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Monday, January 30, 2006
All-American Zhaleh Rezaie highlights class

LUBBOCK, Texas -- After just one season on the job, Texas Tech soccer head coach Neil McGuire is already well on his way to improving the future of Red Raider soccer. That trend continued on Friday as McGuire and his staff announced the signing of the most dynamic and talented recruiting classes in the history of the Texas Tech soccer program. The group consists of 13 outstanding student-athletes who have submitted letters of intent to join the Red Raiders during the upcoming fall.

"I am extremely pleased with the way this recruiting class has come together," said McGuire. "We feel like we have signed a group of young women who possess the necessary skills to bring our program within striking distance of the top teams in the conference. We needed to improve in several key areas and I think we have done just that."

The recruiting class will immediately provide a boost to the talent level of the Red Raiders as the class features many outstanding athletes.

"These players, along with our current players, will complete the most talented group we have yet seen at Texas Tech," McGuire said.

Among the many standout players included in the class is midfielder Zhaleh Rezaie (Plano, Texas), who heads to Lubbock after a four-year standout career at Plano West High School. Rezaie has been selected as a High School All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) each of the last two seasons and was recently named as the Texas 5A State Player of the Year following the 2005 season.

In addition to Rezaie, Megan Hoffert (Albuquerque, N.M.), Colleen Pitts (Dallas, Texas) and Meagan Wilber (Albuquerque, N.M.) were honored as all-state performers during their high school careers.

After an outstanding prep career in which she earned numerous accolades in both soccer and track and field, Brittany Harrison (Dallas, Texas) is set to join the Red Raiders and provide an immediate impact at the forward position.

This group is comprised of players from the most elite club teams in Texas and New Mexico. Emmie Bennett (Dallas, Texas), Brittani Hamilton (Garland, Texas), Janaye Piper (Odessa, Texas), Collen Pitts (Dallas, Texas), Peyton Pulaski (Plano, Texas), Harrison and Rezaie, hail from the nationally recognized Dallas Texans, a club who regularly produces some of the finest talent in the nation.

Sarabeth Clopton (Garland) and Jennifer Kammerer (Plano, Texas) come to Tech from the Dallas Sting, another highly regarded Dallas area team which has enjoyed national acclaim. Sarah Greer (Georgetown, Texas) and Amy Lovell (Georgetown, Texas) each join the Red Raiders from Austin's finest club, the Austin Lonestars, while Wilbur and Hoffert come to Lubbock from perennial New Mexico powerhouse Rio Vista F.C, a four-time state champion.

"As a whole this group has played at a very competitive level with club, high school and Olympic Development program soccer," said McGuire. "We have added much needed speed, size and skill, but more importantly we have signed players who have a passion and taste for winning. We have needed an infusion of energy and I think these players will bring that to our team, which in turn will motivate our returning players."

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