Following its first winning season since joining the NCAA Division I ranked, the University South Dakota women’s soccer coach Mandy Green is pleased to announce the addition of 12 athletes who have enrolled at USD and plan to compete for the Coyotes this fall.
The list includes five from Nebraska, two from California and one each from Iowa, Kansas, Colorado, Illinois and Missouri.
“This is a tremendous group of athletes with a work ethic that is second to none, as well as a competitive spirit consistent with what we have come to expect here at South Dakota,” said Green. “Every single player in this class has the ability to make an impact right away and help fill some voids left by our graduating senior class. They are also a very charismatic group and we believe they will add another level of great energy and enthusiasm to the strong core of returning players we have coming back in the fall.”
Of the 12 players, six are defenders, three are midfielders, two are goalkeepers and one is a forward.
Bella Arkfeld | Gretna, Neb. | Gretna HS | Forward | Health Sciences
Chose South Dakota over: South Dakota State, Augustana, Omaha, Hastings College
A two-time all-conference honoree, Arkfeld helped the Dragons to two Nebraska state championships. She scored 18 goals and added nine assists over three seasons. Arkfeld competes for an Omaha FC team during the high school offseason. She was an academic letterwinner, earned academic all-conference honors and is a member of the National Honor Society. She also lettered in basketball at Gretna.
Coach Green’s take: “Bella is a pacey forward with strong attacking skills. She has the ability to create and score goals. Bella will add another dangerous dimension to our attack.”
Makenzie Burmeister | Gretna, Neb. | Gretna HS | Midfield | Art Education
Chose South Dakota over: Iowa State, Omaha, Hastings College
Named the 2014 “In the Game” Player of the Year, Burmeister put away 12 goals and nine assists her junior season to lead the Dragons. Her overtime goal in the Nebraska state championship proved to be the game-winner and earned her super-state, all-state and all-conference honors. Burmeister recorded 21 goals and 20 assists over three seasons. Additionally, she helped her Gretna SC team to a state cup championship and three runner-up finishes. Burmeister is a two-time academic letterwinner and earned academic all-conference honors in 2014.
Coach Green’s take: “Makenzie has excellent skills, vision and speed. She will bring creativity to our midfield and allow us to play a fast-paced attacking style of soccer.”
Madeline Butterfield | Shawnee, Kan. | Mill Valley HS | Defense | Medical Biology
A team captain last season at Mill Valley High School, Butterfield earned first-team all-league honors as a defender and utility player. She was also named to the Lawrence Journal-World’s all-area team. In the club league, Butterfield competed for the SC Hurricanes Force. Additionally, Butterfield lettered in cross country and academics at Mill Valley.
Coach Green’s take: “Maddie is a terrific soccer player. She is incredibly versatile and has the ability to read the game. She’s very good on the ball, good in the air and is a tactically smart player.”
Anna Carnazzo | Papillion, Neb. | Papillion LaVista HS | Defense | Pre-Pharmacy
Chose South Dakota over: SIUE, Minnesota State-Mankato, Western Illinois, Nebraska
Carnazzo was a letterwinner and team captain for the Monarchs. She helped her club team to four state championships and earned Midwest Regional League player of the year honors. Carnazzo was the National Honor Society Vice President and earned an academic achievement award at Papillion LaVista High School.
Coach Green’s take: “Anna is an athletic defender with a fantastic work rate. As an outside back, she attacks very well with the ball at her feet and has the fitness base to cover a lot of ground. She is composed, organized and keeps the ball well. She is a tough defender who is not afraid to lay out a tackle.
Madyson Gutknecht | Ankeny, Iowa | Waukee HS | Defense | Kinesiology and Sport Science
Chose South Dakota over: Northern Iowa, Iowa State, Drake
Gutknecht scored 28 goals in the Midwest Regional League to lead her club team to an undefeated 2014 season and championship title. Her Iowa Rush club team won four state championships.
Coach Green’s take: “Mady is a hard-nosed athletic player who can play up top as well as an outside back. She has good pace and is tenacious defensively. We feel she will come in and compete to play in the back and help solidify our young back line.”
Tayler Karas | Gretna, Neb. | Gretna HS | Defense | Kinesiology and Sport Science
Chose South Dakota over: Omaha, Hastings College, Nebraska-Kearney
Karas was a member of a back line that allowed only 15 goals last season en route to a Nebraska state championship title. She earned both all-conference and academic all-conference honors in 2014. Karas also helped her Gretna SC team to a state cup championship and qualified for nationals. She is a National Honor Society member at Gretna.
