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Soccer recruiting class ranked highly

Rated one of best in region and conference

June 18, 2008 · David Powell
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee's 2008 soccer recruiting class has been ranked No. 28 in the Central Region and No. 2 in the Sun Belt Conference according to Soccer Buzz Magazine. This year's talented group of newcomers continues the trend of strong recruiting classes under sixth-year head coach Aston Rhoden, whose recruits have been ranked in the top 30 regionally four straight years.

"It is always great to be recognized for your recruiting class by a national group such as Soccer Buzz. Certainly, it is a good recognition for our staff and for the efforts they have put into the process," Rhoden said. "It is also good for our players and the administrative staff that our recruits come in contact with.

The signing class includes Laura Lamberth (White House, Tenn.), Elisabeth Sikes (Huntsville, Ala.), Jenna Bowers (Chandler, Az.), Charity Blair (Chattanooga, Tenn.), Jessica Heckman (Overland Park, Kan.), Ashli Julien (Columbus, Ga.), Heather McDonnell (Bedfordshire, England), Alyssa Palmacci (Plano, Texas) and Hope Suominen (Pontypridd, Wales).

"How good this recruiting class is will be determined by the impact they will have had at the end of the season as well as what they will have done over their careers," Rhoden said. "It is great for them to be ranked, but in our opinion we are going to wait until later to decide if this really is a great recruiting class for us."

This is the one of largest recruiting classes that Middle Tennessee has enjoyed during Rhoden's six-year tenure as head coach and he anticipates a highly-competitive team this fall.

"These kids share the same goals as our current players. We are always excited as a team to get new players because we know it is going to increase our chances of having a better year than the one before," Rhoden said.

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