||Southern Illinois University Edwardsville|
SIUE Men's Soccer|
Coach Kevin Kalish
March 20, 2009|
SIUE Men's Soccer
Inks Nine Players
to National Letters of Intent
One Other Accept Admissions Offer to SIUE
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - Southern Illinois University Edwardsville men's soccer, making its way back to NCAA Division I prominence, has added 10 players for the 2009 season.
SIUE Coach Kevin Kalish announced the addition of one transfer and nine freshmen to the Cougar program. The Cougars will compete as an independent during the 2009 and then will be fully eligible for the NCAA Championships during the 2010 season as a member of the Missouri Valley Conference. Signing National Letters of Intent are Jose Tamayo (LaPuente, Calif.), Aaron Lantz (Springfield), Ben Hemkens (Eureka, Mo.), Kyle Waller (Columbia), Casey Stewart (Durango, Colo.), Peter Kelly (St. Louis, Mo.), Zachary Godat (St. Louis, Mo.), Dustin Geist (Durango, Colo.), and Jared Tejada (Troy). John Berner (St. Louis, Mo.) has accepted an offer of admission and agreed to recently join SIUE men's soccer team in this fall.
"From top to bottom, this is the most talented, skillful, and deep class of student-athletes to join the program in recent history," Kalish said. "I am extremely excited about this group of young men and the contributions they will make on and off the field."
Below is a player-by-player listing with comments from Coach Kalish.
Tamayo, a 5-11 midfielder, hails from Nogales High School in California. Tamayo was invited into the U.S. U18 National Team in 2008 and was selected to the 2008 NSCAA U.S. All-Region IV team. Tamayo was ranked as the No. 8 recruit in the country by TopDrawer Soccer (December, 2008) and is considered one of TopDrawer Soccer's Top 100 Players for the Class of 2009; with a Four Star Player Designation. He currently plays club soccer for the U-18 Irvine Strikers Development Academy.
"Jose is one of the premier players in the country. He was first brought to my attention by former SIUE All-American Don Ebert. He has played for one of the top clubs in the country in the Irvine Stikers of Southern California for many years."
"Jose is a skillful center midfielder with tremendous vision and intelligence. He is a competitor with remarkable leadership qualities. I look forward to helping Jose become one of the top center midfielders in college soccer. "
Lantz, a 5-foot-7-inch All-State midfielder from Sacred Heart Griffin, scored 15 goals and added 25 assists his senior season. A four-year starter for Sacred Heart Griffin, Lantz earned All-Conference honors three times. He currently plays soccer for the St. Louis Scott Gallagher - Illinois Development Academy team.
"Aaron is traditional flank player. He has a great ability to run at players and beat them off the dribble. We needed to add this element to our team, and Aaron brings that quality," said Kalish.
Hemkens, a 6-2 transfer from Vanderbilt University, will close out his collegiate career as a Cougar. The defender played one season at Vandy, then a soccer member of the Missouri Valley, when his team placed third in 2005. Vanderbilt since dropped men's soccer as an intercollegiate sport.
Hemkens was a team Most Valuable Player and All-State player for Chaminade in high school. His team was the state runner-up as a junior. Hemkens also helped St. Louis Scott Gallagher win the U17 national championship in 2007.
"Ben is a versatile back that can play in the center or on the right side. We look for Ben to provide experience and help us in the air next year. He brings us some much needed height to our backline."
Waller, a 5-10 defender, was a two-time All-Metro player from Columbia High School. He led the St. Louis area as a junior in scoring with 38 goals, playing as a midfielder and forward. He was voted to the ESPN Rise first team All Area-Metro: St Louis after his senior season. He currently plays left back for the St. Louis Scott Gallagher - Missouri Academy team.
"Kyle is a tough left back with great ball striking ability," Kalish said. "He is competitor that likes to get forward in the attack. He is strong in the air and is quality on set pieces in the box. Kyle will help anchor down the left side of the field. We are looking forward to his contributions over the next four years."
Stewart, a 5-11 midfielder, helped Durango (Colo.) High School to third place at the 5A state championships as a junior. He was a two-time letter winner at Durango. He plays club soccer with Durango United.
"Casey is an extremely versatile player that will help us in many areas over the next four years. He is strong tackler and he is very athletic. He will make us better on both sides of the ball and will be a player that helps us win games."
Kelly, a 6-0 forward, scored 20 goals and added 12 assists as a senior at Priory High School. A two-time All-State pick, Kelly also was a 2nd team St. Louis Post-Dispatch All-Metro selection. Kelly currently plays forward for the St. Louis Scott Gallagher - Missouri Academy team.
"Peter has the ability to be an impact forward in Division I. He has all the tools to be one of the top finishers in the Missouri Valley Conference for years to come. He has a good frame; he competes and can strike a ball tremendously."
"I watched Peter score two goals against the U.S. U17 National Team in a 2-1 victory. He has the ability to score big goals in meaningful games."
Godat, a 5-9 back, scored three goals and added seven assists in his final season at CBC High School in St. Louis. Two of his goals were game winners. Godat currently plays for St. Louis Scott Gallagher - Missouri U18 team coached by Mark Dorsey.
"Zach is a talented player who plays on the left side of the field as a back or a midfielder." "He is technically sound, very versatile and understands our system and style of play."
Geist, a 5-7 forward and prep teammate with Stewart at Durango High School, was the 2007 Southwestern League Conference Player of the Year and a second team All-State performer. Geist won the Durango Demons' Golden Boot and Silver Boot awards for leading the boys soccer team in goals (9) and assists (8), respectively. Geist played summer soccer for Durango United.
"Dustin is a crafty forward with a nose for the goal. He has good feet, is extremely quick and will fit in well with how we want to play at SIUE."
Tejada, a 5-6 forward from Triad High School, was the 1A/2A Player of the Year as chosen by the Belleville News-Democrat, an All-Midwest selection and was named first team All-Metro by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. An All-State selection his senior year, Tejada scored 29 goals, including 10 game-winners, and added 17 assists. Tejada also was selected to the Midwest Starting XI for the USSF Development Academy in 2008 as a junior and ESPN Rise first team All Area-Metro: St Louis as a senior. He currently plays forward for the St. Louis Scott Gallagher - Illinois Academy team.
Tejada had 67 goals and 47 assists in his high school career. During that time, Triad High School posted a record of 75?22?1 with three MVC titles. "Even among the large schools, when we had our all?state meeting, he was picked as the best player," Triad coach Mike Villa said.
"Jared is a top attacking player here in the St. Louis area and is very talented in front of goal. His goal-scoring ability separates him as one of the top forwards in the Midwest," said Kalish. "He has the ability to score goals in the air or with his feet. I look forward to him scoring many more in a Cougar uniform."
Berner, a 6-3 goalkeeper, was a first team All-Metro selection this past season for St. Mary's High School. Excelling behind a young defense, he posted 10 shutouts in his 17 victories and finished with a 0.79 goals against average.
"John has limitless potential as a goalkeeper. To be named first team All-Metro is a tremendous honor considering the numbers of quality keepers in St. Louis," said Kalish. "I look forward to watching John's development as a goalkeeper over the next four years."
2009 Recruiting Class
"This incoming recruiting class is gifted both technically and athletically," said Kalish. "With each year, we continue to raise the bar for success in every aspect. I know that this group will help SIUE soccer reach greater heights and represent us proudly."