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Huettner Is Enthusiastic about 2012 Recruiting Class

February 15, 2012

Juergen Huettner took a major step toward reloading his women’s soccer roster as 14 new players recently signed letters of intent to play for St. Louis Community College in fall 2012.

The new recruits will need to fill a variety of roles to replace a large and skilled sophomore class from 2011, but Huettner is confident he has a talented and competitive new group.

“We lost some important stuff last year,” Huettner said. “But we feel really good about the forwards we’re bringing in. We have some nice players coming in offensively, and not just one or two. We actually found four or five offensive threats, so we’re not going to be thin. We’re going to have some depth offensively.”

One of those offensive threats is Donna Jolliff, a Seckman High School senior who has played in the midfield for much of her high school career, but projects as a forward in college. Jolliff looks forward to the added scoring opportunities of playing the forward position.

“I love it (playing forward). That’s my spot for select, that’s where he found me and recruited me,” she said. “Hopefully that’s where I’m staying.”

Huettner was able to pull many of his players from the same schools. Of the 14 new players, four came from Seckman High School – Jolliff, Jessica Smugala, Alyssa Thiessen and Taylor Giese. Two more – Lauren Guerrero and Katie Rapisardo – attended Mehlville High School.

In addition to skilled players, Huettner said finding players who are already familiar with each other will pay dividends in the college game.

“Obviously, those players are already accustomed to playing together, so there’s already a chemistry amongst those players,” Huettner said. “We feel really good about that part, and we feel really good about our recruiting class.”

By position, the Archers are adding five forwards, four midfielders, four defenders and a goalkeeper. When deciding between options to continue their soccer careers, many players cited Huettner and his success – both at STLCC and as the head coach at Althoff High School – as a key reason for choosing STLCC.

“Definitely the coach (was the difference),” said Samantha Merlotti, a Brentwood High School senior who also figures to add scoring punch to the Archers roster. “I know his team did really well (at Althoff) also. I didn’t know anything about (STLCC), but Juergen taught me everything.”

Huettner’s penchant for keeping groups of players together from high school and select teams also played a role in Merlotti’s decision.

“From my select team, there were four others playing here,” Merlotti said. “We’ve played together since we were so young, and it’s nice to be able to keep playing with them. We work really well together.”

The other new recruits are: Kelsey Lahm (Windsor), Colleen McCommish (Oakville), Jordyn Jeck and Brittany VonDerLeest (Northwest), Emelie McKeoww (Fox), Skye Simmons (Columbia Hickman) and transfer Lauren Enloe (Hannibal LaGrange College)

While Huettner did not rule out further additions to his 2012 roster, he described the primary recruiting period as having reached its end.

“I think we can feel really fortunate that we have done all of our recruiting, and it’s only mid-February,” Huettner said. “I feel very good about this class.”