UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State women’s soccer Head coach Erica Walsh announced the addition of seven new Nittany Lions on Wednesday (Feb. 6) afternoon. Salina Williford (Wayne, Pa.) joined the Nittany Lions on campus in January and joining her this August will be Brittany Basinger (Fairfax, Va.), Olivia Brandy (Gibsonia, Pa.), Chloe Buehler (Perrysburg, Ohio), Andrea Gunderson (West Chester, Pa.), Angela Widlacki (Naperville, Ill.), and Anna Witte (Morrisville, N.C.).
"We are incredibly excited to welcome the class of 2013 to the Penn State soccer family," said head coach Erica Walsh. "We are looking forward to having this group of athletic and talented players join us in our 2013 quest to win another Big Ten Championship and a National Championship."
Fairfax, Va. • Woodgrove High School • FC Virginia ECNL
Basinger is bringing her experience of playing in big games to Happy Valley next season. Basinger played on the U17 Women’s National Team and in the U17 Women’s World Cup this past fall. Playing high school soccer at Woodgrove under coaches Erin Barrett and Jesse Shehan, Basinger helped lead her team to the 2012 AA VHSL State Championship as well as district and region championships. Basinger was named to the All-District and All-Region teams. She was a multisport athlete in high school, lettering in soccer for four years and basketball for three. Basinger plays club soccer for FC Virginia ECNL and is coached by Paul Ellis and Carolyn Rice.
Quoting Erica Walsh: "Brittany is an ultra-talented back with an attacking mindset and a fantastic engine. Her growth and development over the past year and half leave no doubt that she will do great things here and that the sky is the limit for her."
Quoting Basinger: "I chose Penn State because of the coaching staff and the family atmosphere that they have created."
Gibsonia, Pa. • Home Schooled (Pine Richland School District) • Beadling Soccer College
The Pittsburgh native plays club soccer for the Beadling Soccer Club, where Brandy has been a six-time team captain and has helped her team become five-time PA West State Cup champions. Brandy was home schooled in Pine Richland School District and played soccer for Pine Richland. During her high school career, Brandy was an All WPIAL selection her sophomore and senior years. She was also a team captain her junior and senior seasons and was selected as the team’s most Outstanding Offensive Player. Brandy also lettered in track and field and was a captain for her team during her sophomore year.
Quoting Erica Walsh: "Olivia’s athleticism and attitude are exceptional. Her work ethic and positivity will make the players around her better and will help her to realize her own potential here at Penn State."
Quoting Brandy: "I chose Penn State because it has everything I ever wanted; great academics, great people, and a great soccer program."
Perrysburg, Ohio • Perrysburg High School • Pacesetter Soccer Club
Buehler is a goalkeeper who hails from Perrysburg, Ohio. At Perrysburg High School under head coach Jorge Diaz, Buehler was a four-year starter and was named Second Team All-League last season. Only 8 short months after having back surgery, Buehler helped the Yellow Jackets win their first State Championship last season and had a perfect season of 23-0 with 19 shutouts. Buehler holds the Perrysburg High School record for most individual shutouts in a season and most shutouts in a career. Her Pacesetter Soccer Club team coached by former Penn State men’s soccer coach Jimmy Walker, were 2011 State Cup finalists in Ohio.
Quoting Erica Walsh: "Chloe’s training ethic and determination to make an early impact on this program will ensure a competitive environment for our goalkeepers. Her incredible demeanor and ability to overcome adversity will be an inspiration."
Quoting Buehler: "I chose Penn State because of the great academics and soccer program that will challenge me every day. After my first visit, I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else. I knew it was the right fit."
West Chester, Pa. • WC Rustin • Penn Fusion Soccer Acadmey
Gunderson has been a consistent member of State and Regional Olympic Development teams and was the starting center back on the Region 1 ODP team at the Inter-Regional event. At WC Rustin High School in West Chester, Pa., she’s been named both league MVP and a member of the All-State team and is the fifth all-time scorer at her school. She has been part of the American Division championship teams both in 2011 and 2012. A member of Penn Fusion Soccer Academy Gunderson’s team, coached by Jonny Rhodes, won the 2009 Pennsylvania State Championship.
