Five standout prep seniors to play for Vikings
Feb. 14, 2012
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Western Washington University women's soccer coach Travis Connell announced today that five talented high school seniors will play for the Vikings this fall. They are forward Jessica Bertucci from Sehome High School, forward/midfielder Stephanie Hamilton, who resides in Orting and attends Bellarmine Prep, defender Chelsea Jackson from Fraser Heights Secondary in Surrey, B.C., forward/midfielder Catherine Miles from Anacortes High School and midfielder Delanee Nilles from North Kitsap High School in Poulsbo.
Bertucci, Jackson, Miles and Nilles all signed national letters of intent and Hamilton has accepted a formal offer of admission.
"The character and drive of these young women will fit in perfectly with our current team dynamic," said Connell. "This group will strengthen our already stellar team chemistry. We look forward to getting them up to Bellingham and to start working with all of them. I expect them to make an immediate impact on our program."
Bertucci was a first-team Class 2A all-state choice for the second straight year and a first-team Northwest Conference all-star for the fourth consecutive season as a senior at Sehome. She scored 17 goals and tied for the league high with 12 assists in helping the Mariners to a 19-2-0 record, the Northwest District tournament title and the state quarterfinals.
As a junior, Bertucci was the MVP of the all-state team and the Bellingham Herald Whatcom County Player of the Year on a 22-1-1 team that won the state championship. She was a second-team all-state pick as a sophomore on a squad that placed third at state.
"Jessica is the type of player that will catch your eye just by her presence on the field," Connell said. "She's very athletic and one of the most dynamic attacking players off the dribble that I have ever seen."
Hamilton was a first-team Class 4A all-state choice as a senior at Bellarmine Prep and the Tacoma News Tribune All-Area Player of the Year. She was the Narrows League MVP for the second consecutive season and a first-team all-league pick for the fourth time.
Twice the Tacoma Athletic Commission Student-Athlete of the Year, Hamilton led the Lions to a 17-2-1 record and the state final with 21 goals and 12 assists.
"We have been looking for a creative attacking player," said Connell. "Stephanie is going to be an excellent creative playmaker. She can score goals and create them for others."
Jackson played on the British Columbia U-16 provincial team the placed fourth at the 2010 nationals held in Newfoundland.
"Chelsea is a physical presence on the field," Connell said. "Her heart and determination combined with her speed and power make her a force on defense."
Miles was a first-team Skagit Valley Herald all-Area choice for the fourth straight year as a senior at Anacortes. She scored 17 goals on a squad that reached the district playoffs for the second straight year.
As a junior, Miles was first-team Class 2A all-State and MVP of the SVH all-Area team, leading the Northwest Conference with 26 goals.
"Catherine is an excellent athlete and she can play almost anywhere on the field," said Connell. "Her versatility will enable us to do so many different things on the field."
Nilles was the Olympic League co-MVP for the second straight year and a first-team all-league pick for the fourth time as a senior at North Kitsap. She had career totals of 47 goals and 40 assists.
Nilles was a first-team all-state selection as a junior, helping the Seahawks to the first of two straight state tournament appearances.
"Delanee has played at a very high level," Connell said. "She is smart, composed on the ball and she makes the other players around her better. She can defend and attack and is dangerous on restarts."
WWU finished its 2011 campaign 10-5-3 overall and tied for second in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference at 9-4-1. The Vikings were unbeaten in their last five games (4-0-1), not allowing a goal during that stretch.
Jessica Bertucci, Forward, Freshman, 5-8, 18, 2/12/94, Bellingham, WA
HIGH SCHOOL: First-team Class 2A all-state choice for second straight year and first-team Northwest Conference all-star for fourth consecutive season as senior at Sehome High School ... Led Mariners to 19-2-0 record, Northwest District tournament title and state quarterfinals ... Tied for team high with 17 goals and tied for league best with 12 assists ... Team captain ... MVP of all-state team and Bellingham Herald Whatcom County Player of the Year as junior ... Played on state championship team that finished 22-1-1 ... Second-team all-state as sophomore, helping team place third at state ... Helped squad to first round at state as freshman ... Started and lettered four years ... Also earned three letters in basketball.
