Head coach Janet Rayfield announced the addition of six members to the 2014 signing class on Thursday.
Feb. 6, 2014
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois soccer head coach Janet Rayfield announced the addition of six members to the 2014 signing class on Thursday. The newcomers to the Illini soccer family include Kara Marbury (Spokane, Wash./Mead Senior HS), Emily Osoba (Orland Park, Ill./Carl Sandburg HS), Brista Phillips (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville Central HS), Katherine Ratz (Zionsville, Ind./Zionsville Community HS), Olivia Schmitt (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley HS) and Sarah Warren (Willowbrook, Ill./Hinsdale South HS).
"We continue to build this program with a mix of in-state athletes as well as top talent from around the country," Rayfield said. "The Fighting Illini class of 2014 has a diverse skill set, a great mentality and some incredible athletes. I am excited about their potential as athletes and as people. I know that they will all be wonderful additions to the athletic department and to the University of Illinois."
Abby Elinsky (Rocky River, Ohio/Rocky River), who joined the Illini as an early enrollee for the 2014 spring semester, is the seventh member of the 2014 class. Elinsky was named the the 2013-14 Gatorade Ohio Girls Soccer Player of the Year on Thursday and won a national championship with her Cleveland United club team.
Find a full breakdown on the successful careers of the newest Illini and quotes from coach Rayfield below.
Abby Elinsky F 5-9 // Rocky River, Ohio // Rocky River HS
High School Coach: Patrick Hopkins Club Team: Cleveland United Club Coach: Marko Raduka
Highlights 2013-14 Gatorade Ohio Girls Soccer Player of the Year ... NSCAA All-American ... Led the Cleveland United Soccer Club to the U.S. youth soccer national championship ... Scored the golden goal in double overtime to beat Match Fit Chelsea Beat (NJ), 2-1, and earned Top 11 honors as one of the top 11 players at nationals ... Club team also took third at nationals in 2012 ... Led the Rocky River Pirates to a 22-0-1 record and their first-ever state championship in 2013 ... Scored the game-winning goal and recorded an assist in the 3-1 state title game victory over Granville as a senior ... Notched a school-record 43 goals and 19 assists during her senior season and finished her career with 108 goals and 49 assists ... Earned the OSSCA Miss Soccer Award, the Division II Player of the Year honors and the cleveland.com Girls Soccer Player of the Year award ... First-team OSSCA all-state selection in 2013 ... Earned varsity letters during all four years and was the West Shore Conference MVP as a senior ... Was on the honor roll all four years.
Coach Rayfield Says "Abby's competitive fire and drive to be great is obvious the second you meet her. When the game is on the line, she wants to be the difference. That is why she was the Ohio Player of the Year. With the semester to learn and experience the college game, she has a great opportunity to impact this program in the fall. She has seen a lot of time at forward and can certainly be a difference-maker going to goal, but can play many positions and roles on the field because she just battles and fights to make a difference in the game. She will be a great asset to our team and to our program."
Kara Marbury F 5-10 // Spokane, Wash. // Mead Senior HS
High School Coach: Kevin Houston Club Team: Washington Premier Club Coach: Scott Halasz
Highlights Named the Greater Spokane League (GSL) conference MVP as a senior in 2013 ... Helped her team to a fourth-place finish at Washington High School State Cup in 2013 ... Three-time GSL first-team All-League selection (2011-13) ... GSL honorable mention selection as a freshman in 2010 ... Two-time Mead High School MVP (2012-13) ... Three-time WIAA Interscholastic Award winner (2011-13) ... Started all four years and earned four varsity letters in soccer and two varsity letters in track and field ... Was an Olympic Development Program (ODP) Region IV pool player in 2009 and took second place at the Nike Friendship event ... Was a semifinalist at the 2010 Region IV ODP Championships ... Plans to major in kinesiology.
Coach Rayfield Says "Kara has tools different than really anyone we have right now. Probably a true target forward with the strength and power to hold the ball in the attacking third, Kara, will give us option both in the system we chose to play and the style that we can play going to goal."
Emily Osoba F/D/M 5-2 // Orland Park, Ill. // Carl Sandburg HS
High School Coach: Desi Vuillaume Club Team: Windy City Pride Club Coach: Ko Thanadabouth
Highlights Helped Windy City Pride club team win a national championship in 2013 ... Was an all-sectional honoree as a junior in 2012 and an all-conference selection as a sophomore in 2011 ... Helped high school win a sectional title in 2013 and three regional championships from 2011-13 ... Earned four varsity letters in soccer ... Younger sister of former Illini Allie Osoba ... Plans to major in business.
