After having arguably its best season ever on the pitch, the Arizona soccer team carried its momentum into the offseason, signing one of the nation’s top recruiting classes.
The Wildcats inked 11 recruits during Wednesday’s National Signing Day, and it’s a group strong enough to be considered “in the running” for a top-10 ranking, according to TopDrawerSoccer.com.
Arizona’s 2018 class is comprised of two goalkeepers, three defenders, two forwards, and four midfielders.
- Makayla Aman, GK — Chandler, AZ
- Julianne Dominguez, MF — Mesa, AZ
- Dorian Goodwin, D — Las Vegas, NV
- Iliana Hocking, MF — Anaheim, CA
- Kendyll Humphreys, GK — Chandler, AZ
- Gabe Jillings, MF — White Rock, British Columbia
- Emily Knous, F — Long Beach, CA (already enrolled at Arizona and will participate in spring season)
- Hallie Pearson, D — Carmel, IN
- Michaela Rentner, D —Temecula, CA
- Brooke Wilson, F — Vista, CA
- Iyana Zimmerman, MF — San Diego, CA
The incoming freshmen will join an Arizona team that only has two seniors, so the Wildcats will be young in 2018, but not exactly inexperienced.
Arizona is returning six starters, including goalkeeper Lainey Burdett and defender Morgan McGarry, who were both All-Pac-12 Second Team performers in 2017 and part of Top Drawer Soccer’s Pac-12 Top 20.
Plus, Arizona is returning five other players who started in at least one game last year.
The Wildcats’ biggest question mark is in the final third where they lost leading-scorer Gabi Stoian and leading-assister Cali Crisler, as well as Charlotte Brascia who started in every game and was tied for second in scoring.
But Arizona did get quality contributions from soon-to-be sophomore forwards Jill Aguilera, Hannah Clifford, Amanda Porter, and Jada Talley, so it has in-house options along with plenty of incoming freshmen that may be able to replace the seniors’ offensive production.
In fact, Wilson, a forward from the San Diego Surf, was one of eight recruits on Top Drawer Soccer’s list of top “impact signees.”
So expectations will be high for Arizona in 2018.
Arizona went 11-5-4 in 2017, including a 7-2-2 record in Pac-12 play, which was the first time in program history it won more than six conference games.
That was good enough for a fourth-place finish in what is probably the sport’s toughest conference (Stanford beat UCLA in the national championship game, after all). Arizona also hosted an NCAA Tournament game for just the second time in school history where it beat TCU before losing to Florida State in the Round of 32.
The Arizona soccer program only reached the postseason twice in its first 20 years of existence (1994-2013), but it has made the NCAA Tournament three times in the last four seasons.
And that success could continue for several more years if the 2018 signing class is as good as advertised.
Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter at @RKelapire