College Football not the Only National Signing Day Last Week

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Head Coach Aston Rhoden and the Middle Tennessee soccer program has added nine new Blue Raiders to the roster as the 2017 signees submitted National Letters of Intent on Wednesday.

The Blue Raiders added four forwards, two midfielders, two defenders and a goalkeeper from the prep ranks with three signees hailing from Tennessee, two from Florida, two from Colorado and one each from Illinois and Kentucky.

“The primary goal of this recruiting period was to build on our 2016 class and continue to secure competitive players with a solid work ethic and a strong desire to improve,” Rhoden said about the program’s newest members. “With the help of my staff, support personnel and our players I believe we were able to accomplish this objective with the 2017 recruiting class.”

A pair of mid-state recruits will stay close to home as forward Peyton DePriest (Franklin, Tenn.) and defender Leslie Frye (Fayetteville, Tenn.) have joined the Blue Raiders. DePriest was a 2016 All-State selection as well as being named the 2016 District Offensive MVP, totaling 29 goals and 11 assists as a senior at Franklin High School.

“Peyton is a strong attacking player,” Rhoden stated. “She is a very creative player who likes to score goals. Her work ethic and ability to play anywhere in the attacking third will make us more flexible in attack. Peyton’s competitiveness will make her fun player to watch.”

Frye scored 28 goals and logged 26 assists as a senior at Lincoln County High School and was named Second Team All-Midstate and District 8-AAA Offensive Player of the Year.

“Leslie is a strong defender capable of playing as a center back or an outside back,” Rhoden said. “She has good size, is strong in the tackle and comfortable with the ball at her feet. Her strength at winning aerial battles and her competitive spirt will make her an important player for us on both sides of our restarts.”

Defender Tionna Thompson (Knoxville, Tenn.) is the third MT signee to remain in-state in the 2017 class. The West High School product was an All-Region selection and was honored as the Defensive Player of the Year.

“Tionna is an athletic and hard-nosed defender,” Rhoden said. “She is good in possession and in the air. Her work ethic, technical qualities, and her organizational abilities will be an asset to our back line.”

Midfielder Courtney Borup (Winter Springs, Fla.) and forward Madeleine Schricker (Titusville, Fla.) come to Middle Tennessee from the Sunshine State where the two were club teammates for Florida Kraze Krush. Borup was a First Team All-Conference selection and team captain at Winter Springs High School.

“Courtney is a very technical and smart player,” Rhoden stated. “She has great vision and is able to unlock defenses with her passing and dribbling ability. She will be a great addition to our midfield.”

Schricker comes to the Blue Raiders after playing four seasons of prep soccer at Titusville High School where she was twice voted Most Athletic and also honored with the Most Spirit Award.

“Maddie brings great physical attributes, competitiveness, and versatility to our forward line,” Rhoden stated. “She is strong in the air and very competent in and around the box.

“In addition to scoring herself, she’s good at bringing others in the game. Maddie will certainly allow us to attack teams in several different ways.”

Midfielder Annica Fletemeyer (Larkspur, Co.) and forward Alexandra Palmer (Colorado Springs, Co.) are the lone signees to come to Middle Tennessee from west of the Mississippi River and will be the first two Colorado natives on Rhoden’s current roster. Fletemeyer played four seasons at Lewis Palmer High School where she was named a Second Team All-State selection in 2016.

“Anni is another versatile midfielder who can also play as a forward for us,” Rhoden added. “She is a box-to-box player, extremely competitive and a good finisher in and around the box. Her ability to arrive at the right moments in the box will be an asset for us.”

Palmer spent her prep career at Discovery Canyon Campus School, joining Fletemeyer as a Second Team All-State selection and earning All-Conference honors three times. She was also voted team captain three times by her teammates at Discovery Canyon.

“Palmer is a very accomplished player with good physical attributes and athleticism,” Rhoden said. “She holds the ball up well, is good with both feet in and around the box, and is fearless in front of goal. Her work rate on both sides of the ball will allow us to play out of several different attacking shapes.”

Forward Elizabeth Watts (Bowling Green, Ky.) signed with the Blue Raiders out of Bowling Green High School in the backyard of rival WKU. Watts led BGHS in goals and assists in each of her last three seasons and was a four-time All-Region selection and one-time All-State selection.

“Elizabeth is a forward with outstanding work ethic, competiveness, and a nose for the goal,” Rhoedn commented. “She is a selfless player who is good at getting others in the game in addition to creating her own chances. Her ability in the air and her durability will be important qualities for us in attack.”

Eda Senger (Lake In The Hills, Ill.) is the lone goalkeeper in the 2017 signing class. Senger was voted team captain at Huntley High School and was a First Team All-Conference selection in the net.

“Eda is a very athletic, technical and very competent keeper,” Rhoden said. “She plays well with her feet, has good distribution and is fearless in goal. Her leadership and box organizational skills will make us even better at the keeper position.”

“While the impact of this class won’t be fully assessed until the end of the season and beyond, their immediate effect on our team will be positive and help us achieve our goals for the 2017 season,” Rhoden stated. “I can hardly wait to blend our new talent with our very experienced and capable group of returning players.”

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