Sunday, August 9, 2020

Men's and women's soccer announces 2018 recruiting classes

February 8, 2018
Head Coach Damon Rensing laughs during practice on Oct. 10, 2017 at DeMartin Stadium. Rensing has reached his 100th career win as head coach at MSU.
Head Coach Damon Rensing laughs during practice on Oct. 10, 2017 at DeMartin Stadium. Rensing has reached his 100th career win as head coach at MSU. —
Photo by Carly Geraci | The State News

National Signing Day was good to the soccer programs of MSU. On the men’s side, head coach Damon Rensing signed seven players who will look to compete for playing time next season. Women’s head coach Tom Saxton overhauled his club by reeling in 10 new recruits.

From those seven players, men's soccer signed two forwards, one midfielder, three defenders and a goalkeeper. 

Out of the seven recruits, four of them are not from Michigan: right back Oluwaola-ayo Ogunwale of East Brunswick, New Jersey; center back Colton Stanley out of The Woodlands, Texas; forward Julian Ajroja of Sleepy Hollow, Illinois and goalkeeper Davis Hooten, who is from Rock Hill, South Carolina.

The other three are Michiganians, with midfielder Jack Beck and forward Farai Mutatu from the East Lansing area, Beck from DeWitt and Mutatu from Haslett. The last Michigan native is defenseman Will Perkins, from Gross Pointe Park, Michigan.

"We really push here at Michigan State the academics and high character. I think that's been a huge part of our success," Rensing said in a press release. "You're going to go through adversity in the years. And if you have good culture, good kids, they're going to find ways to break through that adversity. 

"So that's been an important piece to us, and these seven young men can certainly continue that tradition."

On the women's side, Saxton signed a balanced class: three forwards, three midfielders, three defenders and a goalkeeper. 

Forward Camryn Evans is from Fenton, Michigan while fellow attackers Miranda Hart and Giorgia Wahlberg hail from Albuquerque, New Mexico and St. Charles, Illinois, respectively. MSU also signed three in-state midfielders: Samantha Sklarski of Grosse Pointe, Mya Fregoli of Washington Township and Abby Gardiner of Northville. 

Working down the pitch, the Spartans signed one Michigander to fortify the defense: Annabelle Honet of West Bloomfield. They also signed two out-of-state defenders: Ava Diggins of Far Hills, New Jersey, and Samantha White of Mckees Rocks, Pennsylvania. Goalkeeper Lauren Kozal, from Ada, Michigan, rounds out the class.

"Each of these student-athletes should excel both in the classroom and on the field," Saxton said in a press release. "They are a great addition to our program."

The women’s team looks to rebound after a disappointing 6-11-1 season, and these young players will likely be key parts of that turnaround. The men’s team went 13-3-4 last season and lost to Indiana in penalty kicks in the Elite Eight.

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