Bellarmine University Coach Chris Tinius on Thursday announced seven new additions to the Knights women’s soccer team.

“We are extremely excited about our 2017 class of new Knights,” Tinius said. “We have a group of young ladies joining our program that are talented and accomplished on and off the field. We also think they fit our program from the standpoint of personality and mentality, which is important to keeping the great team chemistry we’ve had over the last couple of years.”

Here’s a look at the latest recruiting class to join the Knights.

Lauryn Deshane
Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI
Position: Midfield
High School: Northview High School
High School Awards: All-Conference, honorable-mention All-State
Club Team: Midwest United
Club Soccer: State Champions, MRL Premier 1 Champions, USYS National League
Tinius on Deshane: “Lauryn is a solid central midfielder and a blue-collar player. She comes from a good club environment and has been exposed to a very good level the last few years in the National League. She is a grinder that is willing to mix it up and do the dirty work. There are a lot of things about her game that remind me of Josie Metzger, who we lost to graduation. She is also a kid that completely fell in love with Bellarmine – not just our soccer program – and we are glad to have her as a Knight.”

Samantha Ferry
Hometown: Bloomfield Hills, MI
Position: Midfield
High School: Bloomfield Hills High School
High School Awards: 2015 and 2016 All-Region, 2016 third -team All-State
Club Team: Nationals Union Black
Club Soccer: Michigan State Cup Champions 2016, USYS National League
Tinius on Ferry: “Samantha first caught my eye last summer while at regionals with her Waza team. She was playing in the attacking midfield spot and did very well on the ball. She came to our summer camp and did well there too. When her club joined with Michigan Gators to form Nationals Union, she stayed with the top team and her game continues to grow playing against top competition in the National League. She has also proven to be a very gritty player, which is something we will need in the midfield as we try and reshape ourselves after graduation and losses due to injury.”

Elyssa Francis
Hometown: Evansville, IN
Position: Goalkeeper
High School: Reitz Memorial
High School Awards: Senior captain, first-team All-State
Club Team: Indiana Fire Juniors South
Tinius on Francis: “Elyssa has all the tools to help continue our spoils at the goalkeeper position. She has a good presence in the goal, can make some big-time saves and her kicking game is good. She’s not afraid to communicate and organize the team in front of her. Her club team sometimes used her in the midfield too. We won’t do that but her comfort level with her feet is certainly a bonus. Elyssa should come in with the benefit of not feeling too much pressure because we have good returning goalkeepers on the roster. That said, she is capable of competing and making a mark for herself as well.”

Alex Harber
Hometown: Memphis, TN
Position: Defender/Forward
High School: White Station High School
High School Awards: Senior captain
Club Team: Lobos Premier 98
Club Soccer: State Champions
Tinius on Harber: “Alex is a versatile flank player with good technical ability and good service as a lefty, which is something we needed. She has played outside back most recently but has and can play as a wide midfielder or forward as well depending on the system and personnel. She is back playing with her hometown club as a senior, but showed the investment to play formerly with Birmingham United’s ENCL team. Her exposure to different ideas and environments should be an asset as she gets to Bellarmine.”

Camryn Pictor
Hometown: Versailles, KY
Position: Midfield/Defender
High School: Woodford County HS
High School Awards: First-team Academic All-State
Club Team: Lexington Futbol Club
Tinius on Pictor: “We are very excited to have Camryn joining our soccer family. She is hard working, competent on the ball and versatile enough to fill several roles. Camryn is also the kid that would go unsolicited and watch other teams to help her high school coach scout future opponents. She is the type of kid that through her high school years and maybe even once she gets to Bellarmine might not get all the hype and publicity, but she represents what every good program wants as their foundation.”

Natalie Teo
Hometown: Columbus, IN
Position: Forward/Midfield
High School: Columbus North
High School Awards: Senior captain, honorable-mention All-State
Club Team: South Central Soccer Academy
Tinius on Teo: “Natalie could very well end up being the ‘hidden gem’ of this class. She slipped a little under the radar probably because of where she is from and playing for a little smaller club. That said, she has been very accomplished at both the club and high school levels. She is a good athlete with a well-rounded set of attacking attributes. I think in the right circumstance and depending on how we decide to play, she could help right away, and once she settles into the college game, her upside is very high.”

Ellie Vandergriff
Hometown: Alexandria, KY
Position: Defender
High School: Notre Dame Academy
High School Awards: Team MVP, 2013 State Champions
Club Team: Ohio Elite ECNL
Club Soccer: Four-time State Champion w/ Kings Hammer Academy; 2016 ECNL Champions League with Ohio Elite
Tinius on Vandergriff: “Ellie will be a great addition to our program. She has played center back at a very high level with her club team. Aside from being a good player, she has the ability to provide a take-charge presence with organization and communication as she gains experience in the program, somewhat similar to what Jordan Major gave us a couple of years ago. While she’s not from Louisville, Ellie also continues our tradition of trying to secure top talent from some of the best Catholic school programs across the state.”

Bellarmine went 11-3-4 last season with a senior-heavy squad. The Knights lost six to graduation, five of whom were All-Great Lakes Valley Conference selections during their respective careers.

“We are losing a talented group of seniors, but it’s not this class’s responsibility to come in and ‘replace’ them,” Tinius noted. “That said, we certainly have players in this group of seven that will end up assuming some very big roles on our team in the short term and over the course of their career. It is a pretty deep and tight group from top to bottom with versatility and some traits that addressed specific needs for our program. They are not only going to be good players, but the hope is always that they complement what you have returning to still complete the puzzle even if the pieces look a little different.”

Tinius said his relatively good-sized recruiting class could grow.

“We may or may not be finished,” he said. “Unfortunately, we’ve had some long-term injury concerns on top of the graduating players, so we may look to add even another piece or two. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen. But either way, we are extremely happy with the class as it stands now and the way they are going to help our program.”

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by Adam Pruiett