Coach Rayfield Says "Emily will follow in the footsteps of her older sister, but look for her to blaze her own path as a goal scorer, ball winner, and playmaker. Another versatile athlete with a great soccer brain, Emily has seen our program for years and will come in with an understanding of the things that we are trying to do on and off the field. We are excited to keep the Osoba family on the sidelines for four more years."
Brista Phillips D 5-7 // Westerville, Ohio // Westerville Central HS
High School Coach: Devon Cannon Club Team: Ohio Premier Club Coach: Matt Ogden
Highlights Named an Ohio Capital Conference (OCC) all-conference selection in 2013 ... Earned two varsity letters each in soccer (2011, 13) and track (2010-11) and one in tennis (2012) ... Was an Olympic Development Program (ODP) Region II pool player in 2011 ... U.S. Club Soccer National Identification Camp participant in 2010 ... U.S. Youth Soccer Interregional Development Camp Participant in 2011 ... U.S. Soccer Federation Training Session participant in 2011 ... Also was part of the fourth-place 4x400m relay at the 2010 USA Track & Field Youth National Championships.
Coach Rayfield Says "With pace and tenacity, Brista will add to the depth of our defense and help solidify our back line. Brista will be part of a squad looking to become a defensive unit that has the speed, organization, leadership, and defensive ability to shut down the top players and the top teams in the country."
High School Coach: Ramon Aguillon Club Team: Zionsville SC Club Coach: Mike Beckner
Highlights Team captain of Zionsville SC club team that was a finalist at the 2013 ODP national championship ... Part of club team's state cup championship in 2012 and runner-up finishes in 2010, 11-13 ... Named to Indiana ODP state team in 2009-10, 13 ... Helped high school win sectional titles in 2012-13 ... Was an ISCA All-State Academic honoree and ICGSA All-State honorable mention in 2013 ... Earned three varsity letters in soccer (2011-13) ... Plans to major in physical therapy.
Coach Rayfield Says "Effort and energy are always two things that you know you will get from Katherine. Her competitiveness is exhibited in a high work rate and a mentality around the ball that she will infuse to her teammates. She has great athleticism and versatility so where she ends up on the field may be wherever there is a hole that needs to be filled by someone willing to work hard and help us win."
Olivia Schmitt M 5-4 // Naperville, Ill. // Neuqua Valley HS
High School Coach: Joe Moreau Club Team: Team Chicago Club Coach: Phil Nielsen
Highlights Member of the Philippine Women's National Team ... Earned three international caps as a starter against Indonesia, Japan U-23 and Myanmar in the 2013 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Women's Championship in Yangon, Myanmar ... Named to the Olympic Development Program (ODP) State Team three times (2010-12) ... Two-time ODP Region II player pool participant (2010, 12) ... Was invited to the USYS ODP Interregional National Development Camp in 2011 ... Top Drawer Soccer 2014 Girls IMG Academy 150 Player Pool ... Scored 35 goals and tallied 54 assists during Team Chicago club career ... Was an Upstate Eight Conference (UEC) all-conference selection and two-time UEC academic all-conference honoree ... Won three IHSA regional championships (2011-13) ... Earned four varsity letters in soccer ... Plans to major in broadcast journalism.
Coach Rayfield Says "A crafty attacking player with international experience, Olivia is a great compliment to the power personalities of the team. She is slippery and dangerous with the ball and without it and will provide us another option to run at as well as threaten the space behind defenses."
Sarah Warren D 5-7 // Willowbrook, Ill. // Hinsdale South HS
Club Team: Academy United SC Club Coach: Peter Glon and Bunnyray Larmond
Highlights Academy United SC team captain ... Led club team to 2013 Illinois state championship and regional runner-up finish ... Has competed for Team USA in speed skating ... Placed eighth in the 500m and ninth in the 1000m at the 2014 U.S. Long Track Speedskating Olympic Trials ... Represented the United States as a member of the 2013 USA Junior World Long Track Speedskating Team ... Fourth-place finish in 500m in Short Track Speedskating at the Inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria as a member of Team USA ... Has been an all-conference and IHSA state finalist in track along with holding school records in the 400m and 4x400m relay ... Plans to major in bioengineering and attend medical school to become an orthopedic surgeon ... Hopes to participate in the 2018 and 2022 Olympic Games in Long Track Speedskating.
Coach Rayfield Says "A unique athlete who has found great success already in the world of athletics - however at this point it has been on a sheet of ice more so than a field of grass. A world-class speed skater who just finished competing in the Olympic trials, Sarah will bring an incredible amount of athleticism and competitiveness to our program. Her strengths are defending and shutting down opponents and with the added training she will receive at the college level, she certainly has the potential to develop into a well-rounded player on both sides of the ball. And in the mean time, she will work just as hard on the ice to represent Team USA in the 2018 Olympic Games."