KANSAS CITY, Mo. – UMKC women’s soccer head coach Chris Cissell announced the signing of six student-athletes to National Letters of Intent on Wednesday. Hayden Burnett (Wichita, Kan.), Shelby Christopherson (Overland Park, Kan.), Ruth Fiander (Topeka, Kan.), Mackenzie Hill (Lee’s Summit, Mo.), Elizabeth Mann (Kansas City, Mo.) and Nina Stine (Lee’s Summit, Mo.) will join the Roos for the 2017 fall season.
“We are very excited to welcome our incredible 2017 recruiting class to our soccer family,” Cissell said. “These six student-athletes are fantastic people, extremely talented players and wonderful student-athletes. We know that these six student-athletes will come in to our program in the fall and be ready to compete immediately to help our soccer family achieve our goals and objectives on and off the field. Associate head coach Jeff Cole and I are thrilled to welcome our new recruiting class to the UMKC Athletics family.”
Burnett is a 2-time second-team all-state selection as a midfielder for Maize South High School in Wichita. She was also a first-team all-league and all-city performer in addition to serving as team captain. During her first three seasons, she has recorded 40 goals, 59 assists and led her team to a 41-12-1 record, including a fourth place finish in the 5A state finals in 2015. She set a school record with 29 assists as a junior. Burnett has earned an academic letter each year of high school, ranks in the top 10 percent in her class and is a member of the National Honor Society. She has competed for the WFC Strikers, WFC Fire and WFC United in club competition.
“Hayden is a player that is blessed with a great first touch and vision as a soccer played,” Cissell said. “She likes to play in the middle of the park and always makes herself available for the next pass and connects well with her teammates. Hayden’s great passing ability will fit in well with our possession style of play.”
Christopherson is a 3-time first-team all-state midfielder for Blue Valley West High School in suburban Kansas City. She has recorded five goals, eight assists and led her squad to a 40-13-3 mark over the last three seasons. Her team placed second in the 6A state finals in 2016 and won the Eastern Kansas League. Christopherson has also earned first-team all-conference honors each year of her career and is a team captain. She has earned a spot on the principal’s honor roll all four years. Christopher has competed for Sporting Blue Valley for five years in club play. Her sister, Reece, is a midfielder for Arkansas.
“Shelby is a very cerebral player,” Cissell said. “She has always played and competed at a high level and has a great tactical understanding of the way we like to play here at UMKC. She is a hard-working player with great technical ability. Her versatility will help her contribute immediately.”
Fiander is an all-city and All-Centennial League honoree as a midfielder and forward at Topeka High School. She has registered 60 goals and 33 assists during her first three seasons. She has also served as the kicker on the football team, earning 6A all-state honors and three varsity letters. She is her senior class president, holds a 4.4 grade point average, is a Kansas Honors Scholar in the top 10 percent of her class and member of the National Honor Society. Fiander has played for the Overland Park Soccer Club Academy and Sporting Kaw Valley Nationals club teams. Her father, Bill, played football at Stanford.
“Ruth is a tremendous athlete blessed with good soccer skills,” Cissell said. “She has the overall athleticism and ability to play and compete in several different positions for us. She is a tenacious, scrappy player with a high competitive spirit with great passion for the game.”
Hill is a 3-time all-conference midfielder at Lee’s Summit West High School in the Kansas City area. She has notched 38 goals and 61 assists during her first three seasons and has led the Titans to three consecutive Class 6 state runner-up finishes. She is a team captain, academic letter recipient and member of the National Honor Society. She has competed for KC Select, the KC United Rangers and Sporting Blue Valley ECNL in club play.
“Mackenzie is blessed with great tactical awareness and is a very good passer that distributes the ball well and makes good decisions on the ball,” Cissell said. “She can play in several different roles and positions for us. We are excited about her versatility as a player.”
Mann is an all-state midfielder for Staley High School in Kansas City. She has recorded 69 goals and dished out 43 assists to account for 181 points during the initial three years of her career. Mann led her team to the 2014 Kansas City Suburban Conference title and runner-up finishes the last two seasons. She is a 3-time first-team all-conference and all-district honoree, 2-time team Offensive Player of the Year and serves as team captain. Mann has competed for Future Forte Elite in club competition since 2011, leading the squad to the national semifinals in 2015. She has earned academic letters each year of high school, is a recipient of the Presidential Service Award and a member of the National Honor Society.
“Liz is a strong, talented player that can create in the attacking third as well as win 50-50 balls, tackles and aerial battles for us in the midfield,” Cissell said. “She has a great understanding of the game and displays a team-first mentality and style of play that will fit in extremely well here at UMKC.”
Stine is a first-team all-state, all-region and all-district forward at Blue Springs South High School in suburban Kansas City. She set a school record with 26 goals as a junior and was named The Examiner Player of the Year. She has competed for FCKC Forte in club competition. Stine has also earned a spot on the honor roll academically.
“Nina is an attacking player that can and will help our team in the attacking third to score and create goals,” Cissell said. “She has an incredibly powerful shot and the ability to score from distance. She can also deliver an extremely accurate cross. Nina is a strong, powerful player that we are really excited about.”
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