Stanford women's soccer coach Paul Ratcliffe has announced that six players have signed letters of intent to play for the Cardinal next fall.
Stanford's newest recruiting class: Averie Collins (Bozeman, Montana), Alana Cook (Far Hills, New Jersey), Jordan DiBiasi (Highlands Ranch, Colorado), Penelope Edmonds (New York, New York), Tegan McGrady (San Jose, California), and Michelle Xiao (Omaha, Nebraska).
"We're excited to announce an outstanding group of student-athletes for our 2015 recruiting class," Ratcliffe said. "The class will be a great addition to our team and we're very excited about the possibilities for the future with these young women."
The class will strengthen a program that advanced to the NCAA College Cup for the sixth time in seven years and finished with a No. 3 national ranking. Stanford went 20-2-3 in 2014 and returns six starters, including midfielder Andi Sullivan, the national freshman of the year.
The following is a closer look at Stanford soccer's graduating class of 2019:
Averie Collins, F (Bozeman, Mont./Bozeman HS/La Roca FC): Collins is a two-time NSCAA Montana Player of the Year who carries a 4.0 GPA at Bozeman Senior High. An outstanding all-around athlete, the 5-foot-11 Collins not only led the state in goals (19) in 2014, but in rebounds (202). She is a two-time All-State choice in both soccer and basketball, leading Bozeman to the 2012 Class AA state soccer title and three top-three finishes. A club player for Salt Lake City's La Roca FC, she also won four State Cup championships. Her father, defensive end Shane Collins, played three years for the NFL's Washington Redskins after a collegiate career at Arizona State.
"Averie Collins is a physically strong target forward with excellent size and speed. Averie will add another dimension to our attack," said Ratcliffe.
Alana Cook, D (Far Hills, N.J./The Pennington School/Matchfit Colchesters): Cook is a two-time NSCAA Youth All-America with a lengthy U.S. youth national team resume. Cook captained the Under-17 national team in several international friendlies in 2013 and made the jump to the U-20 camp in 2014. Cook guided The Pennington School to the 2013 New Jersey Independent Athletic Association title, scoring eight game-winning goals during the season and earning recognition as the New Jersey Prep Player of the Year. A central defender with skills at both ends of the field, she scored 12 goals and had eight assists as a senior, earning passage to the NSCAA High School All-America Game, and earning Best XI honors for her performance. Cook's club team, the MatchFit Colchesters, captured the 2013 U.S. Youth Soccer National League title and went three years without losing to another New Jersey team.
"Alana Cook is a strong central defender with good size and athleticism. She reads the game very well and has good composure distributing the ball from the back line," Ratcliffe said.
Jordan DiBiasi, MF (Highlands Ranch, Colo./Chatfield HS/Colorado Rush): DiBiasi has been a regular for U.S. youth nationals teams since Under-14's. She started for the U-18s at the 10 Nations Tournament in Spain in March 2014. The two-time NSCAA Youth All-America led her club team, the Colorado Rush, to 2011 Elite Clubs National League title, and served as team captain for eight years. DiBiasi is a member of the National Honor Society.
"Jordan DiBiasi is a highly rated central midfielder. She is a very intelligent player with exceptional skills and is an excellent playmaker," Ratcliffe said.
Penelope Edmonds, GK (New York, N.Y./Riverdale Country School/PDA Clash): Edmonds, born in New York of Australian parents, is a member of the Australian Under-20 national team, first joining at age 16. Edmonds started twice for the Aussies at the 2011 U-16 Asian championships while only 14. She also toured and trained with the full Australian national squad as a 15-year-old on the team's 2012 U.S. national tour. She led her club team, the Players Development Academy Clash, to a pair of Elite Clubs National League top-10 rankings.
"Penelope Edmonds is a talented goalkeeper with strong organization and distribution skills. She is a good shot blocker and will be a fantastic addition to our squad," said Ratcliffe.
Tegan McGrady, D/F (San Jose/Santa Teresa HS/MVLA Mercury Black): McGrady has extensive U.S. youth national team experience, joining the U-17s for the 2013 CONCACAF Championships, as well as tournaments in Costa Rica and England. McGrady, like 2014 recruits Jaye Boissiere and Zoe Pacalin, comes from the Mountain View-Los Altos club. She twice was named NSCAA Youth All-America and has captured titles in the Far West Regionals, State Cup, and Surf Cup. A first-team All-Central Coast Section selection, McGrady led Santa Teresa High to the CCS Division I title. She also was a 2012 California State Meet qualifier in the 200 meters and 4x100 relay, which set a school record, and competes on the Saints' tennis team. Her great grandfather, Kai Larsen, ran on the Stanford track team in the 1940s.
"Tegan McGrady is a speedy left winger with the ability to play as a forward or outside back. Tegan's combination of speed and skill will be a great asset to our team," Ratcliffe said.
Michelle Xiao, MF (Omaha, Neb./Westside HS/Gretna Prima): Xiao has played in seven international matches for U.S. youth national teams, scoring two goals, with three assists. She has been part of U.S. squads from the U-14 to U-20 levels. Xiao is a two-time NSCAA Youth All-America and was named among the Best XI as the 2014 Elite Clubs National League camp in Portland, Oregon. She has led her club teams to four State Cup titles and a national championship tournament berth in 2014. In addition, Xiao is a two-time All-Nebraska first-team choice while playing for Westside High, capturing three district titles. She also was a state Junior Olympic hurdles champion in 2011.
"Michelle Xiao is a versatile player who can play midfield, forward or defense. She is a technically gifted player with a very good soccer understanding," said Ratcliffe.