Our Banana Slugs Women's soccer team would like to introduce our incoming recruits for the 2019 season.
A large 2019 incoming class was the goal for the upcoming season after graduating 8 seniors at the conclusion of the 2018 Fall season. "Our program is excited for our new players joining us in the fall," Head Coach Lauren Nadler said. "We are really looking forward to seeing what this class can contribute on the field as well as off."
Here's a look at the fifteen incoming players for Fall 2019:
Alyssa Diaz-Tucker, Goalkeeper, San Diego, CA (Bonita Vista HS/Albion DA)
Joining us from San Diego, Alyssa is a communicative goalkeeper who played club with Albion DA. A graduate of Bonita Vista High School, Alyssa garnered a number of academic accolades including CA Scholarship Federation Life Member, Principal's Honor Roll, AP Scholar with Honor, Special Congressional Achievement in the Arts (2018 & 2019), BVHS Standard of Excellence Award for Outstanding Performance in the Arts, and was a Seal of Biliteracy Recipient.
Alyssa came to UCSC because she fell in love with the school's unparalleled beauty, with its close proximity to the beach, and the forest. Alyssa was also eager to be a part of UCSC's women's soccer team after seeing how much the current players enjoyed playing under the current program. She is so excited to be a slug!
Caitlin Pieper, Midfielder, Valencia, CA (Hart HS/Real SoCal)
Midfielder Caitlin Pieper hails from Valencia, CA. In addition to playing club with Real SoCal, Caitlin played 3 years on Varsity at Hart High School, winning 3 league titles, was team captain for the 2018-2019 season, and earned All Foothill League Second Team honors. Caitlin is a four-year Scholar Athlete Award winner, three-year Academic Excellence Award Winner and Hart High School Honor Scholar while also a member of the California Scholarship Federation.
Caitlin chose UCSC because she knew she wanted to stay in California for college. She loves the beach, but also loves the forest and Santa Cruz is the perfect mix of the two. In addition, UCSC affords her the opportunity for a good education along with the opportunity to play soccer.
Celine Ertekin, Forward, Danville, CA (Monta Vista HS/Mustang ECNL Composite)
Forward Celine Ertekin joins the Slugs from Danville, CA. She played club with Mustang ECNL Composite. Ertekin has a great work ethic and a nose for goal. She helped her team to a league championship in 2018. A strong student in the classroom, Celine was awarded Student of Excellence, the Biliteracy Award, and received the Junior Achievement Women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) acknowledgment.
Celine made the decision to come to UC Santa Cruz when she was 10 years old and played in a tournament on campus. Being by the water but also being in the hills of Santa Cruz felt like home.
UCSC was one of the top schools of research for Celine's neuroscience major and she liked its close proximity to where she grew up. Going to Santa Cruz also gave her the opportunity and privilege to play soccer and there was no doubt in her mind that UCSC was where she wanted to be.
Chella Grattet, Forward, Davis, CA (Davis HS/Davis Legacy ECNL)
A threat up top, Chella Grattet joins the Slugs after playing with Davis Legacy ECNL. She earned numerous athletic achievements, including being named Blue Devil Athlete of the Week in the Davis Enterprise . Grattet helped her club team to become an ECNL Finalist (2018) as well as led them to the NPL Championship (2017) and several Surf Cup Championships (2016, 2017, 2018). Academically, Chella earned Congressional Commendation and competed in the US Congressional Art Competition.
Chella will be studying human biology and would eventually like to specialize in medicine. She decided to attend UC Santa Cruz because it offered her the chance to play soccer at the NCAA level. Chella feels that the women's soccer team has a knowledgeable coach and serious student-athletes who are competitive but also supportive and fun. Chella says: "the campus is gorgeous, and if you're going to work hard, why not be by the ocean, surrounded by redwood forests? Attending UCSC is a dream come true for me. Everyone I know who went there had a positive experience and loved being part of the Banana Slugs community and I know I will too."
