The Missouri State women’s soccer team and head coach Rob Brewer have received commitments from five student-athletes to play for the Bears in 2008. The newest Bears are Tara Bailes (Springfield, Mo.), Jeslynne McGrath (Clear Lake, Iowa), Kelsey Finders (St. Charles, Mo.), Jennifer Hamlin (Belleville, Ill.) and Racquelle Riley (St. Charles, Mo.).
“This group has competed successfully at high levels. They have been captains, competed in the Olympic Development Program and been recognized as all-conference or all-state players in high school,” stated Brewer. “In addition to their soccer honors we are pleased that they show such strong character. I have known each of these student-athletes for some time now, either as a spectator, watching them compete for school or club teams or as a coach working with them in a camp setting. I have good knowledge of their background and their strong desire to be here at Missouri State University as we compete for success on the soccer field. I am confident that all five will contribute to our future achievements. We are particularly excited that three of them (Bailes, Finders and McGrath) have been proven goal scorers in the hope that they will impact our team immediately,” concluded Brewer.
Jeslynne McGrath, 5-6, Forward, Clear Lake, Iowa
Jeslynne McGrath has competed for Clear Lake High School and for the Ankeny Soccer Club. Her club team was selected to attend several college Show Case tournaments and finished at the top of the Midwest Regional league. She was voted team captain her junior year and is a two-time all-conference pick. McGrath was selected to the ODP State Team for the third consecutive year (note – same club team as junior Allie Osmundson)
Kelsey Finders, 5-8, Midfielder, St. Charles, Mo.
Kelsey Finders was a first team all-state selection as a junior after leading St. Charles West to a second-place district finish. She was voted team captain and earned spots on the all-metro and all- conference team. In 2007, she recorded seven goals and eight assists from the midfield. Finders was a member of the MO Premier Soccer Club and was selected to the ODP State Team.
Jennifer Hamlin, 5-6, Defender/Midfielder, Belleville, Mo.
Jennifer Hamlin led the Althoff Catholic Crusaders to three-straight conference championships, earning all-conference honors all three years. As a freshman, Hamlin’s team placed third at the state finals and set a new record for the most wins in a single season (25) at Althoff Catholic High School. Hamlin was an all-sectional pick as a senior.
Racquelle Riley, 5-3, Midfielder, St. Charles, Mo.
Racquelle Riley joins the Bears from Francis Howell High School in St. Charles, Mo. She was a second team all-conference pick as a junior. As a freshman, Riley’s high school team was sectional, district and conference champions. In 2005, Riley guided Francis Howell High to it’s first district finals appearance and first sectional win.