By Ben Everett | Sports Writer
Baylor soccer added three new players for the 2017 season on Wednesday as a part of National Signing Day.
Sarah Bevington, Zionah Browne and Allyson Henderson joined early enrollees Emily Bunnell and Jennifer Wandt to round out the 2017 recruiting class for the Bears.
Head coach Paul Jobson says the team will benefit from the winning mentality of the newly-inked Bears.
“All these kids are winners,” Jobson said. “They know how to win. They come from winning clubs. We’re really excited to have them here. They are going to push the level of our team from day one.”
Bevington is a 6-foot center midfielder from Colorado who lettered 16 times in multiple sports during her high school career. She committed to play for Baylor her freshman year and says she is happy to make it official.
“It’s been such a long time waiting and I finally got to sign,” Bevington told 9news.com. “I finally get to fulfill my dreams and go to college.”
As for on-field skill, Jobson says Bevington fills an important role as a tall midfielder.
“We’re a team that likes to make the other team put the ball in the air,” Jobson said. “So having a 6-footer in the middle of the field to help bring that ball down is important for us. And Sarah’s going to fill that role extremely well for us.”
Browne, a striker from Houston, is adept at scoring, posting four goals for her high school in a game last week. Jobson says her scoring ability is a huge need for the Bears.
“We’re solid in the back,” Jobson said. “We definitely keep the ball out of the net, but we’ve got to find a way to get it into the other team’s net, and Zi’s going to help us do that.”
Henderson is a midfielder from Wichita, Kan., and Jobson praised her toughness and defensive ability.
“She’s a scrappy midfielder, tough as nails,” Jobson said. “She’s going to defend really well and help us keep possession of the ball as we move forward.”
Enrolling early, Bunnell and Wandt also bring needed skill sets to the 2017 Baylor soccer team. Each player graduated high school early in order to enroll at Baylor for the spring semester and get a head start on the fall season.
Bunnell, a midfielder from Minnesota, says she chose Baylor based on the community.
“The whole atmosphere down there is about community and family,” Bunnell told the South Washington County Bulletin. “And I just liked that.”
Jobson says Bunnell will join Henderson and Bevington in a midfield-heavy class.
“She’s going to be a scrappy midfielder for us, as well,” Jobson said. “Tough, extremely athletic and knows how to win. She’s got some great speed and just a great mentality and works great.”
Lastly, Wandt is a goalkeeper from Milwaukee who Jobson says could earn some minutes right away.
“She’s a goalkeeper who has tremendous athleticism,” Jobson said. “She’s going to fill in really well between the pipes for us and challenge as a freshman for that position.”
The Bears will open the spring exhibition season at 2 p.m. on Feb. 25 against Houston.