical understanding of the game at a high level,” Shields said. “She provides creativity and athleticism to her team. Her ability to penetrate out of the midfield and her defensive work rate make her a valuable midfielder for our program.”
Ally Mastroianni helped St. Francis post a 24-3 record and win the Illinois 2A state title in her junior campaign. She was part of a backline that posted 17 shutouts and allowed only 11 goals all season. Mastroianni was a freshman starter on the 2010 St. Francis squad that captured the region crown and reached the sectional final.
Mastroianni is a member of the NSA Premier U18 team that won the MRL regional championship and the Eclipse Challenge Cup in 2012. During her time as a member of the Chicago Fire Juniors, the club registered numerous achievements including two regional championships, a berth in the national final, an MRL title and an Illinois State Cup crown. She served two years as a team co-captain.
“Ally is a central defender with excellent vision and tactical understanding of the game,” Shields said. “She has the ability to set plays for us in the central-defender role and organize the backline.”
Cristina Rodriguez was tabbed the Class 2 Missouri Player of the Year, first-team All-Metro and All-Midwest in her junior campaign. Twice she has earned first-team All-State and All-District accolades, and she is a three-time All-Conference performer.
Rodriguez helped St. Dominic win the 2012 Missouri Class 2 state championship as well as its second consecutive district title and third straight conference crown. A member of the Tony Glavin Soccer Club, she has participated in ODP and was named a St. Louis Soccer Hall of Fame Future Star.
Rodriguez is a National Honor Society member and an honor roll student.
“Cristina is a dynamic, attacking-minded player who has the ability to be a playmaker in the midfield or a goal scorer up front,” Shields said. “She possesses a high soccer IQ and has the technical ability to break down an opponent’s defense.”
Shaney Sakamoto will serve as Kamehameha-Kapalama’s team captain this season, her fourth campaign with the varsity team. She was chosen to the All-State first team as a junior, helping lead the Warriors to the Division 1 state championship and the ILH league title.
As a member of Leahi ’96 Premier, Sakamoto has played on teams that have won the Hawaii State Cup crown and the HYSA state title five consecutive years. She also plays with Leahi W1, which has captured three straight league championships. Sakamoto was a member of the Hawaii ODP team from 2008 to 2011 and was selected for the ODP Region IV pool in 2010.
“Shaney is a technical master with the ball,” Shields said. “We want to possess the ball, and Shaney fits our model perfectly. She is a good soccer player with strong leadership qualities. Her mentality and competitive desire to win will continue to push our program to a championship level.”