Walsh welcomes seven to women’s soccer family
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State women’s soccer Head coach Erica Walsh announced the additions of seven new Nittany Lions on Friday afternoon. The class is highlighted by Costa Rican national star Raquel Rodriguez Cedeño (San Jose, Costa Rica) and American standouts Corey Persson (Danvers, Mass. and Mallory Weber (Novi, Mich.). Four more recruits are set to join the squad in 2012 as well including Jenna Kalwa (Pennington, N.J.), Meghan Kaminski (Doylestown, Pa.), Mallory Peterson (Clinton Corners, N.Y.) and Megan Ritchey (State College, Pa.).
"Our staff is extremely excited about this group of incoming student-athletes," Walsh said about the class of 2016. "We have a great mix of speed, power, skill and technical ability across multiple positions that will help Penn State in our quest to win a 15th straight Big Ten title and return to the Women’s College Cup."
Raquel Rodriguez Cedeño
Forward/Midfield • San Jose, Costa Rica • International Christian School • Deportivo Saprissa
Already one of Costa Rica’s top players, Rodriguez Cedeño recently returned from the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament, helping lead the Ticas to reach the tournament semifinals. Rodriguez Cedeño has also been a fixture on the youth circuit, leading the U-17 team to the FIFA World Cup in 2008, scoring once, while helping the U-20 team to the 2010 World Cup as well. A crafty forward that is able to slide into an attacking midfielder role, Rodriguez Cedeño comes from a soccer family as her father Sivianni Rodriguez plied his club trade at Herediano and with the Costa Rican National Team. Rodriguez Cedeño plays for Deportivo Saprissa in San Jose.
Quoting Erica Walsh: "Raquel is a truly talented soccer player. Her international experience has prepared her well to step right into the highest level in college soccer and do great things"
Quoting Rodriguez Cedeño: "I chose Penn State because it has a very good academic program as well as a high level women’s soccer team."
Midfield • Danvers, Mass. • Danvers • Stars of Massachusetts
One of the top players out of Massachusetts, Persson is one of the best attackers in the game, especially from the outside midfield position. The speedy player from Danvers has played with the Stars of Massachusetts coached by Jason Dewhurst, winning six state championships while reaching the national finals in 2008 after a Region I title. At Danvers High, Jimmy Hinchion coached Persson who captured four Eastern Massachusetts First Team and Player of the Year Awards. Named to the All-Massachusetts team four times, Person earned three All-Scholastic honors and twice to the All-New England team. More recently, Persson garnered All-America attention to cap her high school career.
Quoting Erica Walsh: "Corey is one of the best natural wide players I’ve seen in the youth game. A talented forward as well, she will be a valuable asset for us immediately."
Quoting Persson: "I chose Penn State because I fell in love with the atmosphere and opportunities that were presented to me when I first visited. It is a great academic school along with a strong and respected soccer program. I could not imagine myself at a better school."
Forward • Novi, Mich. • Northville • Michigan Hawks
An athletic forward from the same high school as former Penn State standout Danielle Toney, Mallory Weber brings her skills to Happy Valley. A standout performer for the Michigan Hawks coached by Derek Williford, Weber led the Hawks to seven straight Michigan State Cups. Currently, Williford and Weber have built the Hawks into the third-ranked ECNL team in the nation this season. Weber has been apart of multiple Olympic Development teams, earning regional championships in 2009-10 as well as taking a trip to Holland in 2010. At Northville High, Eric Brucker coached Weber, who earned All-State honors in 2010-11 as well as three All-Conference and three All-District nods from 2009-11. A multi-sport athlete, Weber is also a captain of the Northville basketball team, earning MVP honors in 2010 and 2011 with three letters to her name.
Quoting Erica Walsh: "Mallory’s speed and athletic ability will make an impact for us right away. She is a talented player with an incredible work ethic."
Quoting Weber: "I choose Penn State because it was just overall better than all of the schools I visited, especially the coaches. I knew it was the right fit and an amazing soccer program!"
Defense/Midfield • Pennington, N.J. • Hopewell Valley Central • MFC ’93 Wildcats
Kalwa comes to Penn State from New Jersey, playing her club ball for Mike Pollar on the MFC ’93 Wildcats and participating in previous PSU soccer camps. She has helped the Wildcats to multiple tournament championships up and down the East Coast, serving as captain since 2011. At Hopewell Valley Central High, John McGinley and Jeff Newman have helped develop Kalwa into one of the best players HVC has seen. Kalwa led her high school squad to conference championships in 2009 and 2010 as well as a state runner-up finish in 2010. Individually, Kalwa has been a NSCAA All-Region, All-CVC, All-South Jersey and All-State honoree. She is also a state champion in the track, helping HVC to the Group 3 Indoor Track State championships in 2009 and 2010. The fiery defender has been apart of several ODP camps in the past.
