NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont women's soccer head coach Heather Henson announced the addition of eight standouts during the National Signing Period. The Bruins will welcome Karen Baker (Midland, Mich.), Jessi Boozer (Brentwood, Tenn.), Sarah Bossung (Nashville, Tenn.), Gabby Field (Medina, Ohio), Sarah Laws (Naperville, Ill.), Megan Michela (Carol Stream, Ill.), Allison Svoboda (Lisle, Ill.) and Emily Whitcomb (Elmhurst, Ill.) in the Fall of 2015.
"I want to thank the staff - from soccer to academics to compliance for their tireless work over the last two years to secure this 2015 freshman class," said Henson. "These ladies are well rounded as a group and they bring versatility to our program."
Karen Baker, a versatile midfielder/defender, will join the Bruins after wrapping her senior season at Herbert Henry Dow High in Midland, Mich. She helped her HHDHS team to District and Regionals championships in 2012. That same season, Baker and her teammates were state quarterfinalists.
"Karen is a back who can also play several other positions. She is great going forward, can strike a quality ball and is a tenacious player who will never give up," Henson said. "She will bring depth to our wide positions."
Highly decorated native of Brentwood, Jessi Boozer, brings championship experience to the Bruins in the fall after helping her Brentwood High team win the Tennessee Class AAA title during her career. During her career at Brentwood High, Boozer, a two-time Player of the Year honoree, was a three-time All-District selection and garnered other accolades including All-State, and being invited to the 2014 Tennessee All-Star game.
"Jessi makes players around her look great. She has an attacking mindset, great vision of the game and a great work ethic. She can play attacking or holding and is a tremendous ball winner in the air and on the ground. She is also technical sound to score goals," Henson said.
Adding depth to the midfield will be another Tennessean, Sarah Bossung. The Nashville native led her Father Ryan High team in goals scored as a sophomore. The defensive specialist only collected more accolades over her career. Bossung was named First Team All-State twice, All-Region twice, First Team All-State and was tabbed Region Player of the Year.
"Composed and intelligent are the words I would use to describe Sarah as a soccer player. She can play anywhere along the back line because she sees the game as a soccer player first and whatever position she is playing second," Henson said. "Watching her play, you see someone who is constantly evaluating the game and solving situations. Sarah will be a problem solver on the field and will add composure and patience when we need it."
Joining the Bruins after concluding her career at Medina Senior High in Medina, Ohio is Gabby Field. This versatile athlete, who brings regional, state and international championship experience, could see time in midfield and the back for the Bruins. At MHS, Field was a four-year starter who helped her team to a conference championship in 2014 and a district championship the year before. She was tabbed Northeast Ohio Conference Honorable Mention and earned Freshman of Year honors.
"Gabby is a versatile player that can play both attacking and defending roles," Henson said. "Her s true team first approach and her work ethic and her ability to read the game should make her successful immediately here at Belmont."
Sarah Laws will add depth to the Bruins' corps of forwards when she joins the team in the fall. The native of Naperville, Ill., will join BU after completing her decorated career at Waubonsie Valley High where she was a varsity player all four years. She also helped her WVHS team to compete at State during her junior year. Laws and her teammates were also conference champions during the 2013-14 season.
"Sarah provides a dangerous threat as an attacking player," Henson said. "Her speed and strength will cause problems for opponents. We expect Sarah to become increasingly dangerous throughout her career."
Also adding depth to the midfield is newcomer Megan Michela, who will join the Bruins after wrapping her career at Glenbard North High in Carol Stream, Ill. She received honorable mention for her play with GNHS and also saw one year of ODP action, where she helped her team to the EINL playoffs two consecutive years.
"Megan is a great possession oriented center mid who will fit in perfectly with our style. She is composed and can play anywhere in the midfield," Henson said. "Megan will make her teammates better by her daily work ethic."
Another versatile athlete from Illinois joining the team is Allison Svoboda. Hailing from Naperville North High, she helped her team to the 2013 IHSA State Championship and went on to earn Second Team All-Conference honors. Svoboda, who was a standout on her ODP and club teams, could see time up front or in the midfield for BU.
"Allison has excellent pace and a competitor's mentality," Henson said. "She is a well-balanced soccer player with the ability to contribute on both the attacking and defensive side of the ball. Allison's strengths will contribute to Belmont's scoring opportunities over the next four years."
Emily Whitcomb, another native of Illinois, rounds out this year's signing class. She will join the Bruins after completing her career at York Community High in Elmhurst, Ill. Whitcomb was named All-Conference as a junior and helped her YCHS team to a regional championship title.
"Emily is a strong competitive holding center mid who will do whatever the team needs to be successful. She is great in possession and is a true presence in the midfield as a ball winner," said Henson. "She fits our style perfectly, both defensively and offensively."
"Collectively, this class brings both athleticism and skill. They understand the commitment it takes to excel and win both on the field and in the classroom. I welcome our 2015 class to our Belmont Bruin Soccer Family," Henson said.