Feb. 5, 2014
NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Stephen F. Austin head coach Wally Crittenden and the three-time defending Southland Conference champion Ladyjack soccer program announced the signing of four student-athletes to National Letters of Intent Wednesday morning. All four are prep recruits and all Texans who play for some of the top respected club teams in the state.
The 2014 class consists of Hanna Barker (F, Turner HS, ‘96 D’Feeters ECNL), Michaela Mencacci (F/MF, Clear Springs HS, Space City Fútbol Club), Chloe Fowler (F, Allen HS, Dallas Texas ‘96 Red West) and Lauren Hall (MF, Longview HS, Sting ‘96).
“This 2014 class will see some very talented players join a team that is returning 19 letterman from a championship season in 2013,” Crittenden said. “Our goal with this class was to be very selective and to only sign players that would have the potential to come in and compete to play right away, regardless of their unit on the field. There is a lot of work to be done between now and when these players arrive on campus, but I am confident they will take the steps to prepare so they may help us right away this fall. There are high expectations for this group, especially with the standard our freshman set this past fall. With the attributes each one of these talented young people bring to the team, we will again have the depth required in order to play for titles come November.”
Hanna Barker (F, Turner HS, ‘96 D’Feeters ECNL)
Barker, a forward from Turner High School, was a two-time all-district offensive and team MVP in 2012 and 2013, ranking in the top 10 of the Dallas Morning News’ scoring leaders each of those seasons. Barker played club for the 96 D’Feeters ECNL since 2006, under coach Hugh Bradford, being selected to the ENCL PDP Dallas in 2012 and 2013 and participating in a 2011 U.S. Soccer training event.
Crittenden on Barker:
“Hanna is a very dynamic player with great experience at the ECNL level. Her training environment at D’Feeters and the competitive standards she is accustomed too will help prepare her to compete as we strive for championships. Hanna is someone who can impact a game from both a physical and technical standpoint and is a relentless 1v1 attacker. Her charisma and dedication to her teammates has already endeared her to the returners she will play with in the fall. Look for Hanna to join a talented midfield or forward unit.”
Michaela Mencacci (F/MF, Clear Springs HS, Space City Fútbol Club)
Mencacci, a forward/midfield from Clear Springs High School, was a three-time all-district selection. The 2014 team captain garnered second team all-region honors and all-county honors last season. Mencacci played club for the Space City Fútbol Club. Under coach Randy Evans, Mencacci and Space City were SCFC ’95 State champions in the national league. Mencacci was an ODP (Olympic Developmental Program) South Texas Team selection from 2009-11 and 2013, while also being selected to the ODP regional pool in 2010 and 2013.
Crittenden on Mencacci:
“Mickey is going to be a player that causes other teams a lot of problems. Her technical speed and her ability to collaborate with others is really going to enhance the way that we play in our midfield. Mickey comes from a great club environment in the Space City Futbol Club and has competed at the Premier League level as well as at the ODP Regional level. These experiences, along with her high character, will no doubt position her to make a significant impact as soon as camp begins in August.”
Chloe Fowler (F, Allen HS, Dallas Texas ‘96 Red West)
Fowler, a forward from Allen High School, played four years of varsity soccer and was named team captain for her senior season. The 2013 Best Attacker for AHS plays club for Dallas Texans 96 Red West under coach Ian Farley.
Crittenden on Fowler:
“Chloe is a very competitive person and is very smart in how she sees the game. When you pair these qualities with high-end speed and physicality, you have a player that will be able to compete in many different positions on the field. While playing up an age group for the Dallas Texans, Chloe saw time as a winger and as a forward and was very tough to play against. With Chloe’s instincts and her ability to adapt to what is needed, there is no position on the field that she cannot play.”
Lauren Hall (MF, Longview HS, Sting ‘96)
Hall, a midfielder from Longview High School, is a three-time all-district selection and Female Athlete of the Year for the Lady Lobos. Hall was named District 11-5A Newcomer of the Year in 2011, before following with consecutive first-team honors as a sophomore and junior. The LHS captain was also an All-East Texas first team selection in 2013 and was named to East Texas Sports Network Players to Watch in 2014. Hall played club for Sting ’96 under coach Beau Brown in the Lake Highlands Girls Classic League Division I and Region III Premier League. Hall was a member of the North Texas ODP '95 team from 2010-2012 and Region III camp participant.
Crittenden on Hall:
“Lauren is a player that really enjoys expressing herself creatively with others. This is one of the defining qualities of her Sting Soccer Club, which she comes directly to SFA from. Lauren has the ability to glide around the midfield or forward lines and challenge opponents to track her as she is technical enough to play the most sophisticated of passes as well as score the toughest of goals. She is also very fast and will demand the most of her defenders. Her attitude is one that fits in to the driven group of players we have waiting to welcome her this fall. Expect to see Lauren in the midfield or up front.”
The Ladyjacks lose four seniors from their 2013 SLC champion squad, which included two-time first-team all-conference goalkeeper Lacey Lee (2011, 2012), 2013 first-team midfield Melissa Gaudet, 2013 second-team and all-tournament midfield Brenda Salazar, and Megan Wasiak.