Walsh signs class of nine for women's soccer

University Park, Pa. — Penn State women's soccer coach Erica Walsh proudly announces her 2008 signing class, which includes nine standout recruits. Bri Garcia (Babylon, N.Y.), Jackie Hakes (Spokane, Wash.), Kristin Hartman (Katy, Texas), Lexi Marton (Aurora, Ontario), Christine Nairn (Bowie, Md.), Carly Niness (Berwyn, Pa.), Jess Rosenbluth (Gladwyne, Pa.), Krissy Tribbett (Centennial, Colo.), and Dani Zavala (Camino Village, Calif.) have all -signed on to play for the 10-time defending Big Ten champions.

"We would like to congratulate all of these student-athletes on their decision to attend Penn State University. It is a class filled with talented players and great athletes who can carry on the winning traditions of this program," said Penn State head coach Erica Walsh. "The group addresses many of our immediate needs for next fall as well as providing us with some much needed depth in several positions. From the great state of Washington on North to Canada, from Colorado to Texas and California as well as Philly, New York and Maryland we have collected nine players from all over North America to represent our program. We have big expectations for this recruiting class over the next four years."

Two-time NSCAA All-American Bri Garcia is a native New Yorker and a past high school and club state champion. Garcia was the New York State Catholic High School Athletic Association's 2008 Player of the Year and also brings U.S. Youth experience from numerous age levels to the Nittany Lion roster. Her club team, the East Meadow Dynamite, won the state title twice (2004 and 2007) and reached the finals two other years (2005 and 2006), while her high school squad captured state titles her sophomore and senior years.

A member of the Spokane Shadow club team, Jackie Hakes helped push her squad to 2006 and 2007 state championships and state finals appearances in two others. A defender for Spokane, she was part of the Far West regional semifinals team in 2006 and quarterfinal squad in 2007. Her team also made the 2005 U.S. Club Soccer National finals as well as the Super Y League Finals in 2005. She was a first team All-Greater Spokane League selection her final year at Mead High School after taking the team to a district championship in 2007 and a spot in the regional finals.

Kristin Hartmann is one of two goalkeepers joining the Nittany Lion roster this season. She is currently finishing up her senior season at Seven Lakes High School in Texas after garnering NSCAA All-Region VI honors her junior year. She was first team all-state, first team All-Region III and grabbed district MVP goalkeeping honors after leading the Spartans to a berth in the regional finals. Hartmann's high school teams have captured the district title each year and her club team, Eclipse 90 Black, placed fourth in regional play during 2006. Hartmann has also earned NSCAA Scholar All-America honors.

From North of the border, Canada's own Lexi Marton will join PSU's squad after an already accomplished young career. A member of the Canadian National team, she was a Canadian U20 Player of the Year nominee in 2007 for her efforts with that age group. Martin has also achieved W-League success, being named the Toronto Lynx 2007 Defensive Player of the Year and W-League All-Eastern Conference. She narrowly missed the W-League's U-19 Player of the Year honors that same year.

Maryland born Christine Nairn joins the Nittany Lions as an accomplished center midfielder with experience playing forward. Nairn's club team, Freestate Shooters, was the Maryland State Cup Champions in 2004 and cup finalist from 2005-2007. Her club team was also the 2006 ODP National Champions. Nairns is captained her Archbishop Spalding team and earned NSCAA/Adidas All-America honors three times (2005, 2006, and 2007).

Pennsylvania-native Carly Niness boosted her Conestoga squad to the state championship in 2007 with 20 goals and seven assists. Her efforts earned her Philadelphia Inquirer first team honors and her second-straight all-state selection. The Central League's MVP, she was the 2007 Chester County Female Athlete of the Year. She twice earned All-Central League honors and was the league's MVP her senior year. Niness also helped the Pioneers to the PIAA District I championship in 2007 and the Central League Championship in 2005.

During two-time first team all-league selection Jess Rosenbluth's career at The Shipley School, she helped her squads to league titles her freshman, junior and senior years. After a second-team All-Friends' League performance in 2005, she aided The Shipley School's rise from league runner-up to league champion her final two seasons. A member of FC Delco Fury, she boosted her club teams to State Cup Championships in her age group in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Rosenbluth is also a decorated lacrosse player, already earning all-league and All-Main Line honors with one year remaining.

Colorado-native Krissy Tribbett is the second goalkeeper of Penn State's 2008 signing class. Tribbett played club ball with Colorado Rush Nike, where she helped the squad to five state Cup Championships. She was the U-17 State Cup MVP after taking on the defending national champions. Her teams also made the Disney Showcase finals (U-17) and won the championship (U-18). Tribbett led her U-13 team to the Regiona IV Finals and her U-14 squad to a Region IV semifinal finish.

Californian Dani Zavala joins the Nittany Lions as a center-midfielder. Zavala's club team, ISC Strikers, was the US Club Soccer National Champions in 2005 and reached the finals of the Region F US Soccer Club Nationals in 2007. At Redondo Union High School, Zavala lettered in varsity soccer all four years and was named first team All Bay League in 2006. Her team was the South High 6 A-Side tournament champions in 2006 and she was named captain of her squad in 2007.

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Last Updated November 18, 2010