Coach Green’s take: “We are excited to have an athlete like Tayler joining the program. She is a tough and tenacious defender who has great size, athleticism and reads the game very well. We look forward to the contributions she will bring to our back line.”
Parker Rytz | Ecinitas, Calif. | San Dieguito Academy | Goalkeeper | Health Sciences
Chose South Dakota over: Grand Valley State, Utah, Nebraska, Arizona
A first-team all-league honoree as a junior, Rytz has led the league goalkeepers in saves and save percentage since her freshman season. She also led the league in goals-against average the past two seasons. As a junior, she recorded 168 saves (9.3 saves per game), allowed 28 goals and recorded a 1.65 goals-against average. Rytz earned an all-academic team and a scholar athlete award in 2014.
Coach Green’s take: “Parker is a great shot stopper who is very comfortable in front of the goal. She is going to come in and challenge for playing time immediately. Parker is going to push the goalkeeping group to become even better.”
Courtney Stodola | Elkhorn, Neb. | Omaha Skutt HS | Defense | Business
Chose South Dakota over: Omaha, Nebraska, Drake, Denver
A starter since her freshman season, Stodola helped the Skyhawks to a 2013 Nebraska state championship title and a runner-up finish last season. Stodola is expected to be a team captain for her senior season this spring.
Coach Green’s take: “Courtney is a tough, determined defender who has shown her persistence and tenacity going through an injury last year. A shutdown defender, her work rate up and down the flank is exciting to watch and will add another dimension to our program.”
Coral Suarez | Thousand Oaks, Calif. | Thousand Oaks HS | Goalkeeper | Nursing
Chose South Dakota over: Aurora University, Adelphi, St. John’s University
Suarez credits years of basketball experience to her hand-eye coordination at the goalkeeper position. She played three years on varsity for the Lancers. Suarez was also an honor roll student at Thousand Oaks High School.
Coach Green’s take: “Coral is a talented goalkeeper with excellent upside potential. She has very good athleticism and good hands. She is a fantastic addition to the team and will help make this a truly competitive and tough goalkeeping corps.”
Cooper Thau | Broomfield, Colo. | Broomfield HS | Midfield | Medical Biology
Chose South Dakota over: Creighton, Western State Colorado, Adams State, Hastings College
Thau was named the Colorado Rush Player of the Year as she helped the FC Denver Rush women’s team to the state cup finals in 2014. She also plays for the North Rush U-18’s men’s team. During the single season Thau competed for Broomfield High School, she scored one goal and added three assists. She also played Ultimate Frisbee for the Eagles.
Coach Green’s take: “Cooper has incredible technical skills and a strong work-ethic. With her vision of the field and soccer I.Q., she will add creativity and intelligence to our midfield. Cooper will be a great addition to the squad.”
Samantha Villwock | Lake Villa, Ill. | Grayslake North HS | Midfield | Business
Chose South Dakota over: Minnesota State-Mankato, Valparaiso, Penn, Xavier
After earning all-conference honors for her 10 goals and seven assists as a freshman, Villwock elected to play club soccer year round. She played for the Eclipse Select and was a National League Top Scorer in 2012-13. She currently plays for the club’s Elite Club National League team. Villwock played basketball for Grayslake North.
Coach Green’s take: “Sammie is an explosive forward and reads the game well. She has a good combination of strong skills and athleticism. We look forward to the contributions she will bring to our forward line.
Sydney Wilson | Lee’s Summit, Mo. | North HS | Defense | Criminal Justice/Psychology
Chose South Dakota over: South Carolina Upstate, Missouri, Nebraska, Wingate
Wilson competed in club soccer for both the Kansas City Legends and Omaha Elite Girls Academy, where she attended various premier college showcases. Wilson helped the Omaha EGA to 2013 and 2014 Nebraska state runner-up finishes. Her team reached the National Premier League finals in 2014. Wilson was a basketball player, academic letterwinner, and National Honor Society member at Lee’s Summit North High School.
Coach Green’s take: “Sydney is a tough center back who has a great understanding and passion for the game. She has gotten to play with a lot of top players through her club team and we look forward to her bringing in her leadership and competitiveness to the team culture.”
All 12 student-athletes will enroll at and compete for South Dakota in the fall of 2015.