Women’s Soccer Signs Stellar Eight

Submitted by: Kaci Mexico - July 1st, 2016


Sarah Newton (top left), Brooke Porter (top right), Isabelle Esber (second row), Madeleine Berthoud (second row), Haley Johnson (third row), Kira Nemeth (third row), Avalon Albright (fourth row), and Katelyn Merrell (fourth row).

Sarah Newton (top left), Brooke Porter (top right), Isabelle Esber (second row), Madeleine Berthoud (second row), Haley Johnson (third row), Kira Nemeth (third row), Avalon Albright (fourth row), and Katelyn Merrell (fourth row).

By Kaci Mexico
July 1, 2016

After graduating six seniors this past season, head coach Chantel Cappuccilli is proud to fill the Westmont Women’s Soccer roster with eight well-rounded and impressive incoming freshmen – Sarah Newton from Anchorage, Alaska, Kira Nemeth from San Clemente, Calif., Brooke Porter from San Bernardino, Calif., Avalon Albright from Edmonds, Wash., Katelyn Merrell from Tustin, Calif., Madeleine Berthoud from Rowley, Mass., Haley Johnson from Fullerton, Calif., and Isabelle Esber from Columbus, Ohio.

Cappuccilli reflected on the addition of this incoming class and said, “Our 2016 class adds a diverse flavor to our program – four Southern California players, four from out-of-state (Wash., Mass., Ohio, Alaska), two Valedictorian’s, two worship leaders, a number having experienced international missions trips, a Division Player of the Year, multiple 1st Team All-Conference selections, a multi-sport champion, and highly held GPAs and extracurriculars. In my time at Westmont I’ve come to see the quality of person Westmont attracts in its athletic and academic arenas. I believe the 2016 class falls perfectly under Westmont’s astute reputation and character qualities; it’s safe to say this group is something unique and will enhance the overall mission of the college and our women’s soccer program.”

Sarah Newton, a 5’6 midfielder/forward played club soccer for the Alaska Rush. Her team finished second in the Alaska State Cup, was President Cup Quarterfinalists, and was Champions of the Far North Invitational. Newton also played for the Alaska ODP team for three years.

Off the field, Newton was a member of the highest honor roll for four years, a member of the National Honors Society for three years, and Valedictorian of the Class of 2016 for Grace Christian School.

“Sarah possesses a sweet sense of determination and desire,” reflected Cappuccilli. “She is determined to enhance whatever setting she is a part of and desires to be fully fervent in that environment as well. Sarah’s character, drive and passion for the game will greatly impact our program and I wholly look forward to having her within our women’s team and the Westmont community.”

Kira Nemeth, a 5’3 midfielder/forward was a three year varsity starter for San Clemente high school. Her sophomore year she earned the scholar athlete award; her junior year she was named to the second-team All-South Coast League, was named a scholar athlete, and earned Most-Improved; and her senior year she was named to the first-team All-South Coast League, named a scholar athlete, was her team’s leading goal scorer with nine goals, and was a team captain.

Off the field, Nemeth was a part of the Superintendent’s Honor Roll for four years, was the Valedictorian of her senior class, and was on the leadership team for her youth group.

“We’ve loved everything we’ve seen from Kira up to this point, and believe she will unlock her full potential at Westmont – and that’s an exciting place to be,” said Cappuccilli. “Kira’s genuine nature, kind-heartedness and tenacity on the pitch will support what’s intrinsically important to our program’s values amd work ethic. Kira has a strong leadership presence, nose for the goal and will be unassuming to the opponents we face in the coming season.”

Brooke Porter, a 5’4 midfielder/defender was the team captain of the Anaheim Surf club soccer team; was the team captain of the Cajon high school girls soccer team her junior and senior year; and received first-team All-league honors and was the team MVP her sophomore, junior, and senior year.

Off the field, Porter has been on honor roll, been a part of the National Honors Society, was the editor for the Cajon high school newspaper, was the Best Buddies Club Peer leader, and was a worship leader at her church.

“Brooke is detailed and you can see it in the way she plays,” reflected Cappuccilli. “I believe she has a solid tactical knowledge that will enable her to play multiple positions at the collegiate level. Brooke is versatile, dependable and carries herself confidently on and off the field. Her leadership and maturity will carry weight; I’m excited to see how those innate qualities play out in our program. I’m excited to see what position will suit her best – and know her that her ability to step into a variety of positions will come in handy.”

