MISENHEIMER, N.C. - Pfeiffer University women's soccer coach Elijah Denton has announced the signing of eight new Falcons for the 2014 NCAA Division II Women's Soccer season. The Falcons finished the 2013 season with a 13-7-1 overall record and a 6-3-1 record in Conference Carolinas play. Pfeiffer also clinched the Conference Carolinas Tournament Championship, defeating cross-town rivals Belmont Abbey in a penalty kick shootout, and grabbing their first tournament crown since 2010. When asked about the new crop of players, Coach Denton had this to say, "We're returning most starters from last season, and we are excited with these eight players and what they will bring to the program. Not only will they be successful on the field, but in the classroom as well. They are a great group of girls that will work hard and help raise the level of this team."
Joining the Falcons for the 2014 season are;
Gretchen Dettlinger / Center Midfielder / Cary, North Carolina - Dettlinger comes to Pfeiffer after lettering in soccer all four years at Panther Creek High School and serving as team captain. Dettlinger played for the Vardar ECNL and North Carolina Alliance club teams, and was a driving force on teams that clinched the Super Y National Championship as well as three State Cup Championships. While in high school, Dettlinger was a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, participated in high school volleyball, youth group, was on the Academic Honor Roll, All-Conference Academic Team, and was a student ambassador.
When asked about adding Dettlinger to the squad, Coach Denton said, "Gretchen has already joined us here at Pfeiffer, graduating high school in December, and attending Pfeiffer this Spring. This will be an invaluable experience for her and her development for next fall. She is meshing well with the girls on the team and is doing well on the field. She is a technical, smart player that reads the game extremely well. She is active off the ball, finding space to receive the ball, and once she has it, makes very good decisions to keep possession and create chances moving forward."
Katherine Blakeney Blair / Goalkeeper / Topsail Beach, North Carolina - Blair comes to Pfeiffer following stints on the varsity women's soccer team at East Chapel Hill High School and Topsail High School. Blair was also a member of the Triangle Football Club and the North Carolina Alliance. Blair was named the 2012 All-Conference Goalkeeper while at East Chapel Hill High School.
"Blakeney is a very good keeper with a lot of potential to be better. Her distribution is very good as is her work rate. She will raise the level in training and compete for time on the field," added Denton.
Deidre Gilley / Goalkeeper / Knoxville, Tennessee - Gilley joins the Falcons following four years as a member of the women's soccer team at Powell High School where she was a two-year team captain, was First Team All-District in 2012 and 2013 and received an All - District Honorable Mention in 2011. Gilley was also a member of the Krossfire '96 Soccer Club (SCOR) and currently plays with the Knoxville Soccer Academy (KSA). While in high school Gilley was a member of the BETA Club, PAWS Mentors, Leadership, the R-Word Campaign, and participated in Autism Awareness, the Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome, assisted with the Special Olympics, was named Peer Tutor of the Year, and was Student of the Month. Gilley also made the honor roll two semesters in 2013 and four semesters between 2010 and 2012.
Coach Denton had this to say about Gilley, "Deidre is a tenacious, hard-working keeper that will be relentless in her training during the practices and one her own. Like Blakeney, she will help raise the training level of our goalkeepers and challenge for time on the field."
Victoria (Tori) Jackson / Center Midfielder / Denver, North Carolina - Jackson comes to Pfeiffer after a successful soccer career at Lincoln Charter School where she was her team's MVP for three years in a row and was the PCAC Conference MVP for two years in a row. While at Lincoln Charter, Jackson was also an All-Region Selection for two straight years, an All-State Selection in her junior year, a Moorehead-Cain Scholarship Nominee, a 2012 Governor's School Nominee, a 2013 Senate Page, and the Treasurer of the National BETA Club. Jackson was also a member of her high school's indoor track team, the Writing Club, the Science Club, the Student Relations Council, the Dream Big/Freshman Mentoring Project, and Tar Heel Girls State. Jackson competed as a member of the North Meck / Carolina Rapids Soccer Club and received the Post 400 Good Citizenship Citation from the American Legion Auxiliary.
"Tori is a strong, technical midfielder that will do well at the next level. She brings height to the middle of the pack for us to help us do better winning balls out of the air," said Coach Denton.
Gabrielle Ligas / Forward / Flowery Branch, Georgia - Ligas joins the Falcons following a successful career at West Hall High School where she was on the 7AAA All-Region First Team, was named Player of the Week, and received two honor roll mentions. While in high school Ligas was a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and competed with the U-18 UFA Blacksouth Soccer Club.
"Gabrielle is a fast player with the ability and speed to get in behind back lines and create chances for herself and her teammates. She serves a very good ball into the box from the flank position and will prove to be difficult for defenders to contain," boasted Coach Denton when asked about Ligas.
Melanie C. Lytle / Outside Back, Forward / Stafford, Virginia - Lytle comes to Pfeiffer following four years as a varsity starter at Mountain View High School where she earned All-District, All-Region, and All-Area honors. Lytle also competed as a member of the Fredricksburg Area Soccer Association, was a member of the USL Super 20s National Qualifying Team two years in a row, attended the USL Super Y ODP National Camp in 2012, and was a member of the USL Super Y North American Championship Team in 2010. While in high school Lytle also participated with Youth of Virginia Speaks Out and was a member of the Wildcat Crazies Club.
When asked about Lytle, Coach Denton said, "Melanie is a versatile player that can play anywhere on the field because of her work rate and determination. She can shoot from distance with power and can run the ball forward, through back lines, to create chances. Her versatility will afford us the opportunity to be creative and take chances with different looks and formations."
Caitlin Remington / Outside Defense, Outside Midfield / Manassas, Virginia - Remington makes her way to Pfeiffer following a successful soccer career at Osbourn Park High School where she was an Academic Letter winner from 2010-2011 and from 2012-2013. Remington also competed as a member of the NVSC Majestics soccer club and was part of the Virginia State Cup Championship team in 2010. While in high school, Remington was an AP curriculum student, a Voter Page Volunteer, and a member of the Biotechnology Program as well as the Gifted Education Program.
"Caitlin is a solid flank player that defends well and will get forward to create chances for us. She has a good pace and a high level of endurance," added Coach Denton.
Maggie Walker / Midfield, Forward / Elkin, NC - Walker comes to the Falcons following a busy high school athletic career as a member of the Forsyth Home Educators (FHE) organization. While in high school, Walker was a varsity letter-winner on the soccer time all four years, served as the Captain of her soccer team her senior year, and lettered in cross-country during her freshman and senior years. Walker also competed as a member of the Triad Elite Soccer Club and the Yadkin Soccer Association and was named the Powerade State Games Player for her junior and senior years. In her spare time, Walker was an active member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and assisted with after-school tutoring for ESL and inner city children, including MLKU and the LA Montana organizations.
When asked to describe Walker, Coach Denton stated, "Maggie will add depth for us up top and out wide. She is an active player that creates chances with her movement and abilities on the ball. She is a great addition to the program and we are happy to have her."