May 4, 2011
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - The Cal State Northridge women's soccer team released the names of eight student-athletes who will join the Matadors starting in the fall of 2011, head coach Keith West announced. Cori Deason, Tabatha Dickson, Emily Kenney, Devyn Leslie, Lyndsey Preston, Cynthia Tafoya, Hannah Wissler and LeAndra Walker all come to Northridge with outstanding prep credentials as they embark on their Division-I soccer careers.
"This is a great group of student-athletes coming to CSUN," West said. "All of these girls possess outstanding skills on the pitch and in the classroom and will contribute to this campus in numerous ways during their Northridge careers."
Most of this class represents an increase in depth along CSUN's midfield. In all, Deason, Wissler, Leslie and Dickson represent a talented group of two-way players who have plenty of experience putting the ball into the netting during their prep careers.
Deason attended West Hills High School where she earned all-league honors following the 2009 and 2010 seasons. She helped lead her team to the 2010 CIF Division II San Diego Section championship and tallied nine goals and five assists in the 2011 season.
"Cori is a great athlete with a great spirit who will add some great depth to our midfield," West said.
Wissler prepped at Ranch Buena Vista where she scored nine goals over the past two seasons. After striking for seven goals in the 2010-11 season, Wissler earned All-Avocado League Second Team honors.
"Hannah is a talented and technical midfielder who has the ability to get the ball to the right places," West said.
Leslie also attended Ranch Buena Vista, although she sat out the 2010-11 season due to injury. Before the medical set-back, Leslie had recorded 18 goals in the previous two campaigns and earned All-Palomar League First Team honors following a 12-goal year in the 2009-10 season.
"Devyn is a pure winner who always finds a way to make herself dangerous around goal," West added.
The trio of Deason, Wissler and Leslie all spent their club careers with the prestigious San Diego Surf. Deason and Wissler were part of a club team that finished as state runners-up in the 2010-11 season and competes in Elite Club National League, one of the top club leagues in the nation.
Dickson went to Bakersfield Christian and was a dominant force in her team's offensive attack. She recorded 26 goals in the 2010-11 season after scoring 20 during the 2009-10 season. For those performances, Dickson is a two-time All-Area First Team Selection by the Bakersfield Californian. She spent her club soccer career with the Bakersfield Gunners.
"Tabatha is another technically proficient midfielder with a potent goal-scoring touch that will only further compliment the team's depth," West said.
Among the class, Preston arrives with a good chance to crack the Matadors' rotation up top at the forward position.
She attended Newbury Park High School where she tallied 11 goals over the past two seasons. Following an eight-goal campaign in 2010-11, Preston earned All-Marmonte League First Team honors.
"Lyndsey possesses great speed and is always causing problems for teams with her ability to get behind the defense," West added.
Walker and Kenney represent the defenders of the class and will be counted upon to maintain the Matadors last line of defense in the future.
Walker is a commanding 6-0 center back who prepped at Westmont High School and played her club soccer with the De Anza Force.
"LeAndra is a tremendous athlete who will add a physical presence along our defensive back line," West said.
Kenney spent her prep career at Agoura High School where she earned numerous awards. Kenney received All-Marmonte League honors and was named her team's MVP following the 2010 season. In 2011, she earned All-CIF Division II Third Team honors.
"Emily is a tough defender that is great in the air and does whatever is needed to get her team the win," West said.
Kenney and Preston played for the prominent Camarillo Eagles during their club careers. The Eagles were the 2011 Far West Regional League champions.
Finally, Tafoya arrives at CSUN to improve the Matadors depth in goal. At Notre Dame HS in Sherman Oaks, Calif., Tafoya recorded five shutouts over the past two seasons. She played for the Westside Breakers in club soccer.
"Cynthia is an athletic, hard-working goalkeeper who will come in and challenge our group of keepers," West concluded.
The eight newcomers and the rest of the Matadors open their 2011 season with a home match against UCLA on Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. at Matador Soccer Field.