February 2, 2012

Golden Eagles sign six, solidify goalkeeper spot

Brizard completes third class as head coach

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech soccer coach Daniel Brizard welcomed six signees into the Golden Eagle program on Signing Day, including three goalkeepers, a forward, a midfielder and a winger.

With senior defender Lindsey Reed the Golden Eagles’ only loss to graduation going into the 2012 season, the six newcomers will join 19 returnees for Brizard’s third season at the helm of the program.

“This is one of the top recruiting classes we’ve had here and it provides us depth in a lot of needed areas,” Brizard said. “These ladies will be able to step right in and compete and force our returning athletes to take their games to a higher level.”

After spending the 2011 season with just one goalkeeper on the roster, adding depth in net was a chief goal of the recruiting season for Brizard. With a strong crop of defenders returning, the Golden Eagles were also able to beef up their midfield and offensive positions.

Jordan Brown, GK, League City, Texas (Clear Springs HS)

Brown was a four-year member of the varsity soccer team at Clear Springs High School, where she served as the starting goalkeeper under head coach Craig Foster.

She was a three-time first-team all-district and all-county selection and was named first-team all-region as a junior. She was named the best goalkeeper in the 24-5A district as a junior and was also a Greater Houston first team selection as a junior and second team as a sophomore.

She was named second-team all-state despite playing just one game and 18 minutes in the playoffs before suffering an injury.

Brown led the Chargers to the regional quarterfinal championship as a junior and Clear Springs advanced to the regional semifinals. The team finished second in the district in Brown’s freshman and junior years.

Also possessing an illustrious club soccer career, Brown played for the ’94 Region III Olympic Development team, participating on the U.S. Regional squad in 2009, where she helped the club place second in the International Costa Rica Tournament. She was selected for national camp in 2009 and selected for the Region III pool in 2008. She was also a member of the U.S. Regional squad in ’08, participating in the Thanksgiving Interregional event in Coral Springs, Fla.

Brown also played club soccer for ECNL, Space City Futbol Club, Challenge Soccer Club and South Texas.

“We’re looking for Jordan to help solidify our goalkeeper spot,” Brizard said. “She is a fantastic, hard-working kid. The biggest thing with Jordan is that she is reliable. She can make the big save when she needs to, but more than that, it’s just comforting to know that she’s in goal because she’s going to get the job done and do all the little things right.”

Brown is a member of the National Honor Society and ranks 28th academically in a senior class of 577 students. She was named to the all-district academic soccer team as a junior.

Jordan Ashley Brown is the daughter of Charles and Blythe Brown and plans to major in animal science/pre-veterinarian at Tech with the career goal of becoming a small animal veterinarian.

To view a highlight video of Jordan, visit http://youtu.be/ODgL_5J-VjA.

Allison Barlow, GK, Tullahoma, Tenn. (Tullahoma HS)

Barlow was a four-year member of the soccer team at Tullahoma High School, where she started at goalkeeper as a junior and senior and also played basketball, lettering for the varsity team as a freshman.

She was twice named the District 8AAA Keeper of the Year and was named to the THSCCA All-State team as a senior. She served as co-captain of the Lady Wildcats as a senior. Barlow helped lead Tullahoma to District 8AAA championships in both 2010 and 2011.

She saved 80 percent of opponents’ shots on goal through her high school career and notched 15 shutouts as a varsity starter, collecting 250 saves in two years, an average of 6.3 saves per game. As a senior, she collected eight shutouts and averaged 6.6 saves per game.

Barlow played club soccer for Camp Forest Football Club in Tullahoma.

“Allison will give us depth at goalkeeper,” Brizard said. “She is a local kid who is a hard worker, and she gives me something to work with. I think she will excel when she gets here as far as stepping up her training. She will battle for a starting role and push the other goalkeepers in training.”

Barlow graduated in the top 10 percent of her class and was a member of the National Honor Society.

Allison Michelle Barlow is the daughter of Mike and Karen Barlow and plans to major in nutrition at Tech.

To view a highlight video of Allison, visit http://youtu.be/5RAqHmNm7Ps.

Taylor Blazei, F, Hartford, Wis. (Slinger HS)

Blazei was a standout in both soccer and cross country at Slinger High School and also lettered in basketball for two years.

