Six prep seniors, one transfer to play for Vikings
Feb. 17, 2012
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Western Washington University men's soccer coach Travis Connell announced today that six high school seniors and one junior college transfer will play for the Vikings this fall.
The seven newcomers are midfielder/forward Austin Curtis from Bonney Lake High School, midfielder Leonard Kusina from Shattuck St. Mary's Prep School in Fairbault, Minn., defender/midfielder Kurtis Pederson from Bellarmine Prep; midfielder Nate Popp from Mount Si High School, midfielder Sawyer Preston from Eastlake High School, goalkeeper Nico Terentjev from Mercer Island High School, and defender Jeremy Wentzel, a transfer from Shoreline CC who graduated from Edmonds-Woodway High School.
Curtis, Kusina, Pederson, Popp, and Preston all signed national letters of intent and Terentjev and Wentzel have accepted a formal offers of admission.
"We expect this group of talented young men to make an immediate impact on our program," said WWU coach Travis Connell. "There is a little of everything in this class with goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and a forward. Next year our team will be bigger, stronger and faster, but we have been most impressed by this group's eagerness to get started. They are excited to be Vikings."
Curtis was a first-team Tacoma News Tribune all-Area and South Puget Sound League 3A all-star as a junior at Bonney Lake. He helped the Panthers to a 16-2-1 record, a SPSL title and the first round of the state playoffs where they had a 12-game win streak snapped in a 3-2 loss on penalty kicks to Lakeside. That season Curtis had 15 goals and led the league with 15 assists.
Kusina has played two seasons on a soccer academy squad and was captain of a U.S. Youth League U-16 squad in three years at Shattuck St. Mary's Prep School. He also competed two years at West Valley High School in Fairbanks, Alaska, helping the Eclipse Phoenix Soccer Club to two state titles during his time there.
Pederson has been a second-team Narrows League all-star in each of his first three years at Bellarmine Prep. As a junior, he helped the Lions to a second straight league title and a third consecutive Class 4A state tournament appearance, having 10 goals and 12 assists.
Pederson has played two years for Seattle Sounders FC Academy and one year for Washington Premier FC Academy. He also competed for the Federal Way Storm club team, helping it to three straight state tournament appearances from 2007 to 2009.
Popp received KingCo League 2A/3A all-star honorable mention as a junior at Mount Si, having four assists in leading the Wildcats to the district playoffs. He has been team captain the last six years for the Crossfire Premier club team.
Preston, who is entering WWU this spring, plays for the Seattle Sounders FC Academy. A second-team KingCo League 4A all-star as a senior at Eastlake High School, he had five goals and eight assists in helping the Wolves to the Class 4A state championship.
Terentjev is a team captain this season at Mercer Island High School and has played the last two years on the Crossfire Academy team.,
Wentzel is transferring spring quarter from Shoreline CC where he started for the Dolphins. He was a first-team Western Conference South Division all-star for the second straight year as a senior at Edmonds-Woodway High School. He scored six goals that season in helping the Warriors to a fourth consecutive district playoff appearance.
Wentzel played three years in the U.S. Development Academy system, two with Washington Premier and one with Seattle Sounders FC Academy.
WWU finished its 2011 campaign 5-11-1.
Austin Curtis, Midfielder/Forward, Freshman, 5-11, 170, 18, 8/21/93, Bonney Lake, WA
HIGH SCHOOL: First-team Tacoma News Tribune All-Area and South Puget Sound League 3A all-star as junior at Bonney Lake High School ... Helped Panthers to 16-2-1 record, SPSL title and first round of Class 3A state playoffs, losing 3-2 on penalty kicks to Lakeside that snapped 12-game win streak ... Had 15 goals and led league with 15 assists ... Named school's Male Athlete of the Year ... One letter ... Also lettered one year in football ... Transfer from Ponderosa High School in Parker, Colorado ... Did not play as sophomore because of torn ACL ... Honorable mention all-Continental League all-star as freshman ... Played one year with Seattle Sounders FC Academy and another with Washington Premier FC Academy.
PERSONAL: Plans to major in kinesiology with emphasis on pre-physical therapy.
