Not a bad day at all for soccer coaches Marcus Kelcher and John Carlson.
Wednesday, 12 girls out of Kelcher’s Elite Girls Academy signed national letters of intent with collegiate soccer teams from across the country. Seven of those seniors signed with NCAA Division I schools.
Four of the 12 girls have been together since their early years in club soccer and at Omaha Skutt Catholic High School under Carlson: Liz Bartels, Anna Conway, Brittany Garbina and Maggie Moore.
Six girls signed soccer letters of intent Wednesday from the perennially strong Skutt, which was Class B state soccer champion the girls’ freshmen and sophomore years and runner-up in 2012.
“These are really great girls,’’ Carlson said, “on the field and in school.’’
The coach said he brought his two young daughters to Skutt’s signing-day activities because the Skyhawks are good role models.
“I wanted my girls to see these great examples’’ of how to be good students and athletes, he said.
Kelcher, former director of the Toro Soccer Club, where some of the girls began their careers, is currently technical director of the Elite Girls Academy.
“It is without question the top recruiting class with regards to Division I players in the state this year,’’ he said in an email to the players’ parents. “This team has been arguably one of the most successful teams ever to play soccer in Nebraska. ... They are five-time Nebraska State Cup champions and have been one of the top teams in the nation since 2008.”
Mike McMahon, Skutt’s director of activities, was also proud of the nine seniors who signed letters of intent covering three sports.
“It’s really a historic day for us,’’ he said to a crowd of about 250 students, teachers, administrators, parents and visitors who gathered in the school’s main commons area.
“I can’t remember in my 13 years here when we’ve had nine seniors signing at one time,’’ McMahon said about Skutt’s total signing class.
Bartels, 17, committed to Marquette University in November 2011 and signed with the private Catholic school Wednesday.
“I’m just really excited,’’ she said. “I feel so supported by my school, parents and coaches. I’m very grateful.’’
The attacking midfielder was a World-Herald All-Nebraska first team selection in 2012 and all-state her freshman and sophomore years. Bartels scored a school record 31 goals last season, second in the state behind Lincoln Southeast’s Paige Nielsen, who now plays at powerhouse North Carolina.
Bartels said she would play high school soccer for Skutt this spring and then club soccer this summer before reporting to Marquette in early August.
“I just want to enjoy what time I have left with my family and friends,’’ she said.
Conway, a World-Herald All-Nebraska Class B first-team selection in 2012, signed with Missouri State.
“I like going to the Ozarks, and my cousin went there (Missouri State),’’ she said about the school in Springfield, Mo.
“It’s far but not too far,’’ Conway added about the five-hour drive to Missouri State. “It’s down south, so it’ll be warm.’’
She, too, thanked her support system.
“I couldn’t have done it without my parents and teammates,’’ Conway said.
Elite Girls Academy national letters of intent signees:
Taylor Saucier, Omaha Marian, Texas A&M; Liz Bartels, Skutt, Marquette; Jordan Cassalia, Millard West, U.S. Military Academy (West Point, N.Y.); Caitlin Lewis, Papillion-La Vista, Mississippi; Sidni Trotter, Bellevue East, Minnesota State-Mankato; Bianca Perry, Lincoln Southeast, DePaul; Gini Yost, Omaha Marian, DePaul; Bridget Blessie, Omaha Mercy, College of St. Rose (New York); Anna Conway, Omaha Skutt, Missouri State; Courtney Allen, Lincoln Southwest, Augustana; Maggie Moore: Omaha Skutt, Belmont Abby College (North Carolina); Brittany Garbina, Omaha Skutt, Lynn University (Florida).
Other Skutt signees:
Amanda Woodman, volleyball, Morningside; Ryan McKeever, football, Drake; Michael Kluver, soccer, Creighton; Laura Pivovar, soccer, Minnesota State-Mankato; Erin Slattery, soccer, Wayne State.
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