(Posted May 20, 2011)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College women's soccer has received commitments from nine incoming freshmen to continue their education at Juniata while competing for the Eagles and head coach Scott McKenzie this fall.

The nine newest members of Juniata women's soccer are, in alphabetical order, Lillian Dudek (Downingtown, Pa./Upattinas School), Shayna King (Easton, Pa./Easton), Lauren Liacouras (Collegeville, Pa./Perkiomen Valley), Mackenzie Magley (Ebensburg, Pa./Central Cambria), Cara Spiess (Spring City, Pa./The Hill School), Katie Szczur (Johnstown, Pa./Richland), Katie Tallman (Westminster, Md./South Carroll), Casandra Torres (Mount Holly, N.J./Doane Academy) and Taylor Whetsel (Indiana, Pa./Indiana).

Lillian Dudek, a 5-7 midfielder, competes for the West Chester United '92 Predators under the direction of coach Matthew Carmichael. The Predators competed in the championship match of the 2008 Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association (EPYSA) State Cup Tournament.

"Lillian will be able to bring a great deal of experience in big games to the Eagles midfield, and also has the potential of being available as a defender or forward," said McKenzie. "She's a complete player."

Shayna King, a 5-10 defender, joins the Eagles after a successful soccer and swimming career at Easton Area High School. King also competes for the Vincent United Vendetta club team coached by Emmaus High School coach Robert Rooney. Easton has competed in both District 11 and PIAA state tournaments during King's tenure, and she is currently battling for conference and district playoff spots. King was recently named to the Lehigh Valley Conference All-Star team.

"Shayna is a big, physical player who has been well coached and is ready for the college game," noted McKenzie.

Lauren Liacouras, a 5-2 midfielder, will be a hard Viking to replace at Perkiomen Valley High School. Liacouras is the reigning team MVP as well as co-captain for the 2010 squad. In addition, she was named to the PAC-10 and area all-star teams as a midfielder after her senior year. Liacouras was awarded the Robyn McNeal Player of the Year Award after her sophomore year, the same year that she was named to the PAC-10 and Norristown Times-Herald all-star teams as a midfielder.

"Lauren is a wonderfully creative and unselfish midfield player with a great mind for the game." McKenzie added. "She will be a delight to coach."

Mackenzie Magley, a 5-4 forward, will join the Eagles following a successful three sport career at Central Cambria High School, where she competed as a member of the Red Devils' soccer, basketball, and softball squads. Magley was named as a member of the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference (LHAC) All-Conference team following her junior and senior seasons, and was also honored as a member of the Altoona Mirror First Team All-Area squad in 2009 and again in 2010.

"Mackenzie is a speed threat anywhere you put her on the field and she should add offensive punch to our squad this season," said McKenzie. "In addition, she's a member of a family tradition of excellence at Juniata, with her father competing as a member of the Eagle football teams in the mid-70s, and her aunt and uncle both attending Juniata."

Cara Spiess, a 5-5 defender, joins the Eagles from The Hill School in Pottstown where she competed as a member of the The Blues' soccer team for four years, earning a Prep League Championship in 2010. A team captain as a senior, Spiess was named an All-Area selection following her sophomore and junior years and was named to the Mid-Atlantic Prep League All-Academic team following her sophomore and senior seasons. Spiess played her club soccer for the Vincent United Blizzards, coached by former Trinidad & Tobago World Cup team member and FIFA Youth Academy Coach Kendall Walkes.

"Cara brings an exceptional work ethic and great skill with her to Juniata and will fit in very well with our system of play," added McKenzie.

Katie Szczur, a 5-5 defender, joins Juniata after a successful career at Richland, where she competed for the Rams as a member of both the girls soccer and track and field teams. Under the direction of soccer coach Nathan Gironda, Szczur and her teammates captured the PIAA District 6 girls soccer championship in 2008, 2009 and 2010, with the 2010 squad advanced all the way to the PIAA state quarterfinals. Szczur holds the Richland girls soccer record for assists in a season (21) and career assists (38) and was twice named to the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference All-Conference team (2009, 2010).

"Katie is a dynamic player with skill as an attacking threat and a defensive player. She's also outstanding on set pieces and delivers a corner kick with the best of them," stated McKenzie.

Katie Tallman, a 5-4 forward, makes her way to Huntingdon via Westminster, Md., and the South Carroll High School Cavaliers, where she competed as a member of the girls soccer team under head coach Andrew Issaco. A four-year South Carroll Scholar Athlete Award recipient, Tallman helped lead her squad to an undefeated and unscored-upon regular season this past fall on the Cavaliers' way to the county championship.

"Katie is an attacking player who knows how to win. She will be a great addition," said McKenzie.

Casandra Torres, a 5-4 midfielder and forward, joins the Eagles from Doane Academy where she and her teammates, under the direction of head coach Mary Ann Bobroski, earned the 2010 Penn-Jersey Athletic Association girls soccer championship. Torres played her club ball with the highly competitive FC Copa "Fuego" team trained by head coach Paulo Santos.

"Casandra has many talents and can be used anywhere on the field. She can attack on the flanks and can finish in front of the goal - a very valuable player," stated McKenzie.

Taylor Whetsel, a 5-4 forward, hails from Indiana, Pa., and competed for the Indians under head coach Courtney Thompson. A four-year letter winner, Taylor was a WPIAL All-Section selection after her senior campaign and was also named the Indians' Offensive Player of the Year. Whetsel was named a team captain for her junior and senior seasons. In addition, she captained her Allegheny Force U-17 club team that captured the Pennsylvania President's Cup state championship.

"Taylor is a hard-working, tenacious attacking player who just doesn't quit. She handles pressure well and doesn't shy away from the physical side of the game. She'll be an asset for us, for sure," added McKenzie.

The 2011 campaign opens on Friday, Sept. 2, in Greensburg, Pa., as the Eagles take on the Bobcats of Pitt-Greensburg at 4:00 p.m. Juniata will make its home debut on Wednesday, Sept. 7, as Saint Vincent College travels to Huntingdon for a 5:00 p.m. start.


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Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.