(MSU Billings release)
BILLINGS - Montana State University Billings women’s soccer head coach Stephen Cavallo announced the signing of 15 student-athletes for the 2020 fall season Wednesday afternoon, including five from Billings.
“We are excited to announce our 2020 recruiting class,” Cavallo said. “We believe this group of players added in with our returning group will make next season’s squad the most competitive MSUB team we have had since I have been here. There is so much talent, athleticism, and dedication in this group of student athletes coming in. We believe that each individual has the ability to make an impact both on and off the field. We are excited to get this group in as we feel they will mesh well with the character of our program.”
The Yellowjackets improved last fall and finished 6-9-2, 5-7-0 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. Recruits Hailee Gertch, Jordan Roe, Jillian Hust, Lainey Bosch, and Taylor Gertch are all Billings natives and will immediately bolster the talent of MSUB’s roster. Kelsey Hogan and Rylee Wiediger are also Montana residents and Emilie Moberg joins MSUB as an international talent from Sweden.
5’8 – Defender
Hailee Gertsch played four year and earned four letters playing soccer at Skyview High School in Billings as a defender. Gertsch was named all-state and team captain and played on a Falcon team, which went 15-0-0 and won the class AA state championship.
Coach Cavallo on Gertsch: "Hailee is an imposing central defender that possesses great communication skills and leadership in the back. We believe she will adapt to the physical nature of the GNAC and will do an excellent job stopping a lot of the conference's best attacking players."
Gertsch on choosing MSUB: “I chose MSUB because I feel it is the right fit for me. The team was friendly and welcoming. The campus was the right size for me, and the school offers several degree options in the career path I would like to pursue. I chose to play soccer at MSUB because I like the high standards that coach Cavallo has for the players and team. I like the commitment to year round training, and the high level of competition. I feel it is the right environment for me to contribute to the team and to continue to grow and improve both as an individual and as an athlete. I look forward to the opportunity to playing soccer at the next level.”
5’4 – Forward/Midfielder
The 2018 Gatorade player of the year for Montana, Roe put up 48 goals and 43 assists in her career at Syview. She is known for her strength and physicality, as well as her creativity with the ball. Roe’s 20 assists in 2018 set a single-season Class AA record. She is expected to fully recover from ankle surgery by fall season.
Among her high school accolades, Roe has been named all-state, all-state honorable mention, state most valuable player, team offensive player, team most valuable player, rookie of the year, and all-region by United Soccer Coaches. She holds the Skyview single game record with four assists as well as season records for goals (16), assists (17), and points (49). Roe amassed 47 goals, 38 assists, and 132 points over her four-year career at Skyview under head coach Cameron Icenoggle and won four letters.
Coach Cavallo on Roe: “In Jordan we get a player that was a Gatorade High School Player of the Year. She possesses strong technical skills and creativity in the final third. She can influence any game she plays by putting the ball in the back of the net or assisting to a teammate. Jordan will help us become more dangerous up top.”
Roe on choosing MSUB: “I chose MSUB because I love the environment of the team and coaching staff. The players push each other to be the best they can and they strive for excellence on the field as well as academically.”
5’4 – Forward
Hust scored 14 career goals at Billings West and was the only senior of last year’s state title-winning team, which speaks to her leadership qualities. Hust was a team captain and named all-state for the Golden Bears and also a 4-year all-state honoree in track and field.
Coach Cavallo on Hust: “Jillian is a very athletic and fast forward that is versatile up top and can play down the middle of out wide. She has a ton of potential and has really grown over the last few seasons. She comes to our program having lead her HS team to a state championship, where she served as the lone senior on the team.”
Hust on choosing MSUB: “I chose to attend MSUB because of the atmosphere. I feel this is a school that will help me improve athletically on and off the field. The coaches and girls were positive and made it seem like a fun place to be. I also have four soccer teammates that I have played with since grade school so I think it will be a great place for me to get better. I intend on majoring in Chemistry and I feel like I will be able to get a lot of help and guidance at this school.”
