The Stanford women's soccer team has announced a freshman class for the 2011 season that features five recruits with youth national team experience, two state players of the year, a two-sport Stanford athlete, and a pair of Bay Area natives.
The six-member class strengthens a program that has completed two consecutive undefeated regular seasons, won two consecutive Pac-10 titles, reached the past three NCAA College Cups, and the past two NCAA championship finals.
The class is comprised of forward Alex Doll (Bethesda, Md.), midfielder Hannah Farr (Hillsborough), midfielder Lo'eau LaBonta (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), midfielder Haley Rosen (Rolling Hills, Calif.), defender Lauren Schmidt (San Martin, Calif.), and forward Chioma Ubogagu (Coppell, Texas).
"Our 2011 recruiting class is an exceptional group of student- athletes," Stanford coach Paul Ratcliffe said. "With the combination of our returning players and a strong 2011 class, we are excited about the ability of this group to help us compete for a national title."
Despite losing the nation's best player, Christen Press, to graduation, the Cardinal returns nine starters, four All-Americans and eight all-conference selections from last season's 23-1-2 team.
The following is a look at each member of Stanford's newest class:
Alex Doll, F (Bethesda, Md./Bethesda-Chevy Chase HS): Doll was selected as the 2010 Girls' High School Scholar-Athlete of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. She also is a member of the U.S. national team Under-20 player pool. At Bethesda-Chevy Chase, Doll was named NSCAA High School All-America twice and was the Washington Post's 2010 All-Met Player of the Year, leading the Battlin' Barons to their third consecutive state title while capping off a 65-4-1 four-year record. Doll, who had 12 goals and 19 assists as a senior, won her second consecutive Gatorade Maryland State Player of the Year honor. Doll, who played for the U.S. at the CONCACAF U-17 championships, was a three-time NSCAA Youth All-American, as well as captain of her Bethesda Dragons club team. She also has maintained an unweighted 4.0 grade-point average was a 2011 NSCAA Academic All-American.
"Alex has great passing ability and is a very intelligent player. She has a strong work ethic and will bring versatility to our attack, " Ratcliffe said.
Hannah Farr, MF (Hillsborough, St. Ignatius Prep: Farr will play both soccer and lacrosse at Stanford, becoming the first in school history to attempt the double and only the second Bay Area recruit in Stanford lacrosse history. Farr led St. Ignatius to its first West Catholic Athletic League soccer regular-season title in 2009, and into the 2011 Central Coast Section Division II final, completing an 11-goal, 3-assist season. Because of conflicts with lacrosse, Farr never played in the Olympic Development or national team programs. However, she led Marin FC to the semifinals of the prestigious Surf Cup in 2011 and to back-to-back league club titles. Farr carries a weighted GPA of 4.3 and is a finalist for St. Ignatius' valedictorian.
"Hannah is a hardworking midfielder with great skill and soccer intelligence. She has a superb mentality and will be an excellent addition to our midfield," Ratcliffe said.
Lo'eau LaBonta, MF (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Los Osos HS): LaBonta, who has been a member of the U.S. U-17 national team player pool, has excelled at the Cal-South and Region IV ODP levels. At Los Osos High, LaBonta earned All-CIF Southern Section Best Offensive Player honors after scoring 17 goals and having 11 assists in a 21-4-1 season. LaBonta carries a 4.33 weighted GPA and this year won her school's award for excellence in social sciences.
"Lo'eau is a fantastic playmaker with exceptional vision and skill. She will bring a tremendous amount of creativity to our midfield," Ratcliffe said.
Haley Rosen, MF (Rolling Hills, Calif./Palos Verdes HS): Rosen helped lead the SoCal Blues to the 2010 U-17 national championship, to a current U-18 No. 1 ranking, and to three top-three national age-group finishes, as well five consecutive titles in the prestigious Surf Cup. Rosen, who plays for the Region IV and Cal-South ODP teams, played on the U.S. U-15 national team and was a member of the U.S. U-17 player pool. Rosen carries a weighted GPA of 4.3 and earned the California Scholarship Federation Gold Sealbearer Life Member highest Honors Award. On the field, Rosen scored 22 goals and had 17 assists as a senior at Palos Verdes High, leading the Sea Kings to a Bay League title and into the CIF-Southern Section Division II semifinals. She scored 56 goals and had 51 assists in her high school career and was twice named (Torrance) Daily Breeze Player of the Year and to the All-CIF Southern Section first-team.
"Haley is a talented midfielder with excellent technical skill and the ability to score goals. She is a great competitor and will be a strong presence in midfield," Ratcliffe said.
Lauren Schmidt, D (San Martin, Calif./St. Francis HS): Schmidt was the team captain for Trinidad & Tobago during the FIFA U-17 World Cup last fall in the team's home country. Schmidt's mother, Leslie, is a T&T native. Schmidt also is a standout for the Mountain View-Los Altos Avalanche club team under Erin Martinez and Albertin Montoya, who coached the FC Gold Pride to the 2010 Women's Professional Soccer title. Schmidt helped the Avalanche to the 2011 Cal-North State Cup championship and led St. Francis High of nearby Mountain View to three Central Coast Section titles.
"Lauren is a very athletic and skillful defender. She has a strong ability to attack from the back and will add strength to our defense," Ratcliffe said.
==B Chioma Ubogagu, F (Coppell, Texas/Coppell HS: Ubogagu is ranked as the No. 3 recruit in the nation and the No. 1 Texan in her class by topdrawersoccer.com. She also is a member of the U.S. Under-20 National Team. Ubogagu carries a weighted GPA of 4.975 and is the Gatorade Texas Player of the Year. She has been named as an All-America three times by ESPN RISE and twice each by the NSCAA and Parade Magazine. Ubogagu was born in London, England, and moved to the U.S. at age 3. Her grandfather played for the English side Tottenham Hotspurs as well as the Nigerian national team. Ubogagu led her club team, D'Feeters, to two North Texas State Cup titles, a Region II title and a 2010 third-place national finish. At Coppell High, Ubogagu led the Cowgirls to the 2009 Texas 5A state title, the school's first. An explosive player and outstanding scorer, Ubogagu was a four-year first-team All-Area selection by the Dallas Morning News.
"Chioma is a dynamic attacking player with great speed and skill. She has the ability to beat defenders 1 v. 1 and is a proven goal scorer," Ratcliffe said.
Stanford opens its season against Penn State on Aug. 19 in a 7 p.m. match at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium, and will play host to Notre Dame on Sept. 9 in a rematch of the 2010 NCAA championship final.