By Will Chamblee | Sports Writer
Baylor soccer announced the 2021 recruiting class last Thursday, adding six new players from three different states to the team.
Baylor head coach Paul Jobson said he was excited to finally be able to announce and add the new players to the team.
“Signing Day is always really exciting around here as we finally get to announce the student-athletes as part of our family,” Jobson said. “Some have been verbally committed for over a year, and I know they are also excited to make it official.”
Continuing with the Baylor tradition of being “built on defense”, the Bears signed three new defenders in the 2021 class — Ava Colberg, Kate Zimmerman and Lorelai Stramrood.
Colberg, from Memorial High School in Frisco, should bring a scoring touch to the Bears as she won Newcomer and Offensive Player of the Year and scored the most goals on the team her junior year, despite being a defender.
Zimmerman, from Clear Lake High School in Houston, is a more traditional defender and was named Defensive Player of the Year in her district last season, receiving All-Region honors as well.
Stramrood, from Tomball Memorial High School in Tomball, is a multi-sport athlete, excelling in volleyball and football as well as soccer, where she has been named district MVP twice.
On why she chose Baylor, Stramrood cited the commitment from the Baylor coach staff when it came to recruiting her.
“Baylor was probably the first college to show big interest in me,” Stramrood said.
Baylor also looked to bolster its attacking core, adding three incredibly talented forwards in Haven Terry, Jordan Ryan and Sophie Wilson, all of which have impressive resumes.
Terry hails from Ridge Point High School in Missouri City and helped lead her team to a district title in 2018, where she was named Newcomer of the Year.
Wilson is one of the two out-of-state recruits, who played in Ames, Iowa at Ames High School. Wilson led her club team, the Iowa Rush, to a spot in the National League USYS National Championships in 2019 and is a member of the Midwest Regional Olympic Development Program.
Rounding out the class is Ryan, the other out-of-state recruit who comes from Troy, Mich., where she played soccer at Laurel Springs School. There she led the team in scoring on its way to a district championship last year.
“We are really excited to welcome this group to our family and we know they will be a great addition to the program,” Jobson said. “They are not only great students and soccer players, but they are outstanding young women as well.”
These freshmen will join a talented and experienced Baylor team, as each senior will return for the 2021 season after receiving an extra year of eligibility. However, this past season has shown that freshmen can still make an immediate impact on the field.
Signing a class of 14 freshmen last season, the program had nine who saw playing time and five whom started.
Star senior goalkeeper Jennifer Wandt said it has been exciting to be a part of the immense growth the freshmen showed last season.
“They played good right from the start,” Wandt said. “Being able to see that growth and knowing that it’s going to continue throughout their four years here is really promising to see.”
If the 2021 recruiting class can have a similar impact as its predecessor, Baylor projects to be one of the deepest teams in Big 12 soccer and should be challenging for another Big 12 title in no time.