Women's Soccer Signs Three to National Letters of Intent
Feb. 7, 2011
By Patrick ClarkSoutheast Missouri State Sports Information
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The Southeast Missouri State women’s soccer program announced the signing of three prep standouts to National Letters of Intent to play for the Redhawks in 2011. The players signed during the NCAA national signing period.
Torey Byrd, Julia “Ellie” Hight and Erin Shulman will join the program in the fall and will look to provide immediate contributions.
"I'm extremely excited about our 2011 class,” said head coach Heather Nelson. “Torey, Erin and Julia are all quality student-athletes with strong character. Our entire staff is looking forward to working with them over the next four years. We are confident they will provide a positive impact our team next season and in years to come. They have the mentality and determination to be the best they can be, anything less would be a failure in their own eyes."
Byrd is a midfielder from Columbia, Ill. and plays at Columbia High School under the tutelage of Steve Ross. Heading into her senior season this spring, Byrd is a four-year starter for the Eagles that has accumulated 28 goals and 18 assists in her career.
Last season, she was an Honorable Mention All-Metro selection after scoring 16 goals and 13 assists for 45 points as a junior. Three of her goals were game-winners.
As a freshman, Byrd helped the team to a third place finish at the Illinois State Soccer Championships. In the third place game she tallied two goals and finished the season with 12 goals, garnering her First Team All-Metro honors.
Byrd is a four-year letterwinner on the Eagles cross country and girl’s basketball teams. She is a four-time state qualifier in cross country.
She plays for the JB Marine soccer club under the direction of Roger Uphoff. She has helped her club team to three runner-up finishes for the Missouri State Cup over the last four years.
Byrd’s older sister is Taylor Byrd, who just completed her freshman campaign as a member of the Redhawks soccer team.
“Torey is a tremendous competitor with a great spirit about her,” said Nelson. “She is a ball-winner with a relentless work rate and will be a valuable addition to an already talented midfield unit. Torey is talented in the air, and is clearly the engine room of her JB Marine-Uphoff team. She is a versatile player who has the ability to score goals and play a perfectly timed pass out of midfield. We feel privileged to have both Torey and her sister Taylor in our program.”
Hight, who goes by Ellie, hails from Bakersfield, Calif. where she plays defender at Liberty High School under the direction of Lorne Howlett. She is a three-year letterwinner who enters her senior season this spring.
As a sophomore, she was a First Team All-League selection after leading her team in goals, assists and points. She also garnered team MVP honors for her efforts during her stellar sophomore campaign.
Hight is a member of the Bakersfield Gunners club team and is coached by Simon Tobin, Nicole Van Dyke and Eddie Votaw.
“Ellie is a pure defender who is tough tackling, outside back with the versatility to play in central defense,” said Nelson. “She sees nothing but ball and possesses a 'take no prisoners mentality'. She thrives under pressure and has the ability to take dangerous players out of their game. With Ellie's work rate and determination we believe that her best soccer is ahead of her.”
Shulman is a native of Bloomington, Ill. where she enters her senior season at Normal Community High School. A three-year letterwinner at forward for Matt Chapman’s Lady Irons, she has totaled 64 goals and 54 assists for 182 points heading into the spring.
Last season she garnered All-State honors after scoring 24 goals and dishing out 26 assists as a junior. She was named Intercity Player of the Year for the second-straight season as well as garnering her third-straight First Team All-Intercity selection.
As a sophomore, Shulman led the team with 27 goals and 22 assists to rank among the state’s leaders.
She is a member of the St. Louis Scott Gallagher soccer club under the direction of Mitch Bohnak and Dale Schilly.
“Erin is a tenacious attacking-minded player with an eye for the goal,” said Nelson. “She has a relentless work ethic and constantly disrupts the opposing teams defenders. She is passionate about the game and made a huge commitment to play for the SLSG-Illinois team coached by Dale Schilly. Her athleticism, mentality and determination stood out to our entire coaching staff. Simply put, Erin is a winner.”
This past season the Redhawks finished second in the Ohio Valley Conference standings and Coach Nelson believes that these three new additions will put the team back on top of the league.
"With the addition of these three talented players, we have added an extremely competitive group to our roster and I am confident they will provide an immediately impact our 2011 team,” said Nelson.