DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University women’s soccer head coach Robbie Church announced the addition of five commitments for the 2006 campaign on Friday. KayAnne Gummersall of Wilmette, Ill., Jane Alukonis of Cocoa Beach, Fla., Sara Murphy of Mendham, N.J., CJ Ludemann of Holtsville, N.Y. and Elizabeth Redmond of Morristown, N.J., will all attend Duke University in the fall and play soccer. The class has been tabbed the third-best in the nation by Soccer Buzz, which marks the highest ranking for a recruiting class in Duke school history under Church.
“Obviously we are very excited to have this class, because I think they bring a number of things to Duke and our women’s soccer program,” said Church. “First of all, these student-athletes are all great young ladies and have outstanding character. They have an excellent work ethic which has carried them to a higher level in their high school and club play. I think all of them are going to bring a lot of things to the university, both on and off the field.”
A player-by-player listing is below:
5-8 • Forward • Wilmette, Ill. • New Trier H.S.
Soccer Buzz top-50 recruit ... three-time All-State and Chicago Tribune All-State selection ... scored 90 career goals and collected 52 assists at New Trier ... Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior ... Sun Times 2005 Player of the Year ... member of 2003, ‘04, ‘05, ‘06 State IL ODP team ... member of Region II team from 2003-06 ... played on the U-17 National Team ... led her high school team to the 2003 & 2004 State Championship and 2005 state runner-up ... as a junior, led her New Trier H.S. team to a 29-1 overall record, while posting 40 goals and 21 assists ... NSCAA All-America and EA Sports All-America ... as a sophomore, led New Trier to a 30-0 mark with 35 goals and 16 assists ... went 28-0-2 as a freshman on the New Trier squad ... registered 16 goals and 15 assists ... in 2004 and 2005, traveled with Region II 88 team to Holland, Austria, Germany and France ... member of the Eclipse Club team which is a two-time state, regional and national USYS Champions ... led Eclipse to the 2004 Disney Showcase title ... two-year letterwinner in basketball.
Quoting Church on Gummersall:
“KayAnne is a forward and one of our crucial needs for next year is being able to score goals. KayAnne has done that on a consistent basis on the high school and club levels. She’s lead her club to a couple of national championships. KayAnne has scored goals, and not only goals, she has scored big-time goals. She’s an extremely hard-worker and is a very calm, physical player. We feel she’s a natural goal-scorer and she will have an opportunity to make an impact in our program early.”
5-4 • Defender/Midfielder • Cocoa Beach, Fla. • Cocoa Beach H.S.
Soccer Buzz top-25 recruit ... two-time NSCAA All-America ... member of U.S. Under 16 & 17 National teams ... led Melbourne Central Catholic High School to two Florida State Championships ... 2005 Parade All-America ... led her U.S. squad to a fourth place finish at the 2005 ODP National Championship ... as a senior, collected 15 goals and 15 assists ... named to Brevard Florida and All-Florida All-Star teams ... registered 16 goals as a junior ...selected All-State and All-Central Florida ... scored two goals in the state championship game, while finishing with 32 goals and six assists as a sophomore ... named All-State, All-Central Florida and All-Cape Coast ... scored winning goal in state championship as a freshman ... earned All-Cape Coast, All-Central Florida and All-State ... plays for the Indiatlantic Force club team, but played for the Dallas Texans last year and led the squad to the Regional Finals.
Quoting Church on Alukonis:
“Jane is another very versatile player. She will get a couple of looks for next year in the midfield, where she is very good. Jane is more of a defensive-holding midfielder. She wins balls in the air, can strip your ball, will change your point of attack and can put forwards in. We will probably look at Jane a little bit as a central back also. Our midfield will be crowded next year and we will want to take advantage of Jane’s versatility to get her on the field.”
5-4 • Midfielder • Holtsville, N.Y. • St. Anthony’s H.S.
