LEXINGTON, Ky. - After setting multiple team and program records, advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, winning two games against top-15 teams, and finishing fourth in the Southeastern Conference, University of Kentucky head women's soccer coach Jon Lipsitz has announced his 2013 signing class which consists of 11 new players who will be added to the roster.
"This signing class has generated a lot of excitement around our program," said Lipsitz, who will enter his fifth season as head coach. "We did some special things last year, and a large part of that was because of our freshman class. They set the bar for this incoming class and I am confident that these young women are ready to set a new standard here. We put a lot of time and focus on recruiting and I think we have selected a lot of not only really solid soccer players, but also good community people and women we want to be around our program on a day-to-day basis; women who can help us become the team we want to be in the fall."
Destine Graves is a local product, hailing from Lexington, Ky., and is currently finishing up her senior season at Tates Creek High School. Graves played her club soccer under the direction of Brad Turpin at Lexington F.C., where she has racked up numerous accolades. Graves was a member of the Kentucky Olympic Development Program from 2008-12, a member of the U.S. regional pool during those same years, traveled internationally with the US Region II team and was the 2011 KYSA Girls Player of the Year, National Gatorade Player of the Year nominee, Miss Kentucky Soccer, and All-American player of the year. At Tates Creek, Graves played varsity all four years and was all-district, all-region, and all-state her junior year. She also led Tates Creek to its first-ever state championship in her senior season. While in high school, she has maintained good academics, recording her slot on the honor roll for three years. The daughter of Shawn and DeShana Collett, Destine plans to major in psychology and engineering.
Kaylee Hohein is from Centreville, Va., and comes in as one of the most talented center backs in the 2013 class. Hohein played her club soccer for the Herndon Firecats under the direction of Nadir Moumen. Hohein was a part of a team that won the 2010 and 2011 Virginia State Cup championship, as well as collecting a 2012 State Cup runner-up finish. Hohein served as the captain for the Firecats for six years, and was also elected captain of her high school team this year. Hohein at Westfield High School was named team MVP her junior year, first team all-district her junior year, and honorable mention all-region team. Off the field, Hohein is a four-year honor-roll student all four years of high school, volunteers at a nursing home and volunteered at a community service team that helps to build homes and schools in the Washington D.C. area. The daughter of Scott and Ann-Marie Hohein, Kaylee plans to major in human nutrition.
Jade Klump from Wildwood, Mo., will be a major part of the 2013 class as an attacking player. Klump played her club soccer under the direction of Jim Wipke at JB Marine. While with JB Marine, Klump led the team to the Missouri State Cup Championship in 2009, 10, 11 and 12 in addition to winning the Region II Championship in 2010. Klump, known for her speed, was also a track athlete in high school, collecting the AAU 200 meter dash record time in high school. While at the Visitation Academy, Klump's team was the Missouri Class II State Champions her freshman, sophomore and junior seasons. Individually, Klump was named second-team all-state in 2010, 2011 and first-team all-state in 2012. She enjoys doing community service outside the lines, and actively participates in SPENSA which teaches special-needs children the game of soccer. The daughter of John and Jeana Klump, Jade plans to major in psychology.
Karli Ladwig joins the 2013 class from Orange County, Calif., and played her soccer at the Southern California Blues Soccer Club under the direction of Larry Draluck. While with the club, Ladwig was a member of the team which won the 2012 Schwann National Championship, and the SurfBlues Cup from 2006-2008 and in 2011. Ladwig individually was named to the 2011 Cal South ODP pool for the 1995 age group. In her high school competition competing for Santa Margarita Catholic High School, Ladwig led her team to the Trinity League championship in all three seasons she played, including undefeated seasons in her freshman and sophomore seasons. Ladwig was the team captain in 2011, and Defensive Player of the Year in 2011. Ladwig has completed over 80 hours of community service and maintained a 4.23 GPA while in high school. The daughter of Jeff and Janet Ladwig, Karli plans to major in pre-veterinary sciences.
Kaitlin Miller from Dublin, Ohio joins the Wildcats from the Ohio Premier Eagles under the direction of Chris King. With Ohio Premier, Miller led the Eagles to the Ohio state championship in 2007 and 2009, while also finishing in the top 10 each year for ECNL. Individually, Miller was an ENCL player-development member in 2012 and 2013 in addition to being part of the ODP pool of players in 2009. Miller played soccer at the high-school level for Dublin Jerome, who won the league title her junior and senior seasons. In addition to winning her league, Miller led DJHS to a state runner-up finish her junior season and a regional finalist in her senior season. Miller was named first-team all-state in 2012, second team all-district in 2011 and first team all-league her sophomore season. She maintained her slot on the honor roll all four years of high school and volunteered her time at numerous high school camps in her spare time. The daughter of Bob and Margie Miller, Kaitlin is planning on majoring in kinesiology upon her arrival in Lexington.
