OREM, Utah — Utah Valley University soccer head coach Brent Anderson announced Wednesday the signing of seven future Wolverines to National Letters of Intent. Each signee is a high school senior and will enter UVU as a freshman for the fall season.
UVU's commits include: Rylee Gritton, Taylor Kirk, Melanie Ostler, Sheridan Fox, Chelsea Dunn, Sara Ranck and Kalli Su'esu'e.
"This is an exceptional recruiting class," said Anderson, who has captured each of the last four Great West Conference Coach of the Year honors. "Each of these players is very accomplished and I am eager to see the impact that they will have on our program as we make the transition into the WAC."
The 2013 signing class features five future student-athletes from within the state of Utah and two from out-of-state. They will be the first true freshmen to compete for UVU soccer in its Western Athletic Conference era.
From Hillcrest High School and Sandy, Utah, comes Gritton — the leading scorer at HHS last season. A four-year letterwinnner, she ended her senior campaign with the third most goals in all of 4A, earning all-state honorable mention. Gritton plays with Utah Avalanche '96 during the club season. She's helped that squad to four consecutive State Cup Finals from 2006-11.
Kirk, from Pleasant Grove, Utah, played four years of varsity soccer for PGHS. She was second team all-state as a senior, leading the region in scoring at 1.0 goals per match. She led her team in assists during her final three years as a Viking. She also was named Region Offensive MVP, All-Valley and All-Region for her junior and senior seasons. Kirk played club ball with LaRoca Premier, leading the team in both goals and assists.
A native of Kaysville, Utah, Ostler was a four-year varsity letterwinner at Davis High School. As a captain, she helped guide DHS to a 15-2-1 and a berth in the state semifinals during her senior season. Her nine goals led the Darts as they grabbed their fourth consecutive Region title. Ostler earned first team recognition from the Deseret News and Sat Lake Tribune for her efforts. On the club side, Ostler is currently the team captain for Forza FC.
Also from Davis High School comes Dunn, sister of current UVU center back Lexi Dunn. Alongside Ostler at DHS, Dunn earned all area first-team honors after scoring six goals to go along with eight assists during her senior campaign. She, too, is a member of Forza FC, helping the club to championships at the State Cup, Surf Cup and Las Vegas College Showcase.
Su'esu'e hails from Gilbert, Ariz., where she was a four-year varsity player for Gilbert High School. As a sophomore, Su'esu'e helped her squad to a 5A Central Region championship and a spot in the state quarterfinals in the subsequent season. She was also a member of the Gilbert Arsenal 95 Black Premier squad that captured a championship at the Blackhawk Invitational.
Another out-of-state-signee, Fox joins the Wolverines from Rescue, Calif., where she was a four-year starter at Ponderosa High School. She earned the team award for Best Offensive Player her junior season after leading the Bruins in assists for the second consecutive year. Fox plays her club soccer with Boca 95, where she has led the squad in assists and is second in goals scored over the last two seasons.
Ranck earned first team all-state honors and team MVP in 2012 out of Brighton High School in Sandy, Utah. With all-state recognition in each of the last three seasons, Ranck has been a defensive anchor for BHS — a squad that took home a state championship in 2010. She also helped her club team, Sparta Premier, to a state championship and title at the Surf Cup in 2012.
"Clearly this is a very skillful group of players that have been competing for top-level teams and coaches," Anderson said. "Without exception, these girls have been leaders and captains for their respective squads and I am anticipating each to be a fantastic addition to our roster."
Utah Valley will enter the WAC next season having swept both the regular season and tournament crowns in the Great West Conference each of the last two years. The Wolverines return four all-conference performers from last season's title-winning squad, including goalkeeper Lauren Sack, the 2011 and 2012 Defensive Player of the Year, and forward Natalie Baker, the 2011 Offensive Player of the Year.
Kellen Hiser is sports information assistant at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.