Soccer Buzz top-10 recruit ... member of U.S. Under-16 & Under-17 National Teams ... 2004 and 2005 NSCAA All-America ... led St. Anthony’s H.S. to the state championships in 2005 ... 2005 ODP National Champion ... selected Golden Boot award winner at 2005 nationals ... her club team, Commack ISA were three-time state champions ... member of Region I team for four years and New York ODP team for five years ... led Commack ISA to regional finals two years in a row ... lettered in Track & Field as a freshman and sophomore.
Quoting Church on Ludemann:
“We see CJ as mainly a central midfielder. Depending on how we play our central midfielders as we sometimes play two or three. CJ’s got great vision on the field and she strikes a great ball. She can score from distance, can play forwards in and can change the point of attack. CJ is very, very good on the ball and she works extremely hard on the field. We are excited about all the things CJ can bring to our program.”
5-8 • Defender • Mendham, N.J. • Pingry School
Soccer Buzz top-25 recruit ... member of U-17 National Team ... 2005 NSCAA All-America ... as a senior, totaled 11 goals and 11 assists ... as a captain, led Pingry to a 19-1-1 overall record ... 2005 U.S. adidas Cup Champion ... led her Pingry H.S. team to the 2004 & 2005 conference, county and state championships ... New Jersey first team All-State ... NSCAA/adidas H.S. Girls All-Region II in 2005 .. 2005 Conference and County Player of the Year ... led her PDA Wildcats Club team to the 2005 National Finals, 2004 semifinals, 2003 National Championship ...
Quoting Church on Murphy:
“Sara is one of the top defenders in the country. She started on the U-17 National Team last year as a center back. She will have a great opportunity to come in and play with us since we are losing two of our starting center backs. She can play some outside back for us too. We love Sara’s ability to attack and defend. She’s good in the air, can serve a lot of our balls, and she’s very, very composed with the ball under pressure.”
5-6 • Forward/Midfielder • Morristown, N.J. • The Lawrenceville School
Listed by Soccer Buzz as one of the top recruits in the nation ... scored 100 goals and had 62 assists for The Lawrenceville School ... member of U.S. Under-16, Under-17 and Under-20 National Team pools ... 2005 Parade All-America ... three-time NSCAA All-America ... California Cup in 2004 & 2005 ... Under-17 National Team Champions in 2004 at Carson, Calif. (twice) and Bradenton, Fla. ... 2003 Snickers Under-15 National Championship Golden Boot Award ... a four-year letterwinner at The Lawrenceville School ... a four-time first team All-State, All-Prep, All-County and All-Parochial from 2002-05 ... Star-Ledger Union County Player of the Year as a sophomore ... led Union County in scoring as a freshman and sophomore ... led her club team, PDA Wildcats, to the National Championship in 2003, third place in 2004 and runner-up in 2005 at the National Championships ... PDA Wildcats were the Regional Champions in 2001, 2003-05 and State Champions in 2000, 2002-05 ... a first team All-State selection for Indoor Track & Field ... holds the school record in the 4x400 relay (3:58).
Quoting Church on Redmond:
“Elisabeth is a very versatile player and we think she will be able to play a number of positions next year for us. She strikes a great ball and scores big time goals. She showed that last year with her PDA club team as they went to the national finals. Elisabeth scored a goal late in the national title game to tie the match. She’s very good offensively and reminds me a little bit of Casey McClusky with her ability to able to beat players of the dribble and is just a very heady soccer player.”
Overall, Duke returns five of their top six scorers, seven starters and Alison Lipsher in goal, off the 2005 squad which advanced to the NCAA Tournament second round and posted a 14-6-1 record.
“We’re extremely excited about the opportunities for 2006,” said Church. “We think we’ve had a pretty decent spring up to this point and we’ve seen some improvement in our players. We have a couple of kids that will play on some national teams that are coming up, which will give them some good experience.”
“We think we have the potential to be a very, very good team next year,” said Church. “We still have to continue to work hard between now and August, when we come in for preseason. Our players have to get better. We have to take our fitness to another level. But if we come back fit as a group, and we come back mentally ready to go, we think with the combination of players we have returning and coming in, we will have a very exciting soccer team next year.”
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