Avalon Albright, a 5’10 midfielder/forward played club soccer for the Northwest Nationals and was the 2013 Washington State Cup Champion; she was also a Region IV Finalist and named All-Conference forward in her senior year on the Kings high school girl’s soccer team.

Off the field, Albright a YMCA camp counselor, a bible study host, and a Social Justice Volunteer.

Cappuccilli reflected on Albright and said, “Avalon has a zest to her play. She’s energetic, has a flare and poise in her technical ability and carries an ambition that accentuates her liveliness. Avalon is thoughtful and has an infectious way about her that will play a vital role with our incoming class and team unity.”

Katelyn Merrell, a 5’8 center midfielder was a three-year team captain for both her high school team (Tustin high school) and her club team (So Cal Blues). In high school she was named First-team All-League, midfield MVP, team MVP, and was one of the top goal scorers in Orange County her junior year.

A part from soccer, Merrell was in the superintendent’s honor roll, Fellowship of Christian Athletes Vice President, her school’s online magazine editor, and involved in church leadership.

“Katelyn has a strong presence in both her play and character,” explained Cappuccilli. “She is mature in her ability to effectively communicate – which will be a huge asset both on and off the pitch. Katelyn is methodical and intentional about her decision making in the center of the field, which shows her level of reliability in a tactical sense, but also in the way she conducts herself.”

Madeleine Berthoud, a 5’3 center midfielder/forward played for the SF Vikings Soccer Club and Hamilton-Wenham Regional high school. As a freshman, Berthoud was named Rookie of the year; as a sophomore, she was given the Best Offense Award; and her junior and senior, year Berthoud was a two-year team captain, a two-time All-Cape Ann League Selection, and named Division III All-State by the EMGSCA. Additionally in her senior year, Berthoud was named as the Cape Ann League’s Baker Division Player of the Year and led her high school team to a single season program record for wins.

Off the field, Berthoud was on honor roll for four years, was ranked third in her class, won the Cornell Book Award, and went on two sports missions trips to Brazil in the summers of 2014 and 2015 with the Charlottle Eagles Christian semi-pro team.

“Maddi brings an international flare paired with an incredible work ethic,” explained Cappuccilli. “Her high soccer IQ and stand out technical ability will make for a dangerous component in our frontline and midfield. We are thrilled to see what Maddi’s spunk, passion and service-minded presence will bring not only to our program, but the Westmont community. As a front player/midfielder we are looking to recruit players that can score goals and create goal scoring opportunities – what Maddi possess is the ability to do both, but does so by thinking 2-3 steps ahead. Her discipline, composure and creativity align with our style of play and we anticipate those intangibles to make an impact.”

Haley Johnson, a 5’6 outside back/forward played for the Wolfpack FC and her team was the Coast Premier League Champions in 2015. Johnson was also a part of the El Dorado girl’s soccer team, who were Century League Champions, CIF Semi-Finalists and CIF State Semi-Finalists in 2015.

Off the field, Johnson was a member of the National Honor Society, the California Scholarship Federation, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Pink Ribbon club and the National Charity League. She was a scholar athlete, a distinguished scholar, a church worship leader, and a Sunday school teacher.

“Haley is persistent and eager,” said Cappuccilli. She is eager to grow as an individual and player and I expect her to develop exponentially during her time as a Warrior. Haley’s athleticism and relentless work rate will be a tremendous asset to our team. Haley is effective in the run of play and has the ability to execute as either an outside back or front player. She also has a coachable personality that I believe will carry weight in our program.”

Isabelle Esber, a 5’8 goalkeeper played for Grandview Heights high school and her team was State Semi-Final runner’s up this past season. Esber was named second-team All-League in 2013 and first-team All-League in 2014 and 2015. She broke the school record for the number of shut-outs in a high school career, earned the Archie Griffin Sportsmanship Award, and was a part of the first team in Grandview Heights history to win district/regional finals in 2015.

A part from soccer, Esber was on honor roll for all four years, was a member of the National Honors Society, received the President’s Education Award, and volunteered at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

“Izzy’s length, athleticism and resilient shot stopping ability make for a threat as a goalkeeper,” noted Cappuccilli. “She is a fierce competitor and will fit right into our vision to be a mentally strong side. Izzy has a growth mindset that fits succinctly with the culture of our program. She has an exuberant personality and will be a dynamic addition to our roster.”

With training camp only four weeks away, the Westmont Women’s soccer team eagerly anticipates the arrival of these eight incoming freshmen.