KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The UMKC women’s soccer program has announced the signing of seven student-athletes to National letters of Intent, head coach Chris Cissell announced Wednesday.
“We are extremely excited to welcome this incredible class of great soccer players and tremendous people into our fantastic UMKC soccer family,” commented Cissell. “We know that this class will help us continue our great standard of excellence on the field, in the classroom and in the community. We are proud of this great class and look forward to working with them this fall.”
The seven-player class will look to continue building on the wealth of recent success by the UMKC soccer program, who recently captured their second-consecutive Western Athletic Conference (WAC) regular season championship in the 2018 season.
NAME Pos. Ht. Hometown/High School
Lilyana Gonzalez D 5-6 Omaha, Neb. / Marian HS
Elizabeth Johnson D/MF 5-7 Ankeny, Iowa / Ankeny Centennial HS
Samantha Marek MF 5-4 Omaha, Neb. / Papillion-La Vista HS
Morgan McLaughlin D/MF 5-4 Omaha, Neb. / Gretna HS
Ryley Nolin MF/F 5-5 Omaha, Neb. / Westside HS
Lindsey Prokop F 5-5 Omaha, Neb. / Millard South HS
Kaitlyn Thiele D 5-8 Omaha, Neb. / Millard North HS
Lilyana Gonzalez | 5-6 Defender | Marian HS | Omaha, Neb.
Gonzalez helped guide her Marian High School squad to a stellar 35-5 record and a pair of state titles over her freshman and sophomore seasons. Last season, she served as a central piece on a defensive line that captured a third-consecutive conference championship and finished as the state runner-up.
As a freshman, Gonzalez began her Marian High School career in strong fashion, recording six goals and six assists en route to All-State Honorable Mention honors. Her sophomore season was even stronger with eight goals and 14 assists, landing on the All-Metro team along with another All-State Honorable Mention recognition.
Quick facts: Played club competition for Omaha Elite Girls Academy coached by Kyle Droege and Marcus Kelcher… Daughter of Richard and Lucy Gonzalez and has one sister, Avianna… Plans to major in Health Sciences.
Why UMKC: “The first time I visited the UMKC campus and met Coach Cissell, Coach Cole and the team, it made me feel instantly at home. The team and coaches welcomed me as if I were family. I am excited to be a part of the UMKC winning tradition and I am grateful to have been given this amazing opportunity.”
Elizabeth Johnson | 5-7 Defender/Midfielder | Ankeny Centennial HS | Ankeny, Iowa
Last season, Johnson led her team to a 20-2 record and an Iowa Class 3A State championship, recording seven goals and four assists from the defensive-mid position. Her strong junior campaign led to a Second Team All-Conference selection as well as All-State Honorable Mention honors.
In her first two seasons at Ankeny Centennial High School, Johnson tallied a combined 18 goals and seven assists in paving the way to a phenomenal 37-5 record, including an Iowa Class 3A State Championship in 2016 along with a semifinals appearance in 2017. Her sophomore season, which held nine goals and five assists, led to First Team All-District and First Team All-Conference awards.
Quick Facts: Coached in high school by Chris Allen…Played in club competition for Iowa Rush coached by Daryl Brazeau… Daughter of Susan and Bill Johnson… Has one sister, Kate, who plays soccer collegiately at Creighton… Plans to major in Nursing.
Why UMKC: “I chose UMKC because of the strong soccer program, the family atmosphere, the nursing program, and the new opportunities it will present me.”
Samantha Marek | 5-4 Midfielder | Papillion-La Vista HS | Omaha, Neb.
Over the course of three seasons at Papillion-La Vista High School, Marek has proven to be a difficult matchup for opponents, totaling 29 goals and 20 assists to date. Her strong play from the midfield position has guided her team to a 34-22 record through three seasons.
After back to back state tournament appearances, Marek put together her most complete season performance last season as a junior, recording 14 goals and six assists. The impressive campaign landed All-State and All-ITG honors.
Quick facts: Coached in high school by April Kelcher…Plays in club competition for the Elite Girls Academy Omaha team coached by Marcus Kelcher… Daughter of Kyle and Cassie Marek and has three siblings, Josephine, Caden & Olivia… Cousin Meghan played volleyball collegiately at Truman State… Plans to major in Civil Engineering.