5’7 – Goalkeeper
Major: Health and Human Performance
Bosch is the current Skyview school record holder for keeper shutout with 11 and helped the Falcons go 15-0-0 in 2018. Last season, Bosch earned the Falcon award as well as Class AA girls soccer all-conference and all-state. Bosch played in the Shodair’s soccer classic all-state game and was the goalkeeper in a 0-0 tie. She was also rookie of the year in 2017 and made the winning save against Missoula Sentinel in a 2019 state quarterfinal to move Skyview into the semifinals.
Bosch played four seasons and earned three letters under head coach Cameron Icenoggle.
Coach Cavallo on Bosch: “Lainey is a technical sound goalkeeper that is fearless coming out of her six yard box. She has had an incredible high school career, very rarely ever getting scored on. We are looking forward to helping her further develop her goalkeeping craft here.”
Bosch on choosing MSUB: “I have attended MSUB’s goalkeeper training camp every August since grade school. What I find most appealing about MSUB, that I did not find at those other colleges, is the sense of family and team in their girls soccer program. I really sensed the culture at MSUB is focused on positive team values and attitudes. I also love the opportunity to play soccer with four of my high school and club soccer teammates.”
5’8 – Midfielder
Taylor Gertsch was an accomplished soccer player at Skyview High School where she played under Cameron Icenoggle for four seasons. A good student, Gertsch was a member of national honor society and was team captain of the Falcons. Gertsch has experience in important games and helped Skyview to a 15-0-0 season and the state AA championship.
Coach Cavallo on Gertsch: “Taylor is a great addition to the program and will add a lot to our midfield core. She is strong on the ball, a very dynamic dribbler, and will bring a physical presence to our midfield. Her work rate in the midfield will allow her to win a lot of 50/50s and break up attacks by the opposition. “
Gertsch on choosing MSUB: “I chose MSUB because the size of the campus and the fact that I would continue my education and the degree I desire. I chose to play soccer at MSUB because I like the structured training environment, the high standards that coach Cavallo has for the players and team, and the year round commitment to improvement. I feel it is the right fit for me to continue to grow as an individual and as an athlete. I am excited to play soccer at a higher level, and to have games near my family in Billings.”
5’4 – Defender
Major: Health and Human Performance
Wate was a four year varsity starter for Auburn Riverside High School and the Ravens went 50-15-8 over her prep tenure. Wate was named first team all-league as a defender for three straight seasons. A stellar student, Wate received the NPSL academic scholar athlete award all four years of high school as well as the WIAA scholastic award. Wate attended running start from 2018-19.
Coach Cavallo on Wate: “Sydney is an athletic outside back that possesses a lot of speed and is versatile enough to play both sides. Her understanding of the position aligns with the expectations we have of players that play in the outside back role. She will add a lot to our back line and I look forward to the strengths she will bring to this position.”
Wate on choosing MSUB: “When I first traveled to Montana last March, I fell in love with the environment. The beautiful, open landscape around Billings, the family-like team dynamic, and the overall vibe that I got from the school, the team, and the town made me so sure I would feel at home at MSUB. I also was very happy to hear about the Health and Human Performance major that is offered at MSUB, which allows me to pursue my interests in Athletic Training and Sports Nutrition.”
5’5 – Forward
Moberg comes to MSU Billings from Sweden, where she grew up playing soccer. Moberg played for district team Varmland and was selected to the girls elite camp in Halmstad in 2016, held by the Swedish Soccer Association. She was also a member of regional champion youth team from 2013-17. The team won the title each year Moberg was a participant. In 2015, she was selected team tournament most valuable player at age 14 in Mastarcupen after helping her team finish fourth.
Coach Cavallo on Moberg: "Emelie is a highly skilled winger. She is very creative on the ball, strong in the 1v1 attacking, and has the ability to play with both feet. She will help our direct play in the final third and we look forward to bringing another international student athlete into our program."
