The University of Redlands women's lacrosse coaching staff put together a productive recruiting season by adding nine members to the roster for the upcoming academic year. This group of Bulldogs includes those who have made the necessary admissions deposit for 2017-18. Overall, the incoming class holds promise to provide additional versatility, skill, and scholarly success for the Maroon and Gray.
"We are excited for the opportunity to work with each of these superb, young women," stated Head Coach Suzette Soboti. "The growth of lacrosse in the West has been tremendous over the past four years and each of these women is a product of that growth. We know that they will be able to make an impact with the Bulldogs!"
Equipped with solid experience at Faith Lutheran High School, Paige Erlanger supplements the Maroon and Gray's options at the attack position as a four-time all-state honoree. In her senior season, she was named a team captain before being named the Offensive Most Valuable Player. Erlanger's career also includes quality time with the Rebel Attack Club.
At the midfield, the Bulldogs welcome Bella Leonardi (Napa, CA), Nani Sarango (Murrieta, CA), Jessi Aguigui (Fallbrook, CA), and Amanda Levandowski (San Diego, CA). A two-time MVP at Justin Siena High School, Leonardi also was named Offensive Player of the Year to cap off her impressive four-year tenure that included success with the Bay Area Elite Club.
Sarango makes the short trip from Murrieta Valley High School to Redlands as a three-time scholar-athlete. She recently received the Coach's Award and the Southwestern League Award for her contributions.
Not too far down the road, Aguigui arrives at Redlands from Fallbrook and Vista Murrieta High School. This 951 United Club competitor brings all-league honors, all-star team selection, and excellence as a member of the academic honor roll.
Rounding out the robust list of midfielders, Levandowski heads north from Grossmont High School and Team LAX Academy in San Diego. Her athletic repertoire includes being named the 2016 Offensive Player of the Year and the 2017 Most Valuable Player.
Providing additional versatility, Kaley Holland (Seattle, WA) and Bre Gunderson (San Diego, CA) offer the ability to play midfielder or defender for the Maroon and Gray. Holland hails from Seattle, Washington, as a member of the Puget Sound Select Club. As a four-year varsity athlete at Holy Names Academy, she earned the opportunity to serve as team captain in her senior season.
Gunderson stands out as a decorated member of the Pacific Falcons Club who gained success at Rancho Bernardo High School. After being named the MVP in 2016, she topped that achievement with a spot on the All-CIF Second Team and All-Palomar First Team. This team captain's achievements continued in the classroom with a spot on the Academic Honor Roll.
On the final third of the field, Redlands looks forward to the contributions of defender Elise Avery of Truckee and goalkeeper Anna Sassara of West Linn, Oregon. Avery offers a multifaceted athletic experience at North Tahoe High School where she was the Class of 2017 Valedictorian. She played for the Nevada State Academic Champions for Basketball and became a scholar-athlete for lacrosse. In addition, her defensive skills further developed during her time with TNT Girls Lacrosse Club.
Finally, the Bulldogs welcome Sassara as a viable goalkeeper from Tenacity Club in Oregon. She split time at West Linn and Wilsonville high schools, earning a variety of awards along the way. After collecting MVP honors as a freshman, she contributed to her team's state championship in 2015. She was named the co-MVP while earning all-league and all-state status that year as well. She capped off her stellar career with academic honors.
With new depth at every position, the Bulldog women's lacrosse team approaches the 2018 campaign with high hopes of returning to its championship form that saw the squad advance to the third round of the NCAA Championships in 2014.