Arizona State head coach Kevin Boyd today announced that nine student-athletes - Sierra Cook, Courtney Giovanni, Leeza Henderson, Blake Lopes, Kate Sangster, Kari Shane, Katie Shepard, Kim Tammen and Courtney Tinnin - have signed national letters of intent to study and play soccer at Arizona State.
The class, which includes a pair of local standouts in Henderson (Shadow Mountain) and Shepard (Desert Vista), is highlighted by Tinnin, who was the state of New Mexico's Gatorade Player of the Year.
"This class brings in speed and athleticism and addresses our immediate needs," said Boyd, who led the Sun Devils to a 10-9-1 record last season in his first year with the program. "We brought in multiple forwards to create immediate competition for the position and to also improve our depth.
"With my first recruiting class, I am thrilled to have a High School All American/Gatorade Player of the Year [Tinnin] in the mix. We feel it is a very good class and will help our program as we move forward."
A forward, who competed for the Rio Vista Soccer Club in Albuquerque, N.M., Tinnin was a NSCAA High School All-American and was recently named the 2007-08 Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of New Mexico. This past fall she scored 37 goals and added 18 assists in helping lead her high school team, St. Pius X, to a 21-3 record and its third consecutive 4A state championship. Tinnin scored 10 goals and assisted on two others during her team's postseason run. The Class 4A Player of the Year, Tinnin ended her high school career with 79 goals and 42 assists. She was also named first-team All State, first-team All-Metro and District Player of the Year in addition to being a member of the New Mexico ODP team in 2003 and 2004. Tinnin also helped Rio Vista to a No. 16 regional ranking and a No. 1 state ranking.
"Courtney is a technical, savvy, attacking player with a finisher's touch," said Boyd.
Henderson and Shepard, who are both forwards, will be staying close to home to play collegiate soccer. Henderson, who played for SC Del Sol in Phoenix, earned her team's Golden Boot award two times at Shadow Mountain High School where she was the runner-up player of the year following her sophomore season. Henderson was also a member of the Arizona ODP team in 2005.
"Leeza is a fast, athletic player, who has the ability to create scoring chances and possesses an outstanding shot," said Boyd.
A member of the state of Arizona's ODP team for four years and the Sereno Soccer Club, Shepard helped lead Desert Vista to the class 5A state title in 2005 and a state runner-up appearance in 2007. As a freshman in 2005, it was Shepard who scored the only goal of the 5A state title game in Desert Vista's 1-0 win over Xavier. Shepard, who came into her senior season with 38 career goals, notched 45 points her junior year on her way to being named to the Arizona Republic's and East Valley Tribune's 5A Teams. Also an outstanding student, who carries a 3.84 GPA, Shepard was accepted into ASU's Barrett Honors College.
"Katie is a fearless, aggressive forward, who can power through or finesse you," said Boyd.
Cook will be coming to ASU from Silverdale, Wash., where she competed for the Washington Premier Soccer Club. This past fall, Cook, who was captain of her team, earned Olympic League co-MVP and Associated Press Honorable Mention honors after finding the net 26 times for Klahowya High School. A participant in the adidas ESP program last summer, Cook also scored 19 goals and had nine assists in 23 games for Washington Premier during the 2007 preseason. In addition to soccer, Cook, who has a 3.95 GPA, also excelled in track and cross country at Klahowya, breaking the school records in the 1600m and 3200m.
"Sierra possesses a dangerous shot and she has a finisher's touch when it comes to putting the ball in the net," said Boyd. "She is fast and strong while at the same time very technical."
One of two defenders in the signing class, Giovanni helped her club team, Slammers FC, win the Far West league in both the spring and fall of 2007 in addition to the Surf Cup Tournament the summer and fall of '05, '06 and '07. A member of Cal South ODP, the Las Flores, Calif., product had five goals and one assist for Tesoro High School this past fall.
"Courtney is a strong ball winning center back who has the technical ability to play out of trouble," said Boyd. "She was the anchor of a very strong club team."
Lopes will be joining the Sun Devils from Hilmar, Calif., where she competed for the Manteca Rangers. As a junior in 2007, Lopes earned a spot on the Modesto Bee's All-District Team after scoring 23 goals while adding 17 assists to lead her high school team, Hilmar, to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V title and a final record of 24-2-1, including a 14-0-1 record in league play. As a sophomore, Lopes, who is also a member of Hilmar's girls' varsity basketball team, netted 11 goals and had 19 assists to finish fourth on the team with 41 points.
"Blake is a technical center midfielder who operates in a playmaking role," said Boyd.
A defender from Novato, Calif., Sangster played for FC Marin. Her club experience included playing in the Pleasanton Showcase championships in addition to being a member of the team which won the Golden State Soccer League. Sangster twice earned Marin County All-League honors and was her team's third leading scorer despite being a defender.
"Kate is a fast wide defender who has the ability to get forward and she has a very dangerous shot," said Boyd.
A center midfielder from Mission Viejo, Calif., Shane was a member of the Southern California Blues Soccer Club, where she served as captain of her team. Shane earned All-League honors as a member of the Trabuco Hills High School team, a squad for which she also served as captain.
"Kari is an extremely technical and tactical player, who has the ability to control tempo of a game as well as deliver the final third ball," said Boyd.
Tammen will be coming to Tempe from Portland, Ore., where she led her club, Tualatin Hills SC, in scoring from 2005-07. A member of the Oregon ODP from 2003-04, Tammen also led her high school teams in scoring three times. Tammen, who also competes in track, earned first-team 6A PIL All-Star honors in 2006 and was a member of the Metro Conference first team in 2007.
"Kim is strong, fast and athletic and she has the versatility to play anywhere on the field," said Boyd.