Women’s Soccer Finalizes 2017 Recruiting Class

Women’s Soccer Finalizes 2017 Recruiting Class

Women's Soccer adds seven student-athletes with incoming class

WHITTIER, Calif.- The Whittier College Women's Soccer team will be adding seven prospective student-athletes to the program, solidifying a talented class that will join the Poets in the Fall of 2017.

Bella Capellino de Escobedo (Palisades Charter HS/Santa Monica Utd./MF), Jazmin Gomez (Norwalk HS/Beach FC Academy/FWD), Analisa Murillo (San Diego Miramar College/DEF), Chloe Murphy (Truckee HS/Barcelona NorCal/MF), Jessica Nguyen (Diamond Ranch HS/Arsenal FC/FWD), Sophie Nicotero (Paloma Valley HS/Legends FC/DEF), and  Isabela Vargas (Newburg HS/Westside Metros/MF) all made their commitment to the Poets and will join the program when they enroll this fall.

"I'm beyond excited to introduce our 2017 class of recruits," Poets Head Coach Monica Gerardo said. "We have brought in a very talented group of student-athletes to add to our returning core, who will all contribute in their respective roles. A combination of offensive and defensive minded players will bolster our team on both sides of the ball. Besides adding soccer players, we have new people who will represent our program positively both on and off the soccer field, contributing to our program philosophy."

The Poets return 17 players from the 2016 roster, including 8 consistent starters.  Whittier will be led by the Senior trio of Lauren Kai (Torrance, CA/FWD), Leah Kolek (Diamond Bar, CA/MF) and Ashley Gonzalez (Whittier, CA/DEF), each of who have helped lead and build the program since their Freshman year.

Below, find an in-depth look at the 2017 incoming class.

Bella Capellino de Escobedo, MF (Los Angeles, CA/Palisades Charter HS/Santa Monica Utd.)

Athletic Achievements: 2nd Team CIF- Sophomore, Coach's Award-Senior

Planned Major: Kinesiology 

"I chose Whittier because of the size of the school. I really enjoy smaller classes and the availability of teachers." 

Gerardo says: "Bella is a very smart, simple and technical player. She sees the field very well and will do an excellent job in helping the team maintain possession.  We are excited to watch her compete at the next level."

Jazmin Gomez, FWD (Norwalk, CA/Norwalk HS/Beach FC Academy)

Athletic Achievements: MVP, Offensive MVP, 1st team All-Suburban League (2x), 2nd Team All-Suburban League, MVP award for Beach FC Academy

Academic Achievements: Highest Honors Award (3.7gpa +) x2, Student-Athlete Award (3.5gpa + & playing 1 sport)

Planned Major: Engineering (Physics/Astronomy)

"I chose Whittier College because I really love the campus, it is close enough to home so that my family could come to games, and the team and staff were all very welcoming."

Gerardo says: "Jazmin is a natural goal scorer. Her ability to put herself in a scoring position and finish opportunities will help our attack tremendously. We are looking forward to the potential impact she will be able to make."

Analisa Murillo, DEF (Murrieta, CA/San Diego Miramar College)

Academic Achievements: maintained a 3.3 gpa at Miramar College

Athletic Achievements: 2015 & 2016 Defensive MVP, 2015 & 2016 1st team All-Pacific Coast Conference Selection, Miramar 2016 MVP

Planned Major: Kinesiology 

"I definitely saw a great future here at Whittier. I felt like I could really fit in here with not only the school but the soccer team as well."

Gerardo says: "Analisa will bring a wealth of experience and talent to an already solid defensive unit.  An ability to play centrally or on the wing will allow us to find the right fit for her within our defensive unit.  Her leadership will help build our program over the next 2 seasons."

Chloe Murphy, MF (Truckee, CA/Truckee HS/NorCal Barcelona)

Academic Achievements: Honor Roll, Distinguished Scholar- all 4 yrs of HS

Athletic Achievements:  1st Team All- League &  2nd Team All-State (Jr/Sr yr), Nevada D3A State Champions (Sr)

Planned Major: English/Education

"I chose Whittier College because of the beautiful city, diversity and wonderful opportunities it has to offer me to continue my passion as a soccer player and a student yearning to learn."

Gerardo says: "Chloe's ability to attack, create and maintain possession in the midfield fits in perfectly into our style of play.  She has the ability to see the field clearly and talent to connect dangerous passes in the attacking 1/3."

Jessica Nguyen, FWD (Diamond Bar, CA/Diamond Ranch HS/Arsenal FC)

Academic Achievements: Principal's Honor Roll 2013-2017, Bi-literacy Seal in Spanish, Ranked in the top 100 of the Senior Class

Athletic Achievements: CSL Spring Cup 2013 Champion, Goya International Cup 2013 Champion, Pats Cup 2013 Champion, Hotspurs Labor Day Tournament 2013 Champion, CSL Silver South 2013 Champion, 2015 State Cup Champion, 2016 SoCal Showcase Champion, 2016-2017 Varsity MVP, 4-year Scholar Athlete

Planned Major: Kinesiology

"I chose Whittier College for three main reasons: the academics, the campus, and the opportunity to play soccer."

Gerardo says: "Jessica's athleticism and ability to play on the flank, will contribute to our attack.  She has the awareness to know what type of run to make and where, depending on the situation, thus creating offensive opportunities for herself and her teammates."

Sophie Nicotero, DEF (Sun City, CA/Paloma Valley HS/Legends FC)

Academic Achievements: Student-Athlete Award, Honor Roll

Planned Major: Kinesiology 

"I chose Whittier College because I love the area and I love the size of the college because I get too connect with teachers and my peers on a personal level. I also really like the soccer program and how hard they work and how motivated they are as a whole each game."

Gerardo says: "Sophie's defensive mentality and willingness to work hard each game is what connects her to our style. She approaches each game with a desire to play her best for her team and challenges each opponent she faces."

Isabela Vargas, MF (Newburg, OR/Newburg HS/Westside Metros)

Academic Achievements:

Planned Major: Physical Therapy/Journalism

Athletic Achievements: Oregon Olympic Development State Team 2011-14, Pacific Conference 2nd Team All-District 2016 & 2017, Oregon Premier League State Finalist 2013, 2014, 2015, 4 year Varsity starter for Newburg High School

"Whittier is a well-spoken of private school, with a beautiful campus and good people."

Gerardo says: "Bela's strength is in the middle of the field.  She naturally closes passing lanes, wins balls in the air, and will challenge all 50/50 balls.  She'll do an excellent job cleaning up any loose ends."