UPLAND, Ind. – Taylor women's soccer head coach, Scott Stan, has announced six new players that will be joining the team for the upcoming 2015 fall season, which will be Stan's eighth season at the helm of the program.
Lauren Engelkes, Rachel German, Maddi Guillaume, Sammi Lawson, Savannah Porter and Rebekah Schwulst will all be joining a Taylor squad that went 8-7-4 overall in 2014 and 4-4-1 in Crossroads League play to finish fifth in the standings. The Trojans went on to beat the No. 4 seeded Marian on the road 3-0 in the Crossroads League Tournament Quarterfinals prior to falling to top seed and NAIA No. 7 Spring Arbor 1-0 in the semifinal round.
"For the incoming class of 2015, we were able to add key players all over the field, adding skill and depth at every position," remarked Stan. "It also is exciting to add two international players (German and Schwulst) to a roster that is already incredibly geographically diverse. Their perspective and style will add to our current system of play and make us better as a team, as will the four exceptional incoming players from the United States."
Lauren Engelkes / GK / 5-7 / Rockford, MI / Rockford High School
"Lauren is a technical goalie who is coming to us from an excellent high school program," stated Stan. "She will bring athleticism, vocality, and confidence as a new keeper along with the technical skills to compete at this level."
"I fell in love with the campus and close knit community at Taylor right from the start," said Engelkes. "After practicing with the team, I realized how special it was. They were so welcoming and it felt like a family. I am so excited to become a part of that this fall!"
Rachel German / F / 5-10 / Chiang Mai, Thailand / Chiang Mai International School
"Rachel is a multisport athlete who is a missionary kid from Thailand," said Stan. "She has a nice first touch, a powerful shot from long range, and also uses her height well to win balls out of the air."
"Playing soccer at Taylor next fall is something I never imagined I would be able to do, but something that God opened the door to," added German. "Every time I convinced myself that things wouldn't work out, God opened another door. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to be on the soccer team this fall and am excited to continue to play the sport that I love at a competitive level. I can't wait to be a Trojan!"
Maddi Guillaume / M/F / 5-8 / Vernon Hills, IL / Vernon Hills High School
"Maddi is a very strong player with an abundance of soccer skills who plays in the ultracompetitive Chicago west suburbs," Stan stated. "She can play in the midfield and distributes the ball freely to her teammates, but she can also play up top as a finisher. She will be a threat in either position."
Guillaume says "I love soccer and knew I wanted to play ever since I was little. I knew Taylor University was the place I wanted to play when I realized that the team shared my same love of the game, their teammates, and most importantly God."
Sammi Lawson / D / 5-5 / Charlotte, NC / Ardrey Kell High School/Mars Hill University
"Sammi will be a junior transfer from Mars Hill University where she has started in the defense for the previous 2 seasons," expressed Stan. "She will make an immediate impact for us and will play either in the defense or the holding midfielder position in our system."
"I chose Taylor women's soccer because the team environment felt like a family- a really big, hard-working, up-lifting, Christ-centered family," said Lawson. "On my visit, I was impressed with how genuine everyone in the program was about their love for the Lord and how soccer is a reflection of that. Needless to say, I am pretty stoked for the fall!"
Savannah Porter / D / 5-4 / Galt, CA / Galt High School
"Speed, skill, and determination are the key characteristics of this central defender who also leads her high school team in scoring," said Stan. "I am expecting Savannah to play center back for us and to solidify an already strong defensive group."
"I truly feel blessed to have the opportunity to play at Taylor University," expressed Porter. "I chose to play at TU because of the environment I would be surrounded by. The people are truly amazing, and you can see how much the staff cares about each student. I'm looking forward to meeting new people and building friendships that will last a lifetime."
Rebekah Schwulst / M / 5-4 / Santiago, Dominican Republic / Santiago Christian
"Rebekah is a midfielder who is also a missionary kid from the Dominican Republic," remarked Stan. "We are looking forward to having this energetic and creative player adding depth to our strong returning core in the midfield."
"For me, soccer has always meant more than just winning," added Schwulst. "It is about the relationships that are formed, the endurance that is made stronger, and the friendships that last. I am so excited to experience all this with the soccer team at Taylor!"
"With the current skill and commitment level on our team, the additions for the fall should make us into a deep, strong, and highly competitive team," stated Stan. "We are looking forward to integrating the recruits into our system of play and watching them develop over the next four years."