Photo (From Left to Right): Savannah Berry, Cierra Gamble, Syrina Lopez, Maya Huffman
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Adding to an already exciting and athletic incoming freshman class that signed their national letters of intent on Signing Day in February, head coach Andre Luciano announced the addition of four more players to the 2012 Lumberjack soccer roster on Monday. Savannah Berry, a transfer from national powerhouse Florida, headlines the four new players to the Lumberjacks.
Also joining Berry (Encinitas, Calif./Carlsbad HS) in Flagstaff beginning in the fall will be Cierra Gamble (Corona, Calif./Santiago HS), Maya Huffman (Flagstaff, Ariz./Flagstaff HS) and Syrina Lopez (Las Vegas, Nev./Silverado HS).
"We're excited about the addition of these four players," Luciano said. "I feel that they'll give us a different type of athleticism to our roster primarily as defensive players."
Berry, Huffman and Lopez will provide depth in the defensive backline that returns two starters in junior Alana D'Onofrio and sophomore Diane Buzzard as well as senior Georgia Foltz, who suffered a season-ending injury in the second game of the season in 2011. Meanwhile, Gamble is slated to play in the midfield, where the Lumberjacks will have to replace four-time All-Big Sky honoree Sam Monahan.
Berry appeared in one game for Florida last fall, playing 31 minutes against Florida Gulf Coast while attempting one shot. The Gators, the No. 2 seed in their region, reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament a year ago and was ranked as high as No. 6 in the nation before finishing the season ranked No. 27 in the NSCAA Rankings.
Huffman was a four-year letter winner and three-year starter in soccer at Flagstaff High School and helped the team win the state championship in 2011. During her senior year in 2012, she helped the team to an 11-0 regular season and was named to the All-City Team. While at Flagstaff High School, Huffman also competed in volleyball. She becomes the second Flagstaff HS player on the 2012 roster, joining Buzzard, and third player from Flagstaff overall including incoming freshman Demi Schmieder from Coconino High School.
Lopez was a three-year letter winner and starter for Silverado High School's soccer team, which reached the semifinals of the Sunrise Region in 2009 and 2010 in the state of Nevada. In 2010, Lopez was named to the Class 4A-All Southern Nevada, All-Sunrise Region and All-Southeast League Teams and was the team's Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 and 2010. She also played for the Las Vegas Premier SC club team with incoming freshmen Natalie Gilbertson, Alexia Gonzalez, Cassidy McLean, Sarah Pate and Haley Wingender, bringing the total to six new players from Las Vegas.
Gamble was a two-year letter winner and starter at Santiago High School, while also competing in cross country and track. While at Santiago, Gamble was a part of the Big VIII champion team and CIF quarterfinalists in 2011 and was selected to the All-CIF First Team, All-Area First Team and the Big VIII League Second Team.
The four new players means that a total of 14 incoming players will join the 16 returnees on the team in the fall and will aim to ease the loss of 12 graduating seniors from the 2011 squad.
Savannah Berry D So.-TR Encinitas, Calif./Florida/Carlsbad
Luciano: "Savannah has had a full year of training at a big time SEC school and has received great coaching from their staff. I feel that her transition to the Big Sky should be a pretty smooth one and she has a thorough understanding of what is needed to become a top-flight player at the Division I level."
Cierra Gamble M Fr.-HS Corona, Calif./Santiago
Luciano: "Cierra's an incredibly crafty center-midfielder for a good (club) team with West Coast Football Club. She's in the likes of Sam Monahan in terms of athleticism at the center-mid position."
Maya Huffman D Fr.-HS Flagstaff, Ariz./Flagstaff
Luciano: "I watched Maya grow up in Flagstaff and she's an extremely athletic player who has a ton of potential ahead of her. She will develop a lot over the next four years."
Syrina Lopez D Fr.-HS Las Vegas, Nev./Silverado
Luciano: "Syrina is recovering from an injury she suffered last year and when she gets up to speed, she'll be a valuable part of our team as a defender."