The Valparaiso University women’s soccer team has added another standout class to its program, as head coach John Marovich announced on Friday that seven future Crusaders have signed National Letters of Intent to join the Valpo program as freshmen for the 2018 season.
“We are excited about welcoming our 2018 recruiting class to the Valparaiso women’s soccer family,” said Marovich. “This group has a solid soccer acumen which matches their ability on the pitch. They bring experience from the top club teams in the country while displaying championship caliber success at the national, regional and state levels. The 2018 class matches their success on the field with a high level of character and discipline, as well as achievement in academics. These attributes makes them a great fit for Valparaiso as they already display excellence in competition, classroom and community. I would like to thank my staff, who put in a ton of work to help put this class together. This class will be a great complement to the experienced and talented group already in place here.”
Emily Engler – F – Mercy [Mich.] H.S.
Playing her club soccer for Michigan Jaguars, Engler helped lead her team to a Michigan State Cup title. Also a member of the Michigan ODP State team, Engler was recognized as a Scholar Athlete multiple times at Mercy H.S.
Marovich on Engler: “Emily has real presence in the attacking third of the park. She grows in her performance every time we watch her play, which is a big indicator of her character. I am impressed with her movement off the ball while playing as a #9, but was excited to see her ability to strike a ball on goal from distance with pace and force.”
Peyton Flynn – F/D – Belvidere North [Ill.] H.S.
Flynn was a First Team All-Sectional and First Team All-Conference honoree for Belvidere North, helping the squad capture the NIC-10 conference title last season while scoring 14 goals and tallying six assists. A three-time NIC-10 Scholar-Athlete recipient, Flynn played her club soccer for the Rockford Raptors.
Marovich on Flynn: “Peyton has a solid understanding of the game, which really helps her with her decision making on the pitch. She is a simple and effective player in possession, which will give us the flexibility to look at her in multiple positions this fall.”
Alexis Gaffney – D – Legacy [Colo.] H.S.
Gaffney was an Honorable Mention All-State honoree for Legacy, helping to lead the squad to a Colorado state championship while also earning First Team All-Region and First Team All-Conference accolades. She previously played at North [Calif.] H.S., where she was a two-time All-Conference recipient and also earned Honorable Mention All-Area honors. Gaffney most recently played club soccer for the Colorado Storm ECNL, helping her team earn a Colorado State Cup title and a semifinal appearance at the ECNL National Championship. Her previous club stint came with Slammers FC ECNL, which won back-to-back ECNL national titles in 2015 and 2016.
Marovich on Gaffney: “Alexis brings a great deal of experience, having competed for and won multiple national championships with her club teams. She is a solid and efficient defender, especially in 1-v-1 situations. A strength for Alexis is her ability to not just win the ball back, but starting a counter or securing possession due to her high pass completion percentage.”
Emma Langdon – MF – Mt. Vernon [Ind.] H.S.
Langdon played just her senior season at Mt. Vernon, registering 16 goals and nine assists while earning All-District, All-County and All-Conference accolades. She was a member of the FC Pride ECNL club, helping the team capture the 2017 State Cup championship after finishing as runners-up in 2016. Also part of the Indiana ODP program, Langdon was a member of the ’99 Indiana State team and was a regional pool participant.
Marovich on Langdon: “Emma impressed us during the recruiting process with her ability to keep possession in tight spaces, while her composure on the ball allows her to make good decisions in possession. The experience Emma has gained while playing with her ECNL club team will be a benefit to her this coming fall.”
Morgen Metzger – MF – Grand Blanc [Mich.] H.S.
A First Team All-State honoree, Metzger helped lead Grand Blanc to two consecutive appearances in the state finals while also earning First Team All-Conference, All-District and All-Region recognition. Also an Academic All-State honoree, she played club soccer for Nationals Development Academy, where she helped lead her team to a 2017 Disney Showcase Championship, a 2017 National League Championship and a berth in the USYS National Championships.
Marovich on Metzger: “Morgen has a true workmanlike performance in all of her matches. She does a tremendous amount of work both offensively and defensively, which takes away a lot of stress from the players around her. I have always been impressed with Morgen after our ID camps because she would buzz around the field with energy and enjoyment.”
Jenna Schluter – D – Mercy [Mich.] H.S.
Schluter played club soccer for Vardar ECNL, captaining her side for the past five years and leading them to a State Cup Championship and a Region II Championship. A PDP/id2 invitee, Schluter was a member of the Michigan ODP State Team and a participant in the Regional Pool as well.
Marovich on Schluter: “Jenna is a ball-winning central defender. Her experience playing ECNL against the best attacking players in the country will give her confidence heading into her collegiate career. She doesn’t just tackle well, but can get across a defender’s body in 1-v-1 situations and keep the ball for her team. Jenna’s ability to win the ball in the air is a game changer for her back line. She has played in a 3-back and a 4-back system, and those experience will be an outstanding asset to our program this fall.”
Kerry Slaga – MF – Westmont [Ill.] H.S.
Slaga has earned All-Area and All-Conference accolades each of the last three years and has been team MVP all three seasons as well. She helped lead Westmont to regional championships as a freshman and as a sophomore, the first two regional titles in program history. Slaga currently plays club soccer for Chicago Inter, which she helped to a second-place finish in the Midwest Regional League and which captured the 2017 CASL College Showcase event, and previously played for Oak Brook Soccer Club.
Marovich on Slaga: “Kerry is a dynamic player with the ball at her feet. She has outstanding vision as an attacking midfielder and has the creativity of finding her teammates with passes with the correct weight and texture.”