LINDSBORG – Bethany College women’s soccer coach John Markey has added 10 new players for the upcoming season, a group that could propel the Swedes into the KCAC championship hunt.
• Ciara Dawson, Pittsburgh, Pa., becomes a Swede after playing for Grambling State University in Louisiana. She played for Norwin Elite's Cup team and has also played overseas in Sweden on two teams representing the United States, which she lists as her favorite memory from playing. According to Dawson, Bethany feels like a perfect fit. She looks forward to this new experience as a Swede. Dawson has a great appreciation for athletes Tobin Heath and Carli Lloyd because she can relate to how they play and she loves their hard work, dedication and love of the game.
Markey said of Dawson, "Ciara is going to bring some great experience to our team and is sure to make an impact this fall on the team and in the KCAC."
• Rachel Sianez, Manteca, Calif., is a transfer student from San Joaquin Delta College. Before this she attended East Union High School in Manteca, Calif., she also played for the Mountain View Los Altos Thunder soccer club. Sianez describes a goal she scored for Delta College in the 2015-16 season against rival junior college Modesto Junior College as her favorite soccer memory. With this goal Sianez helped lead her team to a 3-0 victory over MJC. Sianez's goal was to always play at a four-year program and had hoped to be able to get out of her home state of California. On her recruiting visit she was locked in by the welcoming of the girls and the beautiful campus itself, Markey then made it easy for her to choose to be a Swede.
"I've never been so comfortable being able to talk to a college coach before. That was when I realized that this is where I needed to be," Sianez said .
"We are very excited to have Rachel be joining us this fall," Markey said. "She comes from a great junior college program where she was a captain. She will immediately impact the team on the field, but more importantly her leadership and amazing attitude is what we are most excited for. She is a very committed player and refuses to settle for anything."
• Brooklynn Jade Meinke, Kansas City, Mo., previously played at Christ Prep Academy and Sporting Blue Valley. She then went on to Johnson County Community College and Colorado Mesa University, but will be finishing her playing career as a Swede. She sights Markey as her favorite athlete because he scored a game-winning goal with a bicycle kick and she thought that was cool.
When asked what her favorite moment thus far in her soccer career was Meinke responded, "either scoring the winning goal against the No. 1 team in the nation with JCCC in the first 28 seconds of overtime, or scoring the first hat trick for Colorado Mesa since 2006 against Metro State." Meinke then went on to talk about her choice of Bethany College, "I chose Bethany because of coach Johnny never giving up on getting me there, and I couldn't be more excited for my senior season.”
Markey said of Meinke; "BK, as we call her, is such an amazing young lady. I have been trying to recruit her to play for me since she was 17 years old and finally got her. As you can see with her answers to questions, she has a personality that will light up a locker room but also a work rate that will challenge everyone to be their best for the team. I am very excited to have her join us, her leadership and experience will be a very big factor in our success this coming fall."
• Hannah Denison, Arvada, Colo., played for Westminster AFC and Westminster High School. Denison claims scoring the winning goal against her team's rival as her favorite moment in her career. She sights Real Madrid Defender Sergio Ramos as her favorite player who has inspired her to always work hard and be a team player.
"I chose Bethany because everyone was so welcoming and right away it felt like a second home to me," Denison said.
"I was very excited when Hannah decided to make Bethany College her home away from home," Markey said. "She is a very talented and athletic player who will be a great addition to our team. Hannah is sure to make an immediate impact on the field and has an amazing team driven attitude."
• Samantha Walleck, Poplar Grove, Ill., comes to Bethany after two years at Rock Valley College in Rockford, Ill.
Walleck was asked what her favorite moment thus far in her career was and she said; "scoring the final penalty kick in districts, bringing the RVC team to the very first nationals. It was a huge accomplishment, not just for me but for the team as well. Especially being the first year of soccer at RVC since 2004. In the end, we placed fourth overall in the nation."
"The thing that reassured me that Bethany was the place for me was the team," Walleck said of her choice. "I had the chance to practice with them when I came down to visit and right when I stepped on the field they made me feel like I was already part of the team. Right then and there, I knew I wanted to spend the last two years playing for Bethany. I knew I could be a part of the Bethany family."
Markey said of Walleck, "Sam brings more leadership and depth to our midfield. She is one of the hardest-working recruits we have coming in and with her college experience already looks to be an impact player for the next two years for us."
• Alyssa McBride, Copperas Cove, Texas., played at Copperas Cove High School where she earned All-State honors and was the team captain. McBride was also a captain for the Tri-County Flyers soccer club. She looks for Bethany to challenge her both academically and athletically.
McBride's favorite athlete is Ronaldinho de Assis Moreira, "when I first saw him play it was like magic. Ever since that moment I knew that soccer was the way I wanted to go."
Markey said of McBride; "Aly is a very talented young player. I believe she will bring a lot of speed and technical ability to our team. She is a very confident person on and off the field and I think is a direct reflection of why she has been so successful thus far in her soccer career. I believe Aly will make an immediate impact on the field and in the KCAC."
• Breanna Moreno, Las Vegas, Nev., played for Las Vegas Premier Sports Academy. Moreno has enjoyed being able to look at different schools and experience practice with different coaches. She values hard work on the field which has led her to an admiration of Ronaldinho de Assis Moreira.
Moreno said on her choice to become a Swede, "Out of all the schools I have visited, Bethany stood out the most to me. The girls on the team were so welcoming and coach Markey was really patient with me and helped make sure Bethany was the school for me, I am so excited to be part of the family."
"We are very excited to have Breanna join us this fall," Markey said of Moreno. "She comes from a great soccer environment and is sure to compete for play time immediately."
• Kylie Young, Fort Worth, Texas, hails from Fossil Ridge High School and played for the Dallas Texans '98 Red. Young has enjoyed her entire career and could not single out just one favorite moment. She is excited to bring her skills to Bethany because she feels like she can learn and excel in her soccer career.
Markey said, "we are so excited to have Kylie joining us this fall. She comes from a great club team and when recruiting she immediately caught my eye because of how hard she worked on the field, not just for herself but covering for her teammates. She has exactly what we were looking for in our 2016 recruits and will find a lot of success here at Bethany!"
• Carissa Zubro, Tyler, Texas, played for East Texas Christian Academy and FC Dallas '98 girls. She labels any time she has scored a goal as a favorite moment in her career. She made the choice to become a Swede because of Markey and the opportunity to continue playing the sport she loves. When asked who her favorite player is she said, "Alex Morgan, even though she is a common favorite. Especially after writing a research paper and learning how she started out no different from all of us and how she never stopped working so hard to be the athlete she is today."
Markey said of Zubro, "I was so excited when Carissa called and said she would be joining us for the fall. She came on a visit and trained with the team for a day, and I knew immediately we had to get her here. She has a great understanding of the game and a work rate that is hard to match. She is a versatile player with the ability to help us all over the field and I see her really enjoying her freshmen season and adding talent to our already deep team."
• Cailin Mischo, Denver, Colo., played at South High School along with the Riverside Renegades. Mischo chose Bethany because she saw the small school environment as ideal for her college experience and she is excited to continue her playing career. She sights Hope Solo as her favorite athlete and she was most excited about scoring a goal with her head.
Markey said on Mischo, "Cailin came to me expressing interest about wanting to continue her soccer career at Bethany College. It took me about five minutes before I knew she would be a perfect fit for us! She has a great personality and wants nothing more than to succeed. She will add depth to our team and bring a great mentality to an already mentally strong group of girls."