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Piper announces addition of nine new Lions in 2017 signing class

COMMERCE – Texas A&M University-Commerce Head Soccer Coach Neil Piper has announced the addition of nine new players to the Lions’ squad for the 2017 signing class.

These nine new Lions will join a team which qualified for the NCAA Division II Tournament for four straight years and has won a Lone Star Conference Championship in each of the last three seasons.
Kara Blasingame
Hometown: Oswego, Ill.
High School: Oswego East HS

Head Coach Neil Piper says: “Kara is an athletic left-sided player who is always looking to get forward. She is excellent at getting behind defenders and crossing in a nice ball. Kara can also finish as well. She can play either up front or out wide in a four-man midfield.”

Before A&M-Commerce: Four-year letter winner in soccer at Oswego East was a team captain, set the school record for most assists in a career and Chicago National League Team was YSSL National Champions in 2016.

Leslie Campuzano
Hometown: Garland, Texas
High School: Lakeview Centennial HS

Head Coach Neil Piper says: “Leslie is a great fit for our system. She is always moving and trying to get behind defenders. She can run through gaps, find the pockets, and also dribble by anyone. Leslie can play anywhere on the front line.”

Before A&M-Commerce: Four-year letter winner in soccer, two-year letter winner in track and letter winner in volleyball at Lakeview Centennial, scored 15 goals and had one assist in her high school career, was the 2012-13 and 2013-14 TCSAAL 800-meter State Champion at Peak Preparatory, and awarded the 2012-13 Golden Boot.

Katie Givens
Hometown: Rockwall, Texas
High School: Rockwall HS

Head Coach Neil Piper says: “Katie gives us some much-needed height in the middle. She is superb at winning headers and is pretty technical as well. I’m sure she will be highly involved in all of our set pieces.”

Before A&M-Commerce: Four-year letter winner in soccer and two-year letter winner in cross country at Rockwall, a four-time First Team All-District selection, team captain as a junior, named Midfielder of the Year her sophomore year, and the team was Bi-District Champions in 2016.

Cassidy Riebe
Hometown: Georgetown, Texas
High School: East View HS

Head Coach Neil Piper says: “Cassidy is a great defender. She has good size and is pretty athletic, which you have to be in the Lone Star Conference. Cassidy showed very well at our ID Camp, and we look for good things from her.”

Before A&M-Commerce: Three-year letter winner in soccer at East View also lettered in soccer at West De Pere HS in Wisconsin as a freshman, had four goals and eight assists in her high school career, was named Team Defensive MVP her sophomore and junior years, All-District Honorable Mention as a junior, a team captain as a senior, team at West De Pere was Conference Champions her freshman year, was also Academic All-District and named to the National Honor Society.

Rylie Robertson
Hometown: Rockwall, Texas
High School: Rockwall HS

Head Coach Neil Piper says: “Rylie has shown a keen interest in our program and she could do quite well in our system. I can see her as a central defender who can man mark some of the more bigger and athletic forwards in this conference.”

Before A&M-Commerce: Three-year letter winner in soccer and track and four-year letter winner in cross country at Rockwall, named Second Team All-District in soccer and Honorable Mention All-District in cross country as a senior, named Second Team All-District in cross country as a junior and a sophomore, First Team All-District in cross country as a freshman, team was three-time district cross country champions, two-time district track champions and was a regional finalist in soccer in 2016.

Samantha Scott
Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas
Previous School: Richland JC

Head Coach Neil Piper says: “Sam is a very pleasant surprise to our recruiting class. She is a junior college transfer and could provide some much-needed experience to our very young team. Sam’s biggest asset is that she is very fit and can run from channel to channel.”

Before A&M-Commerce: Played freshman and sophomore years at Richland College, was named First Team All-Conference and First Team All-Region, scored eight goals, two game-winning goals and scored three goals during the 2016 playoffs and played volleyball in high school.

Tori Smith
Hometown: Wylie, Texas
High School: Wylie East HS

Head Coach Neil Piper says: “Tori is another powerful attacker who likes to run. When she goes forward, she causes all sorts of problems for defenders. Once Tori gets used to our system it could be sky’s the limit for her.”

Before A&M-Commerce: Four-year letter winner in soccer at Wylie East, scored the winning goal in the semi-finals of the state championships, was Second Team All-District as a freshman, Academic All-District as a sophomore, First Team All-District as a junior, the team was State runners-up in 2014 and won State in 2015.

Cora Welch

Hometown: Plano, Texas
High School: Plano SH

Head Coach Neil Piper says: “Cora is a very athletic midfielder who likes to attack. She is technically gifted going forward and will cause some matchup problems for teams. She is a great compliment to the forwards and other midfielders that we have.”

Before A&M-Commerce: Two-year letter winner in soccer at Plano Senior, named Second Team All-District as a junior, team captain as a senior, the team reached the regional quarterfinal in 2016, participated in FC Dallas 99′ Premier and team won Texas State Cup two consecutive years and advanced to the regional finals in 2014 and 2015.

Josey Wells

Hometown: McKinney, Texas
High School: McKinney HS

Head Coach Neil Piper says: “Josey was our first 2017 commitment and she fits our style of play perfectly. Josey plays with reckless abandon and is always putting pressure on opposing defenders. She also looks for passes over the top and has an unyielding will going towards goal.”

Before A&M-Commerce: Three-year letter winner in soccer at McKinney, named First Team All-District and Academic All-District, as well as co-team captain as a senior, her team was district champions in 2016, named 10-5A District Player of the Year and MHS Offensive Player of the Year as a junior, also named Academic All-District, named Second Team All-District, Academic All-District and MHS Newcomer of the Year as a sophomore, was the MHS leading scorer as a sophomore, her team won 10-5A Bi-District and Area Champions and was a regional finalist, making the Elite Eight.