Moberg on choosing MSUB: “I chose MSUB because it felt like a perfect fit to me. Montana is a beautiful state that might be far away from home, but Billings reminds me a lot of my hometown. I believe that joining this program will help me grow both on and off the field, as a player, student and person. I am excited to become a part of the Yellowjacket family and such a dedicated team.”
Great Falls, MT
5’4 – Midfielder/Forward
Major: General Studies
Hogan played two years of soccer at Gillette College in Wyoming before joining the ‘Jackets. There, she was an NJCAA all-region first team midfielder in 2019 and NJCAA all-region second team forward in 2018. At Charles M. Russell High School, Hogan was a three-sport athlete including soccer, basketball, and track and field.
In soccer, she was named first team all-conference, first team all-state, and academic all-state multiple seasons. She was also a member of national honor society and recognized as team captain in 2016 and 2017. The same years, Hogan received the Charles M. Russell hustle award for her effort on the field.
Hogan scored eight goals, six assists, and two game winning goals in 2019 and helped Gillette secure a 17-3-1 record. She also played on the Charles M. Russell team which won the Class AA state soccer championship in 2014.
Coach Cavallo on Hogan: “Kelsey is a player that we have been tracking over the last two years at Gillette Community College. She improved remarkably in her time there and helped the program grow to a Top-20 nationally ranked junior college program. Kelsey is going to bring a lot of creativity in the final third. She is versatile and can play as a center forward or as an attacking center mid.”
Hogan on choosing MSUB: “I am excited to have an opportunity to play at MSUB. The program is a great fit for me and I believe in the mission of Trust-Commitment-Care. The coaching staff is very experienced and I like their commitment to personal, academic and athletic growth along with winning games. I’m also happy to be playing soccer in Montana again in a school that is close to home. I like the MSUB education program and small class sizes. My dad graduated from MSUB in education, so I think it’s awesome to be able to carry on that tradition.”
5’6 - Goalkeeper
Keenan made the University president’s list in spring 2019 at Coastal Carolina. At Leon High School, she was soccer impact player of the year in 2017-18 and all big bend player of the year in 2018. As team captain, Keenan won the soccer senior leadership award in 2018-19.
Coach Cavallo on Keenan: “Clare is a very athletic goalkeeper that has the ability to make the spectacular save. Her communication will also help our back line snuff out chances. She is going to bring a tremendous amount to our goalkeeping core.”
Keenan on choosing MSUB: “Having lived in Florida my entire life, I received an email from coach Stephen that really resonated with me. I had no idea what I was getting into, but I knew after speaking with the coaching staff, something felt right. MSUB has a sense of community that I had not seen anywhere else. When I visited MSUB, the soccer program and school felt like my family, like home.”
Port Orchard, WA
5’7 – Defender/Midfielder
Major: Health and Human Performance
Cameron played center defender at South Kitsap High School in Port Orchard, Washington for four years under head coach K-Lee Haynes. While on the team, Cameron was a two-year team captain as well as team most inspirational player. Cameron earned all-league honorable mention distinction in 2018 and won three letters for the Wolves.
Coach Cavallo on Cameron: ““Ashley is an intelligent player that will bolster our defensive middle. She has the ability to play both holding mid and center back. She is a very hard working player, technically sound and keeps the game nice and simple.”
Cameron on choosing MSUB: “I chose MSUB because I felt like it was my home away from home. The coaches and players were so nice and welcoming and I could really see myself becoming a family with this group. Having a team that had a high GPA average was also important to me. I like the small feel of the campus and the smaller class sizes. Billings is far enough from my hometown that I will get to meet new people and be in a completely different environment, but close enough that a flight home isn't too expensive.”
