Head Coach Jason Neidell has announced the first of three groups of early signees for Lady Topper Soccer, the first under the new early recruiting period in November.
WKU’s first group of signees includes four regional players, including one Kentucky native in Katie Erwin. Ansley Cate will make the short trek to The Hill from just across the border in Tennessee, while Logan Barber and Maddie Mitchell are set to join the Lady Toppers from Indiana and Ohio, respectively.
WKU will seek an immediate impact from its newest freshmen as the Lady Toppers seek to replace three graduating seniors, all of whom drew starts in nearly all of WKU’s matches during the 2018 season. The Lady Toppers are coming off a 5-8-4 campaign and finished the season strong, earning at least one point in five of the last six matches against C-USA foes.
Logan Barber – Midfielder, 5’6”, New Albany, Ind.
A highly decorated player at both the club and high school level, Barber is set to bring a wealth of experience to the Lady Toppers immediately upon her arrival on The Hill. Barber has been a member of the Kentucky ODP squad since 2011 and served as the team captain in both 2017 and 2018; in addition, Barber has also competed at the international level within the ODP program, serving as a team captain on trips to compete in the Netherlands (2017) and England (2018). Barber has also been a member of the Region II ODP team for the last two years and has been invited to participate in the interregional event in Boca Raton, Fla., against the other three Region teams.
Barber has served as the team captain of her club team, Kentucky Fire Juniors, since 2014 and helped to lead the team to three consecutive State Cup championships from 2015 to 2017. For her strong efforts this year, Barber was selected as the Kentucky Youth Soccer Player of the Year, a prestigious annual honor awarded to the top girls’ youth soccer player in the state.
In high school, Barber played under Head Coach Shannon Dennehey at New Albany Senior High School, earning a spot on the Courier-Journal’s All-Area Team in each of her four seasons. A team captain as a junior and senior, Barber finished her high school career with 45 goals and 31 assists in just 67 career matches, and helped to lead the Dogs to the Hoosier Hills Conference championship in 2015.
Neidell on Barber: “Logan is the total package. She is a great person and a complete player who loves the game.”
Katie Erwin – Forward, 5’6”, Louisville, Ky.
Erwin joins the Lady Toppers from Male High School in Louisville, where she was a four-year star for the Bulldogs. A standout offensive player, Erwin was named Male’s Offensive Player of the Year in each of her first three seasons, including a junior year that saw her set the school’s single-season assist record, setting up 30 goals. A two-time First Team selection on the 7th Region team as a junior and senior, Erwin was also named an All-State selection in 2017 after also earning’s Male’s Golden Boot with 22 goals in addition to her 30 assists. During her time at Male, Erwin competed under Head Coach Christian Lauria.
Since joining Kentucky’s ODP pool in 2013, Erwin has gained extensive experience at the club level, reaching the ODP Region II pool in 2018 and traveling with Kentucky’s ODP program to compete in Liverpool, England. In addition to her ODP experience, Erwin has also reached the Kentucky State Cup finals three times in 2015, 2016 and 2018.
Neidell on Erwin: “Katie is an attacking player who makes dynamic runs off the ball and has a good finishing touch.”
Ansley Cate – Forward, 5’7”, Paris, Tenn.
An explosive scorer from northern Tennessee, Cate wrapped up her high school career at Henry County High School earlier this fall with 109 career goals while playing for Head Coach Thomas Klingenburg. Cate earned the squad’s Offensive Player of the Year two times during her career and was also selected as the Patriots’ Newcomer of the Year as a freshman in 2015. As a senior, Cate earned a spot on the All-State squad during her final year with Henry County.
Not only an honoree at the team level, Cate was a four-time All-District 13 selection by the TSSAA and captured the district’s Offensive MVP honors as a junior in 2017.
Neidell on Cate: “Ansley finally gives us a left-footed threat combined with great speed and athleticism.”
Maddie Mitchell – Midfielder, 5’6”, Dayton, Ohio
Mitchell heads to The Hill after a decorated club and high school career in southern Ohio, competing for the Ohio South ODP state team in 2016 and 2017, the Ohio Galaxies Elite 00 squad from 2015-18 and as a three-year player at Vandalia-Butler High School under Head Coach Burt Mattice.
In high school, Mitchell was a three-time All-Greater Western Ohio Conference North honoree, picking up Second Team honors in 2016 before earning First Team spots during her junior and senior campaigns. Additionally, she earned All-Area North accolades in 2017 and 2018 while also bringing home All-District honors as a senior from the Miami Valley Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association.
Neidell on Mitchell: “Maddie has wonderful potential and is an athletic player who can play make or score herself.”
Currie P. McFayden
WKU Associate Director of Athletic Communications