Eleanor Spiller, Defender, San Diego, CA (Our Lady Peace Academy/Albion DA & DPL)
Defender Eleanor Spiller brings great experience building out of the back along with excellent one-on-one defending. She helped Academy of Our Lady Peace to the 2018 CIF Southern Section Championship and her team won League Championships in both 2018 and 2019. In 2019, Eleanor was named All League First Team and was named to the San Diego Union Tribune All-Academic Team in 2018 and 2019. A member of the National Honor Society, Eleanor received Scholar Athlete and Head of School Honor Roll recognition all four years.
Eleanor chose UC Santa Cruz because of the amazing and supportive environment on and off the soccer field. Eleanor says, "Santa Cruz provides me with the opportunity to study at a high end university in a grand setting. I love that Santa Cruz is not only in the forest but also close to the ocean and a fantastic town. Overall the biggest reason I chose Santa Cruz was because of the wonderful people I met while visiting. Every single person I talked to about the school seemed extremely happy and passionate about being a Banana Slug. This contagious positive energy is why I chose to attend UCSC."
Julia Hernandez, Midfielder, Altadena, CA (Alemany HS/Swap FC)
A creative midfielder, Julia Hernandez joins UC Santa Cruz's roster after an excellent academic and athletic career at Alemany High School. Julia was Summa Cum Laude four times and earned an AP Capstone diploma as well as AP Scholar. She is a two-time First Team All-League, two-time Alemany MVP, Sunshine League Defensive MVP, and led her team to two Sunshine League Championships.
Julia came to UC Santa Cruz for many reasons, but the environment and personality of the school confirmed her decision. Not only is the campus is a natural beauty engulfed in California's beautiful landscape, UC Santa Cruz drew Julia's attention because of the overwhelming support, tolerance, and openness the community had . Julia felt that UCSC is so welcoming and eager to satisfy each student to make everyone feel comfortable with their race, religion, sexual orientation, interests, and ideas. Hernandez says "I specifically chose UCSC because of the amazing opportunities granted to me as a result of soccer. The team and coaches reflected their UCSC hospitality unto me and worked with me to improve myself as an athlete and team player."
Karina Bulli, Forward/Midfielder, Oceanside, CA (Fallbrook HS/Oceanside Breakers)
Karina Bulli comes to UC Santa Cruz after graduating from Fallbrook High School in the top 5% of her class. She played four years of varsity soccer at Fallbrook, helping her team win the league championship her senior year. Karina played her club ball with Oceanside Breakers where she led her team to a win in the Super Y-League National Finals.
Karina chose to attend UCSC because of its location. With the beach right next door and the redwoods on the campus, she feels like it's a beautiful place to live that it has a very good bioengineering program that she plans to study. Karina also came to UCSC because it has many fun outdoor campus activities as well as a good athletics program. Karina says "who wouldn't want to be a Banana Slug?"
Katie Herm, Midfielder, Redondo Beach, CA (Redondo Union HS/LA Breakers ECNL)
Midfielder Katie Herm is a smart and technical player who attended Redondo Union High School and graduated with a 4.2 GPA in the top 7% of her class. She keeps the ball well in tight spaces and sends dangerous balls behind the opposition's back line. Katie joins the Slugs after playing club ball with the LA Breakers ECNL team.
Katie chose to attend UCSC because of the countless opportunities available and because she felt like it was a great school for any science major she wanted to pursue. Katie is excited to have the chance to play soccer. She says "overall, the people, campus, and atmosphere fit my personality perfectly!"
Maya Gonzales, Forward, Orange, CA (Rosary HS/LA Galaxy OC)
A patient and consistent worker, Maya Gonzales graduated from Rosary High School where she was a four-year Varsity athlete. Gonzales earned Trinity League Honorable Mention in 2018 and Offensive MVP in 2019. She received Principal Honors all four years as well as the Royal Achievement in American Sign Language.
Initially, Maya liked that UCSC is a larger university with a diverse student body which will allow her to meet many people that she hopes will turn into lifelong friends. She also fell in love with the campus because of the beautiful forest scenery surrounding it, while still being very close to the beach. However, one of the main reasons Maya chose UCSC was because of the people she met. She said "everyone I encountered, especially the women's soccer program, was extremely welcoming and kind towards me and all genuinely care about the well being of others. I am very excited to attend UCSC in the fall!!"