Why UMKC: “I chose UMKC because of the welcoming family atmosphere, team camaraderie, academic programs, and location.”
Morgan McLaughlin | 5-4 Defender/Midfielder | Gretna HS | Omaha, Neb.
Over the course of three seasons at Gretna High School, McLaughlin has amassed seven goals and nine assists for her career, playing a major role in the team’s stellar 41-13 combined record. Last season, she tallied a goal and four assists while picking up All-Conference and All-State Honorable Mention awards.
McLaughlin earned the same honors in each of her first two seasons as well, highlighted by a 2016 freshman season that saw her record five goals and three assists as Westside posted a 17-2 record and reached the Nebraska State Championship game. McLaughlin has helped lead the team to the quarterfinals in each of the past two seasons.
Quick facts: Coached in high school by Digger Hawkins…Plays in club competition for Elite Girls Academy coached by Marcus Kelcher… Daughter of Phil and Lori McLaughlin and has one sibling, Keagan… Mother played softball and basketball collegiately at Westmar.
Why UMKC: “I chose UMKC because it felt like home. UMKC provides me with great academic opportunities, it’s close to Omaha, and the team has a family-like atmosphere that can’t be topped.”
Ryley Nolin | 5-5 Midfielder/Forward | Westside HS | Omaha, Neb.
Prior to missing the 2018 season due to a knee injury, Nolin put together two stellar offensive seasons as a key attacking piece for Westside High School. As a freshman, she recorded 13 goals and a pair of assists, guiding the team to an 11-5 record while being recognized an All-State Honorable Mention.
In her sophomore campaign, Nolin picked up where she left off by tallying 12 goals and four assists while picking up a second consecutive All-State Honorable Mention award. Her scoring presence played a major role in leading Westside to a Nebraska State Tournament appearance.
Quick facts: Coached in high school by Nathan Moseley for Chicago…Played in club competition for Gretna Prima Greene coached by Jose Vargas… Daughter of Ronn and Trudy Nolin and has one sibling, AJ, who plays golf collegiately at Presbyterian College… Plans to study Pre-Dental at UMKC.
Why UMKC: “I chose UMKC because it immediately felt like home. I'm so fortunate to get the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing program filled with wonderful teammates and coaches, as well as further my academic career in their highly successful dentistry program.”
Lindsey Prokop | 5-5 Forward | Millard South HS | Omaha, Neb.
A premiere scorer in her class, Prokop has put together an incredible offensive career through three seasons at Millard South High School, registering a remarkable 77 goals and 16 assists with one more season to play. As a junior, Prokop posted state-leading 34 goals and four assists, leading to a slew of awards including All-Nebraska First-Team, First-Team All-State and First-Team All-Metro.
Prokop’s lethal scoring ability has guided Millard South to three consecutive state quarterfinal appearances. Additionally, her 22 goal, four assist production as a freshman and 21 goal, eight assist season as a sophomore earned her First-Team All-Metro and First-Team All-State awards in both seasons.
Quick facts: Coached in high school by Jane Elam…Plays in club competition for Sporting Omaha FC coached by Tim Bennett… Daughter of Eugene and Tracy Prokop and has two siblings, Nick & Breanna… Uncle Mike Whitten played baseball collegiately at Nebraska-Omaha.
Why UMKC: “I chose UMKC because of the culture and how close everyone is together, it is like a family!”
Kaitlyn Thiele | 5-8 Defender | Millard North HS | Omaha, Neb.
As a junior for Millard North High School this past season, Thiele showed off her two-way capability as a defender by scoring six goals on the year along with adding strong play on the defensive end.
In addition to her career at Millard North, which includes a pair of state championships, Thiele has served as a captain on her Sporting Omaha FC team over the past three seasons. Her consistent play on the back end helped the club team capture two Nebraska State Cups and one NPL National Championship during her tenure.
Quick facts: Coached in high school by James Abueg…Plays in club competition for Sporting Omaha FC coached by Tim Bennett… Daughter of Tonya and DJ Thiele and has two siblings, Jack & Claire…Plans to major in Nursing.
Why UMKC: “I chose UMKC because the campus felt like home to me and after spending time with the coaches and players, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of.”
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