WNCC soccer signs five players | NevadaAppeal.com

WNCC soccer signs five players

Appeal Sports Editor
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Western Nevada Community College head soccer coach Hillary Arthur watches as her new recruits sign letters of commitment to play on her team in 2007.

With only three returning players coming back for the 2007 season, the Western Nevada Community College women’s soccer team faces a tremendous challenge to continue its success.

WNCC coach Hillary Arthur said she’s confident that the program will be able to continue its success on the field and in the classroom. Arthur got off to a good start in reloading the program by signing five of Nevada’s top players on Friday.

Those who signed were Reno High’s Jordan Forman, Eldorado’s Kalah Minter, Las Vegas High’s Alexia Balmaseda, Chaparral’s Nicole Garn and Palo Verde’s Marina Tharin.

By the time Arthur’s done, she hopes to have close to 20 players signed in the 2007 class. WNCC has set another signing ceremony for March.

“I’d really like to have 13, 14 more,” Arthur said. “I’m planning to be done before summer. I’d like to be done by May.”

Arthur said she’s recruiting about five Northern Nevada players along with players from California, Utah and Las Vegas. The Southern Section girls soccer season just ended on Thursday. Arthur said a number of players for Las Vegas will be visiting WNCC.

“It’s going to be a challenge recruiting but because we’ve done so well a lot of girls are interested and want to play for WNCC.”

The Wildcats won the Scenic West Athletic Conference title in just their second season last year. They’ve also had success academically, ranking 12th nationally in 2005. Arthur said the team’s grade point average is even higher this year, so she expects the team to rank in the top eight academically in the nation.

“I do feel confident,” said Arthur about being about to reload. “What we’ve done in the past two years, it’s something we’ve built off of.

“It’s a definite recruiting tool for us. Girls want to come play for a solid team. We’re looking for athletes that are going to do well in the classroom and the field.”

Arthur said all five of the players who signed fit that description as all are Millennium Scholars.

“I think they will be able to set higher standards,” said Arthur about the five players coming in surpassing even what the program has accomplished in the past. “If that’s not intimidating I don’t know what is.”

Here’s a look at WNCC’s five newest players:

Forman – A forward/midfielder, Forman was named to the All-Sierra League first team the past two years.

Minter – A goalkeeper/sweeper/midfielder. A four-year varsity player, she was named to the All-Southern Nevada team in 2006 as a junior. “I think she’s going to be great anywhere we put her,” Arthur said.

Alexia Balmaseda – A forward/midfielder. Another four-year varsity player, Balmaseda helped lead Las Vegas to the Sunrise Section title all four years. During her first three years, she was named to the all-Sunrise Northeast League first team three times and the the all-Sunrise Section first team once.

“We look for great things from her up top,” Arthur said. “She’s very deceptive with the ball.”

Garn – A midfielder/defender, who plays for one of Las Vegas’ top club teams, the Tabagators.

Tharin – A midfielder/stopper, who just helped lead Palo Verde to the NIAA Southern Section 4A title on Thursday. Tharin also plays for the Tabagators.

•Contact Charles Whisnand at cwhisnand@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1214