She was a second-team selection in the Wisconsin Little Ten Conference for three consecutive years and was named Most Valuable Player in a semifinal match of the 2011 USA Cup, America’s largest international youth soccer tournament.

In her time at Slinger, she helped the Owls to three conference championships and two regional championships. Her club team, MK-Elite, was the 2011 USA Cup U19 champions while she also helped lead MK-BCU to the 2009 USA Cup U19 championship and F.C. Milwaukee to a U15 state championship.

“Taylor will be able to help us up top and add to our depth at the forward position,” Brizard said. “She is a very skillful, technically-oriented player. She played basketball in high school, and in part because of that, she has great vision and can see the field. She’ll add another dimension to our forward line.”

Blazei was also a conference and regional champion as well as a three-time state qualifier in cross country. She was a three-time first-team all-conference selection and was named second-team all-state. She also won the all-state academic award for cross country and was a member of the National Honor Society.

Taylor Ann Blazei is the daughter of Dale and Julie Ann Blazei and is undecided on a major at Tech with the career goal of becoming a dietitian.

Nicole Hayes, GK, Riceville, Tenn. (McMinn County HS)

 Hayes is a standout goalkeeper for head coach Duane Rikard at McMinn County High School, where she also plays on the rugby team.

The captain of the Cherokees, she is a two-time all-region honoree and has been named her team’s Most Valuable Player. As a senior, she notched nine shutouts and saved 130 shots. She has saved 429 shots throughout her high school career.

“She’s a hard-working local kid, and we’re looking for her to come in and bring competition to the goalkeeper position, which is what we’ve been missing for the past few years,” Brizard said. “I want all of our goalkeepers to compete for their roles and challenge one another, and take each other’s play to the next level. I believe Nicole can take her game to the next level by getting some consistent training.”

Nicole Grace Hayes is the daughter of Kevin and Nancy Hayes and plans to major in nursing at Tech.

To view a highlight video of Nicole, click here.

Mackenzie Miller, W, Wildwood, Mo. (Lafayette HS)

Miller played mid wing and forward for coaches Tim Walters and Frank Tusinski at Lafayette High School, where she also ran track for coach Rick Voss.

She was selected for the St. Louis Scott Gallagher Elite team, where she played U17 and U18 soccer in the Elite Clubs National League. She played left and right wing as well as forward for the club team.

In high school soccer, she helped Lafayette to both conference and district championships in 2011.

“Mackenzie will go out on the flank for us,” Brizard said. “She’s got good speed and she can take people one-on-one and get past them. I think she’ll fit in well with Amanda Koch, Kris Cambron, Sarah Gawthrop and Emily Homan at the wing positions. She’s a hard-working kid who can also play some center midfield and really has a nose for the goal. She can provide some quality crosses and hopefully create goals for us.”

Mackenzie Bray Miller is the daughter of James and Sally Miller and plans to major in elementary education at Tech.

Taylor Sutton, MF, Ballwin, Mo. (Marquette HS)

 Sutton is a four-year letterwinner under head coach Chris Kenny at Marquette High School, where she plays center midfield. She also played point guard on the freshman and junior varsity basketball squads.

Sutton has scored nine goals in her three high school seasons thus far and distributed 16 assists. She led her team in game-winning goals in 2010 and led the squad in assists in 2011.

She was named All-Suburban West Conference all three years of her high school career and will serve as team captain in the upcoming spring season. She has been a starter on the varsity squad since the first game of her freshman season.

Sutton has played for the Tony Glavin Soccer Club, where she played center back and forward, as well as for the Missouri Olympic Development Team. She currently plays for the St. Louis Scott Gallagher Soccer Club, where she is a center midfielder and forward. She was selected to the Missouri ODP team that competed in the 2010 ODP National Championship Tournament and finished second.

In high school, she helped lead Marquette to a conference championship in 2009 and also helped the Lady Lancers to the district semifinals in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

“Taylor is a blue-collar, hard-working kid who can play a couple of places on the field for us,” Brizard said. “We will likely put her in a center midfield role. She’s good with the ball and she beats people through her work ethic. She knows the game and loves the game and she’ll be a good complement to our current midfielders.”

Taylor Madison Sutton is the daughter of Charles and Carolyn Sutton and plans to major in exercise science/pre-physical therapy at Tech.