Soccer: Manning reloads on talent

By By Paige Fieldsted and By Paige Fieldsted

By Paige Fieldsted

Last week, U women soccer players had a hard time deciding for which player to cheer as Shaylyn Kennedy of Murray High School and Kellie Woodfield from Timpview High School faced each other in the 4-A girls basketball quarterfinals.

While both excel at basketball, they also have another passion — soccer. Kennedy and Woodfield headline the Utes 2008 recruiting class.

Kennedy, who plays at the goalkeeper position, has been named the MVP for Murray’s soccer team three times and has also earned All-State honors.

“Shay is a powerful athlete,” women’s soccer head coach Rich Manning said. “It’s going to be fun to see her game take shape as she gains more experience.”

Woodfield will join the Ute team as a defender. In high school, Woodfield was a four-year starter and two-time MVP for Timpview’s soccer team. She has also been a member of the varsity basketball team for four years.

“Kellie has such a versatile game,” Manning said. “She may be asked to play many roles on the team, but (she) will be able to excel at all of them.”

The two girls are part of the 10-member recruiting class and will join the women’s soccer team as freshmen in the 2008 season.

“They are an enthusiastic bunch — soccer junkies with a lot of spirit,” Manning said of the girls.

The 2008 recruiting class is made up of mostly local talent, with seven of the 10 players calling Utah home. The other three players will come from California, Nevada and Colorado.

“We are excited that more of the top local talent has embraced our vision and will join us in our quest for excellence,” Manning said.

The group includes players in every position including four midfielders, two defenders, two forwards and two goalkeepers.

“This group of players has a wide range of skills,” Manning said. “They really will bring a lot of qualities to our team.”

The women’s soccer coaches had the opportunity to work with most of the players before they signed letters of intent, working with the girls through the Olympic Development Program and U soccer camps.

“We’ve got goalkeepers and goal-scorers, sprinters, conductors, competitors and leaders, and we have a terrific group of returning players who will help make it a smooth transition when they come to join us,” Manning said.

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