Ayanna Parker is from Cincinnati, Ohio, where she currently lives in Hamilton, Ohio. Parker played her club soccer at the Ohio Elite Soccer Academy under the direction of head coach Douglas Bracken and goalkeepers coach Dave Schureck. Parker was the starting goalkeeper nearly every game the last five seasons for Ohio Elite. In addition, she was a Nike-sponsored ECNL Player Development Player member in Toledo, Ohio, and was also named the starting keeper there. While at Summit Country Day High School, Parker led her team to back-to-back Final Fours, and Ohio State Champions in her junior season. Parker was named Miami Valley Conference all first-team in 2012, defensive MVP, and completed her senior season with 16 shutouts, only allowing eight goals. Parker has tutored Inner City Youths for the last three years as a member of the Leadership Scholars Program. She is also very active in her Church and Jack and Jill of America, Inc. providing tutorial services to Inner City Children and working in Homeless Shelters throughout the City. The daughter of Rex and Jacqueline Parker, Ayanna has not decided on a major for her studies in the fall.
Ashleigh Riddle is another Buckeye, hailing from Hilliard, Ohio, after playing her club soccer for Chris King at Ohio Premier. Riddle attended Hilliard Darby High School, where she achieved many spotlights in her time there. She was on varsity all four seasons, a scholar athlete all four seasons, team MVP her sophomore and junior seasons, first team all-OCC her sophomore and junior seasons, and second team all-district her junior season. Riddle was elected to be her high school's team captain her senior season. Riddle works as a law intern for a career mentorship and has been on the honor roll during her high school career. She also earned a track varsity letter at Hilliard Darby. The daughter of Jason and Annie Riddle, Ashleigh will be majoring in pre-law and psychology.
Morgan Riggs from Louisville, Ky., played her club soccer for Joe Williams with Javanon 95 Black. Riggs is the sister of current UK men's soccer player, Tyler Riggs, who just completed his junior season with the Wildcats. With Javanon, Riggs won the 2013 Disney Soccer Showcase, was a Region II finalist in 2011-12, and Kentucky state champions three-consecutive seasons from 2010-12. Riggs was team captain and part of the ODP program from 2010-12. Riggs played her high school soccer for Assumption High School where she led her team to a district championship all four seasons. She was named to the 2011 and 2011 NSCAA All-Region Team, Miss Kentucky Soccer finalist in 2011 and 2012, all-region team in 2010-12 as well as completing her tenure as Assumption's all-time leading scorer. Off the field, Riggs was the student council president, member of the student-faculty advisory board and a member of the National Honors Society. The daughter of Robert and Shana Riggs, Morgan plans to major in kinesiology with a minor in psychology.
Zoe Swift comes to Lexington from Naperville, Ill., where she played club soccer for the Chicago Botafogo. With her club team, Swift was the club's leading scorer in 2012 in addition to being the State Cup champions and a 2012 All-America award winner. Swift was a member of the U.S. National Team pool in 2008, 2009 and 2010 while also winning the national championship for club soccer with the NSA Fury in 2010. Swift attended high school at Naperville North High School where she was a Gatorade Player of the Year nominee, all-area member for soccer and basketball, state champion her junior year and MVP her junior season as well. She is the daughter of Lorenzo and Shantae Swift and spends countless hours in the community working with Feed My Starving Children, Young Life Youth Group and special-needs children at her school.
Chloe Watson comes to Kentucky from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Watson played her club soccer under the coaching of Walid Khoury for Slammers FC. While with Slammers, she won nationals in 2012, was crowned Surf Cup Champions in 2010 and was a finalist in the Nike Manchester Cup in 2010 as well. Watson played her high school soccer for Los Osos High School where she led her team to a first-place finish in the league every year she has been there. Currently in the midst of her senior season, Los Osos was CIF champions in 2012 as well as a finalist in the state championship. Watson's brother, Marcus, played professionally in England at Leicester City in England in addition to playing for the Minnesota Thunder in the United States. She is the daughter of Clive and Victoria Watson and will be majoring in either architecture or landscape design/art.
The final member of the 2013 class is early enrollee Alex Carter, joined the team when the spring semester began on Jan. 12. Carter comes to Lexington from Conway, Ark. She played her club soccer for the Arkansas Rush under the direction of Matt Mittelstaedt, where she was part of three State Cup championship-winning teams (2008, 09, 10), as well as collecting two Presidents' Cup championships in 2011 and 2012. Carter, who specializes in center mid, was a member of the Olympic Development Program in 2008, 09, 10 and 11 all while collecting an all-region spot on ODP in 2009, 10 and 11. Carter also has experience in playing with the best the country has to offer, as she was selected to the US Women's National Team in 2009, while also earning a spot in the Puma Elite Camp. The daughter of Todd and Michelle Carter, Alex is undecided on her major.