5’8 – Forward
Wiediger played forward for the Hamilton High School Broncs under head coach Kiah Nisly for four seasons. Among her prep accolades include three time academic all state, all-conference, young leader award, team captain, and all-state selections. Wiediger helped her team to conference championships in 2016 and 2017 and was the league lineup fourth highest scorer in Montana in 2018.
Coach Cavallo on Wiediger: “Rylee is a dynamic forward that can play down the middle or out wide. She possess good athleticism up top and we see her as a player with a lot of upside. Her commitment to her training and her skills has seen a player from a town of less than 5,000 people make it into the GNAC.”
Wiediger on choosing MSUB: “I chose MSUB because I wanted to stay in state for college. I like the outdoors and the environment of Billings and felt like the soccer program was a perfect fit for me.”
5’5 – Defender
Nicknamed “Jazz”, Marquez joins the Yellowjackets after playing center back for Montrose High School in Colorado. Marquez won one letter but played four years of soccer under head coach Cassandra Snyder, whose team went 19-21-1. Marquez was named team captain as a freshman and awarded best defender three years running from 2017 to 2019. She was also named southwest league all-conference in 2018 and 2019.
Coach Cavallo on Marquez: “Jasmine is a versatile left footed defender who can play center-back or left back. She has a high soccer IQ, is composed in 1v1 defending and build up out of the back. She will help build or defensive core.”
Marquez on choosing MSUB: “When I visited MSUB I was very nervous, but after meeting the girls and coaches, they were very outgoing and welcoming. I felt comfortable being myself. MSUB made me feel welcome from the start and gave me the confidence to play and tour the campus where I see myself as a Yellowjacket.”
5’3 – Midfielder/Forward
Menning played soccer at Shorecrest High School for three seasons and won three letters under head coach Mindy Daziel. She helped the Highlanders go 37-17 overall and was named 2016 rookie of the year. The following year, Menning earned TOPdrawer weekly standout as well as TOPdrawer day four dazzler as a part of the Seattle Reign Academy. In 2018, she was named most valuable player at Shorecrest.
Coach Cavallo on Menning: “Izzy is a very technical and creative attacking midfielder. She will add a lot to our game in the final third. She has a tenacity about her game and a desire to win the ball from defenders which is great to see from an advanced midfield player.”
Menning on choosing MSUB: “I chose MSUB to further my athletic and academic career because of the supportive community and amazing coaching staff.”
Trabuco Canyon, CA
5’9 – Defender
Tiffin was the captain at El Toro High School and defensive player of the year as a freshman. She was also defensive player of the year as a senior and first team all-league twice. Tiffin was named sophomore team captain in college and transferred to MSUB after spending time at both New Mexico State and Saddleback College.
Coach Cavallo on Tiffin: "Ashley is an athletic physical centerback with a strong understanding for the game. We are excited about the experience she will bring to our program. Ashley's outlook on life and her college soccer experience will align great with what we are looking for in our student athletes."
Tiffin on choosing MSUB: “I love the people and the state. I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity to play.”
5-9 – Defender
Findlay adds collegiate soccer experience to the Yellowjacket group of defenders after playing two seasons with Clark College, where she holds the distinction for most career starts in school history. Findlay scored one goal and had one assist with four shot attempts last season. Prior to Clark College, Findlay was a four-year letter winner under head coach Joe Chicks for the Hawks. In high school, she was voted all state in 2016, all league in 2015 and 2016, and defensive team most valuable player three straight seasons. In addition, Findlay was a team captain in both high school and college. Findlay is an exceptional student with an honor roll record and was on the NWAC academic list at Clark College.
Coach Cavallo on Findlay: "Ally is a central defender that will bring great physicality and presence to our back line. She can win the aerial balls but also has the ability to play on the ground. We like the versatility she can bring to our team as she also has the ability to play holding mid too."
Findlay on choosing MSUB: “I chose MSUB because I love how welcoming everyone at MSUB is, but also because I have the wonderful opportunity of furthering my soccer career along with my academic career.”