Quoting Erica Walsh: "Jenna caught our eye in our summer camp a few years ago and as we continued to track her, we became more and more impressed. A tenacious and fearless player, Jenna has the work ethic and all the tools to be successful in a number of positions here."
Quoting Kalwa: "I chose Penn State because I was inspired to look here by my great grandfather, who was to play football here. Before I even visited the school I had a feeling it was where I belonged, and once I did visit, I felt I couldn’t go anywhere else."
Goalkeeper • Doylestown, Pa. • Central Bucks South • Montgomery United S.C. Black
Kaminski is an accomplished goalkeeper out of Southeastern Pennsylvania coached by Dave "DJ" Jones with the Montgomery United S.C. With Montgomery, Kaminski helped lead the squad to the 2011 Jefferson Cup division championship. Kaminski earned clean sheets in the 2010 Orange Classic while being named the club’s player of the year. In high school at Central Bucks South, Kaminski was coached by Joe Bocklet. Kaminski scooped up numerous awards including 2010-11 Suburban One League All-Star nods as well as All-Intelligencer Goalkeeper. She is also a talented volleyball player as a middle hitter earning All-State First Team in 2011 and All-District as well. When the spring soccer season was switched to the fall during Kaminski’s junior year, she played soccer and volleyball simultaneously, selecting soccer as her primary sport during conflicts.
Quoting Erica Walsh: "Megan is a tremendous personality and a great athletic talent. The sky is the limit for Megan and it will be an absolute pleasure to watch her develop as she gets to train with some of the best goalkeepers in the country."
Quoting Kaminski: "I visited a lot of campuses, met many coaches and future teammates, and when I made my first soccer visit to Penn State I immediately knew this was where I wanted to play soccer and attend college."
Midfielder/Forward • Clinton Corners, N.Y. • Millbrook • Quickstrike F.C. 94s
Peterson is a top recruit from New York, plying her club trade for QuickSstrike F.C. under the direction of Jesse Kolmel. She has served as the team captain for the Quickstrike side, which has earned 2008 and 2010 Eastern N.Y. State Cup titles, while winning the 2009 SYL National Championship. Peterson has also been apart of two Region I Semifinals with Quickstrike in 2008 and 2010. Michael Williams and Sean McGuigan have coached Peterson at Millbrook High. Peterson scored 80 career goals and was a two-time All-Area First Team honoree, while leading Millbrook to the 2011 League Championship and Section 9 Finals from 2009-11. A versatile athlete, Peterson has run cross country, indoor and outdoor track, qualifying for States in all three seasons. An exceptional student, Peterson is also ranked No. 1 in her class with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average.
Quoting Erica Walsh: "Mallory’s competitive nature and work ethic will make her a success here at Penn State. Her versatility will serve her well and allow her to compete in a variety of positions."
Quoting Peterson: "I chose Penn State because it has everything I could ask for in a college. Penn State combines an outstanding soccer program with a respected academic institution and an incredible atmosphere."
Midfielder • State College, Pa. • State College • Central Penn United Spartans
Homegrown and Penn State loyal, Ritchey’s ties to Penn State go back to when she started attending soccer camp in Happy Valley. Ritchey played for the Central Penn United Spartans previously coached by former PSU goalkeeper Alison Weimer, Nittany Lion assistant Michael Coll, as well as former goalkeeper coach Marial Wilner. Ritchey helped lead the Spartans to the State semifinals in 2009. At State College, Ritchey was under the direction of Kevin Morooney, helping the Little Lions to four district championships, earning spots in the PIAA Sweet Sixteen (2008), PIAA semifinals (2009) and PIAA quarterfinals (2010-11).
Quoting Erica Walsh: "State College’s finest! We’ve gotten to know Megan over the years and have always been impressed with her technical ability and her creativity on the ball. We are so excited to have her join us here in her backyard and bring all of her Penn State pride and passion with her."
Quoting Ritchey: I chose Penn State because it’s the best possible combination of athletics and education, providing me with everything I need to be successful. It will always be my home."