PERSONAL: Plans to major in either pre-physical therapy or pre-dentistry.
Stephanie Hamilton, Forward/Midfielder, Freshman, 5-2, 18, 8/12/94, Orting, WA
HIGH SCHOOL: First-team Class 4A all-state pick as senior at Bellarmine Prep ... Tacoma News Tribune All-Area Player of the Year and All-City selection ... Narrows League MVP for second consecutive season and first-team Narrows League all-star for fourth straight year ... Twice Tacoma Athletic Commission Student-Athlete of the Year ... Led Lions to 17-2-1 record, league title and final of Class 4A state playoffs ... Had 21 goals and had 12 assists ... Team captain, Team MVP for second time and Offensive MVP for fourth time ... Honorable mention all-state as junior ... Helped squad to 17-1-2 record, league championship, and state quarterfinals ... Sophomore ... Also played on state quarterfinal teams as sophomore and freshman ... Started and lettered four years ... Also earned two letters in track.
PERSONAL: Plans to major in pre-med or sports psychology.
Chelsea Jackson, Defender, Freshman, 5-9, 18, 1/9/94, Surrey, BC
HIGH SCHOOL: Played on British Columbia U-16 provincial team that placed fourth at 2010 nationals held in Newfoundland ... Scored 4 goals as junior for Firehawks at Fraser Heights Secondary ... Three-year letter winner ... Also participated in club volleyball and competitive hip-hop dancing.
PERSONAL: Horseback rider since age of seven ... Her father, Ernest, was Canadian middleweight kick-boxing champion ... Her brother, Coulton, played on U-17 and U-20 national soccer teams and was member of Vancouver Whitecaps reserve team.
Catherine Miles, Forward/Midfielder, Freshman, 5-7, 18, 7/12/94, Anacortes, WA
HIGH SCHOOL: First-team Skagit Valley Herald all-Area choice for fourth straight year and first-team all-Northwest Conference for second consecutive season as senior at Anacortes High School ... Team captain for Seahawks and voted MVP for third time ... Scored 17 goals on 13-6-0 squad that reached district playoffs for second straight year ... First-team Class 2A all-State and MVP of SVH all-Area team as junior ... Led conference in scoring with 26 goals ... WIAA/Seattle Times Class 2A state Athlete of the Week ... Second-team all-league as sophomore and honorable mention as freshman ... Started and lettered four years ... Also earned three letters in track ... As junior at state meet, placed eighth in both long jump and 300-meter hurdles and ninth in high jump ... As sophomore, finished fourth in 300 hurdles at state.
PERSONAL: Plans to major in chemistry or biology.
Delanee Nilles (pronounced Nil-les), Midfielder, Freshman, 5-10, 18, 2/4/94, Poulsbo, WA
HIGH SCHOOL: Olympic League co-MVP for second straight year and first-team all-league pick for fourth consecutive season as senior at North Kitsap High School ... Had career totals of 47 goals and 40 assists ... As senior, helped Vikings to second consecutive appearance at Class 2A state tournament ... Team captain, having 12 goals and 6 assists on 10-3-5 squad ... First-team all-state selection as junior ... Played on 12-2-3 squad that won league championship, finishing with 12 goals and 10 assists ... As sophomore, had 9 goals and 14 assists on 12-3-2 team ... As freshman, had 14 goals and 10 assists on 12-3-2 team that reached first round of Class 3A state tournament .... Started and lettered four years ... Also earned two letters in track and one in basketball ... Played club soccer for Issaquah's Eastside FC ... Finalist for national U17 team.
PERSONAL: Plans to major in elementary education ... Began playing soccer at five years of age ... Her father, John, played basketball at Regis University CO and her mother, Kay, played basketball at North Idaho College ... Her sister, Lakiesha, competes in track at Northwest Nazarene University and her brother, Berkley, plays basketball at Everett CC.
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