Women's Soccer Adds Six Players for 2009

The San Jose State women's soccer team has signed five recruits to national letters of intent and added a junior college All-America, Spartans head coach Jeff Leightman announced Monday. Kelsey Costan, Laura Hill, Kelsey Lord, Shannon Righetti and Amanda Simat will all join the Spartans in fall 2009 as freshman and JC transfer Katie Knopp has enrolled at San Jose State and will be part of the 2009 Spartans as well.

“We feel really good about this class and are very excited about what they can accomplish,” Leightman said.  “They bring a lot of athleticism and personality as well as a lot of toughness.”

Kelsey Costan, a played at Elk Grove High School under head coach Raymond Harris.  A forward, she helped lead the Lady Herd to 26 wins in the last two years. Played club ball on the Capital Athletic Boca Jrs 90 Girls who won a US Club National Championship in 2006.  “Kelsy is a scrappy, very athletic player with very good speed,” Leightman said.  She can run all day and is willing to be an attacking personality.  In addition, she is strong defensively so she will help us up top or on the flanks.  I see her as an outside midfielder for us.”

Laura Hill, a forward, prepped at La Salle High School in Pasadena where she was a member of the 2007 CIF Southern Section Division 4 Championship squad.  “Laura is one of the most tenacious players I’ve seen,” Leightman said.  “She is a player you desperately want on your team and desperately hate to play against.  She is a fantastic competitor who hates to lose.”

Kelsey Lord, a defender/midfielder, prepped at Granada High School in Livermore, Calif.  She played her club ball for the San Ramon Shock and in 2007 played on the State Cup and US Club Soccer Regional finalist team as well as the 2006 San Ramon Valley Cup Championship winning squad. “Kelsey is very speedy and more of a flank player, but can really play in several spots forward, outside mid or outside back,” Leightman said.  She has a bit of bite to her game and is a tireless worker. She will probably be an outside mid or outside back but I also see her potentially getting time as a forward.” 

Shannon Righetti, a forward/defender who played for Pioneer High School in San Jose.  As a junior (2007-08) she was named team’s Offensive Player of the Year, BVAL Junior of the Year and second team All-CCS.  Righetti played her 2008-09 club ball for the De Anza Force.  “Shannon has potential to be a top notch Division 1 player,” Leightman said.  “She has good size, strength and good technical ability.  She can keep the ball as a target forward but also run at players.  Shannon has a certain mixture of qualities that we like, which allow her to be dangerous in a lot of different ways.  She is one we look to make an impact right away.”

Amanda Simat, a midfielder, prepped at Foothill High School in Pleasanton, Calif.  She is one of 11 seniors to sign NLI’s off a team that went 19-0, won the EBAL regular season title, has qualified for NCS playoffs and was ranked #1 in the ESPN Rise Fab 50.  Simat played for the Pleasanton Rage.  “Amanda is a very strong midfielder,” said Leightman. “She has very good tactical awareness, is smart and very technical.  She can control play - slow things down or speed them up as needed and has a really good sense for the game. I see her playing center midfielder or outside midfielder.  She is very versatile.”

Kathleen Knopp, a forward, is a 2008 junior college All-America honoree from Solano Community College in Fairfield, Calif.  In two JC seasons, she tallied 39 goals and 13 assists.  She was twice named an All-Nor Cal and All-Conference honoree, BVC MVP, and first team All-Region.  At Fairfield (Calif.) High School she scored 47 varsity goals in two seasons and was twice named All-Conference.  “Katie is a pretty explosive forward,” said Leightman. “In her junior college career she finished a lot and that is something we like - bringing in a pure striker, a pure finisher.  She is a very good athlete who is smart tactically.  She knows when to combine and when to take on.  One thing I would like to see from is to take on even more.”

“All of the things that we either don’t have or don’t have enough of this class brings,” Leightman added.  “We certainly get a lot better with this class, so we are definitely excited with how they can help us get to where we want to go as a program.

“In every class we look to get better as a program.  I think we have gotten significantly better as a program with this group of athletes.”