Nicole Chu, Goalkeeper, Clovis, CA (Buchanan HS/Clovis Crossfire)
Honor Roll and Principal Honor Roll student Nicole Chu calls Clovis, CA home. Coming from Clovis Crossfire, Chu's team was ranked #2 in the nation. She helped her club team win both Davis Legacy and Surf Cup tournaments. While playing for Floyd Buchanan High School, Chu won the Valley Championship.
Nicole always knew she wanted to major in art and have the opportunity to play soccer. She was excited that UCSC had everything she was looking for. Along with this, she also found that everyone she met at the school was very welcoming, the location was beautiful, and felt like she fit in. Nicole says "college is a big step and I feel relieved that I will be attending a school that makes me feel at home."
Sam Scarlett, Defender/Forward, San Diego, CA (Steele Canyon HS/San Diego United)
Sam Scarlett is a player who communicates quickly and effectively with those around her. Scarlett earned MVP her Freshman year, Best Offensive Player her Sophomore year, and helped Steele Canyon HS win the DI CIF Championship. Sam graduated with a 4.34 GPA, and also plays tennis and piano. High academics and an opportunity to keep playing soccer were just some of the reasons Sam came to play for the Slugs.
She says "I visited the campus and saw myself attending Santa Cruz and growing not only as a student, but also as a person. I feel UCSC will be a great fit for me all around."
Shae Kober, Midfielder, San Francisco, CA (Drew School/SF Elite Academy)
A strong and athletic player who distributes the ball well, Shae Kober comes to UC Santa Cruz from the Drew School. The midfielder was named First Team All Conference all four years, won the Sophomore Leadership Award (2017), Drew Teammate Award (2018), and also received the Alumni Award (2019). In her senior year she was named Female High School Athlete of the Year out of almost 300 students who attend Drew.
Growing up in San Francisco, Shae thought that UCSC would be a nice change of pace from living in a busy city. Shae will study Marine Biology. She says, "I did a lot of research on the program and the classes I would need to take for my major and it just felt like there would be a lot of great opportunities for me at UC Santa Cruz."
Sophia Makarem, Defender/Forward, Los Angeles, CA (Westridge HS/LA Breakers ECNL)
Sophia Makarem brings her speed and intelligence to the team. She played club with LA Breakers ECNL where she led the team to two Surf Cup Semifinalist finishes and Westridge high school team to the 2nd Round of CIF playoffs. Makarem also made an impact on the school's track and field team, where she was a 2nd Round CIF qualifier (100m, 200m, 4x100, 4x400). Sophia also served as ASB Vice President.
Sophia says, "I chose UCSC for many reasons; one being its fantastic location and close proximity to my home town of Los Angeles. I also chose Santa Cruz because of the opportunity to play Division III soccer on a team led by a great coach and mentor in Coach Nadler. Lastly, I also chose UCSC because of its rigorous academics and the variety of majors that are offered here."
Tea Lopes, Defender, Rohnert Park, CA (Highline College)
Transfer Tea Lopes joins UC Santa Cruz from Highline College where she received her Associates Degree in Psychology. She is an excellent one on one defender who makes quick decisions and is able to join the attack. Lopes was an integral part of Highline College winning the Northwest Athletic Conference Championship in 2017.
Tea chose to come to UC Santa Cruz because of its beautiful peaceful welcoming campus. Every time she steps onto campus, she can't help but smile. Lopes says "The beautiful redwood trees make the campus feel so fresh, relaxing, and stress-free. In my eyes, these attributes help contribute to a perfect learning environment. I love UC Santa Cruz for what it is and I cannot wait to attend the school in the Fall of 2019."
Tianna Knox, Defender/Forward, Chula Vista, CA (Eastlake HS/Albion DA)
Tianna Knox is another great addition who is strong on and off the ball. She helped her Eastlake High School team win the CIF Open Division (2017) after winning the 2017 Mesa League Championship. Knox participated in both Varsity soccer and track during the 2016-2017 season. She has been part of the U.S Development Academy since 2017. Tianna's academic accolades include Principal's Honor Roll and receiving the Seal of Biliteracy.
Tianna will be a biology major and decided to become a Slug because UC Santa Cruz had a great science program and also to continue her soccer career.