Quoting Erica Walsh: "Gundy has been a mainstay in the back for the Regional team and is one of the best defenders in the 2013 class. Her versatility in the back and her leadership potential will ensure that she has a great career here at Penn State."
Quoting Gunderson: "Penn State was one of the first colleges I looked at during my recruitment process. I fell in love with everything about it. Erica played a huge roll in my decision because she is a great coach who believes in me and will push me to be the player I want to be. I also loved campus. I remember the first time I toured campus and thought to myself I could definitely see myself here for four years."
Naperville, Ill. • Naperville North High School • NSA Fireballs
As one of the best players from Illinois, Widlacki is bringing her set of skills to Penn State next season. Widlacki played in the U.S. National League and led her team, the NSA Fireballs, coached by former Penn State great Bonnie Young, to the Illinois State Cup finals. While at Naperville High School, Widlacki, coached by Steve Goletz, guided her team to back-to-back state championship games, winning the 2012 state championship. She was named to the DuPage Valley Conference All-Academic Team and was also the NNHS Girls Soccer "Most Inspirational Player" of 2012.
Quoting Erica Walsh: "Ang has had the benefit of training under former All-American and Penn State stand-out Bonnie Young and has developed very similar training habits and expectations of herself. Her work ethic and determination through ACL rehab have allowed her to return to the game stronger than ever and ready to make an impact for us."
Quoting Widlacki: "I love Penn State’s entire atmosphere–it’s a great campus with great academics and competitive soccer. Every single person I met was super nice, and it didn’t take long to realize on my first visit that the personalities of my future teammates and coaches resembled those of some of my best friends and me, so I knew right away that it was the perfect choice for me."
Wayne, Pa. • Conestoga High School • PDA
Williford comes to Penn State with a decorated high school résumé. A first team Central League player from 2010-2012, Williford was a finalist for the Gatorade Player of the Year of Pennsylvania in 2011. While at Conestoga High School, Williford was named an All-State player in 2011, All-South Eastern PA in 2011, and captain of her team in 2012. She helped guide Conestoga to a Central League Championship in 2009 and to the State semifinals in 2010. As a member of PDA, coached by Seth Korman, Williford was on the 2010 State Cup Championship team. Salina has been a member of the Region 1 team from 2009-2012.
Quoting Erica Walsh: "We have been fortunate to have Salina here with us as an early enrollee over the last few weeks. She has jumped right in and has fit in well with the group. She will be an important piece for us moving forward as we fight to get back to the College Cup."
Quoting Williford: "I chose Penn State because I immediately fell in love with the school after my first visit and felt that it was the best fit for me in terms of both education and athletics. I couldn’t see myself anywhere else. It is an amazing opportunity to play for such incredible coaches and with such a talented team."
Morrisville, N.C. • Cary High School • 94 CASL Elite/94 CASL Chelsea Ladies
Witte comes to Penn State from North Carolina and comes in as a very decorated player. While on the 94 CASL Elite and 94 CASL Chelsea Ladies teams coached by Rusty Scarborough and Damon Nahas, Witte helped her team win back-to-back Region III Championships in 2012 and 2013 and was named Co-Captain of the 94 CASL Elite team in 2011 and 2012. She was also a NCYSA State Cup finalist in 2012. While in high school at Cary, Witte was coached by Laura Kerrigan and won individual awards including being named to the Varsity Soccer All-Region Team, All-Conference Player, and an Academic All-Conference Player.
Quoting Erica Walsh: "Anna is a talented left-footed left back with a good brain for the game. Her training ethic and desire to get better every day will make all of us better and will make her an asset for us in the back."
Quoting Witte: "I chose Penn State because it has everything I could ever ask for in a school. The academics along with an outstanding soccer program and awesome school spirit give me the opportunity to achieve my goals. There is no other place I would rather spend the next four years."