Leonard Kusina, Midfielder, Freshman, 5-10, 155, 18, 1/23/94, Fairbault, MN
HIGH SCHOOL: Played two seasons on Soccer Academy squad and was captain of U.S. Youth League U-16 team during three-year stay at Shattuck St. Mary's Prep School ... Also competed two years at West Valley High School in Fairbanks, Alaska ... Started and lettered two years ... Helped Eclipse Phoenix Soccer Club to state championships in 2007 and 2008, being team captain one year.
PERSONAL: Plans to major in business ... His brother, Leroy, played soccer at Parkland College IL.
Kurtis Pederson, Defender/Midfielder, Freshman, 6-1, 180, 18, 10/6/93, Puyallup, WA
HIGH SCHOOL: Second-team Narrows League all-star for third straight year as junior at Bellarmine Prep ... Named team's Most Improved award winner ... Helped Lions to second straight league title and to first round of Class 4A state tournament for third time... Scored 10 goals and had 12 assists ... Team MVP as junior and Most Improved as freshman ... Started and lettered three years ... Played two years for Seattle Sounders FC Academy and one year for Washington Premier FC Academy ... Also played on Federal Way Storm club team, helping it to three straight state tournament appearances from 2007 to 2009, reaching quarterfinals in 2009.
PERSONAL: Plans to major in business and engineering ... His mother, Katie, ran track at Central Washington University ... His sister, Ciarra, plays soccer (goalkeeper) at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Nate Popp, Midfielder, Freshman, 5-11, 155, 17, 8/24/95, Redmond, WA
HIGH SCHOOL: Honorable mention KingCo League 2A/3A all-star as junior at Mount Si High School ... Had 4 assists in leading Wildcats to district playoffs ... Started two years and lettered three ... Also earned two letters in tennis ... Team captain last six years for Crossfire Premier club team.
PERSONAL: Plans to major in marketing ... His brother, Morgan, plays soccer at University of Hawaii-Hilo.
Sawyer Preston, Midfielder, Freshman, 6-1, 175, 18, 9/9/93, Sammamish, WA
COLLEGE: Did not attend college last year ... Played for Seattle Sounders FC Academy Team.
HIGH SCHOOL: Second-team KingCo League 4A all-star as senior at Eastlake High School ... Team captain ... Had five goals and eight assists in helping Wolves win league and Class 4A state championships ... Won U.S. Marine Corps Achievement Award for Distinguished Athlete of the Year ... Second-team all-league as junior with five goals and five assists on squad that reached first round at state ... Three-time school Scholar-Athlete award winner ... Started and lettered three years ... Team captain of Crossfire Premier U-16 team that won 2009-10 Washington State Cup championship and went to Mexico for regionals ... Team captain of Crossfire '93 Academy squad for five seasons ... Played one year on Seattle Sounders U18 Academy team.
PERSONAL: Plans to major in sports medicine or business administration ... His father, Wayne, played football for Toronto Argonauts.
Nico Terentjev (pronounced Tur-ren-chev), Goalkeeper, Freshman, 6-6, 210, 18, 3/11/94, Mercer Island, WA
HIGH SCHOOL: Team captain as a senior at Mercer Island High School ... Started and lettered three years ... Played on Crossfire Academy team two years ... Helped Crossfire Premier BU15A team to semifinals at Washington State Championship Cup in 2010 ... In 2008, played on team that was semifinalist at US Club Regional.
PERSONAL: Plans to major in exercise science or business ... His father, Andy, football at Bowdoin College MA ... His mother, Laury, played soccer, volleyball and basketball at Bates College MA.
Jeremy Wentzel, Defender, Sophomore, 5-5, 145, 19, 8/31/92, Edmonds, WA
COLLEGE: Transfer from Shoreline Community College ... Started and lettered for Dolphins.
HIGH SCHOOL: First-team Western Conference South Division all-star for second straight year as senior at Edmonds-Woodway High School ... Team captain and team MVP ... Scored six goals in helping Warriors to fourth consecutive district playoff appearances ... Played in WesCo North vs. South All-Star game as junior and senior ... All-league honorable mention as freshman ... Started and lettered four years ... Played three years in US Soccer Development Academy system, two with Washington Premier Academy and one with Sounders Academy.
PERSONAL: Plans to major in either philosophy and English.
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