Women's Soccer
Denley, Schafer to Join Illinois Soccer Program

Head Coach Janet Rayfield
Head Coach Janet Rayfield

April 29, 2014

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois soccer head coach Janet Rayfield announced the addition of Michelle Denley (Oakville, Ontario/St. Thomas Aquinas/Bowling Green) and Summer Schafer (Oak Brook, Ill./Downers Grove North/Memphis) to the Illinois women's soccer program for the 2014 season.

Denley is a goalkeeper who will join the Illini after spending her freshman season at Bowling Green, while Schafer is a midfielder who played her first season at Memphis. Both players are eligible to play immediately and have three seasons of eligibility remaining.

"Both these student-athletes have chosen to come to Illinois in order to be challenged on and off the field and the competition will make our program better," Rayfield said. "We are excited to add them to our roster for 2014."

Michelle Denley
GK // Oakville, Ontario, Canada // St. Thomas Aquinas // Bowling Green

At Bowling Green
 Played in two matches off the bench
 Was between the posts for a total of 112:59
 Both matches came in MAC play, as she appeared in the Kent State and (Sept. 29) and Western Michigan (Oct. 6) matches on back-to-back Sundays
 Played just under 68 minutes at KSU, making three saves
 Played the second half of the WMU game and had six stops

High School
 Played two years at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School (`13)
 Named the team's Rookie of the Year as a freshman and was the Raiders' MVP as a junior
 Did not play in her sophomore and senior years as she trained with the Canadian National Development Program
 Also played field hockey, volleyball and track and field
 Captained both the soccer and field hockey teams
 Helped the Raiders to the league (Greater Halton Athletic Conference) finals on two occasions
 Was a GHAC finalist in the high jump in track
 A four-year member of the Honor Roll​

Coach Rayfield Says
"Michelle will deepen our squad in the goalkeeping position and her national team aspirations will mean she will come into Illinois ready to challenge and be challenged. I am excited about what that competition will do for both our goalkeepers and for our program. Competition brings out the best in players and the best in both Michelle Denley and Claire Wheatley is very high."

Summer Schafer
M // Oak Brook, Ill. // Downers Grove North // Memphis

At Memphis
 Appeared in nine matches
 Six of her nine appearances came in conference play
 Registered one shot, against Temple on Oct. 24

 Attended Downers Grove North High School, but elected not to play high school soccer to focus on club soccer year-round
 Played for the Eclipse Select ECNL U-23 team that won the 2013 national championship and was teammates with current Illini Jenna Miller
 Helped club to first place in Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) in 2010
 Scored 13 goals in 2010
 Attended National Camp in 2010
 Regional ODP pool player in 2008 and 2009
 Three-year member of the Illinois state ODP team
 Team won the 2011 Illinois State Cup

Coach Rayfield Says
"Summer comes from the Eclipse Club in Chicago and the consistent attribute from that environment is their competitiveness. Summer will come here and compete and instantly contribute to the training environment. Her attacking versatility will give us another attack minded, one vs. one personality that can play as a forward or as a midfielder."