GVSU soccer signs five recruits

GVL / Emily Frye

GVL / Emily Frye

A.A. Knorr

The Grand Valley State soccer team has won three consecutive NCAA Division II national championships. With the mounting success, the Laker brand builds. Expectations plateau, but only because they cannot move any higher.

As Lakers graduate and leave with almost entirely happy memories on the soccer pitch, new Lakers sign on and bring excitement and anxiousness. National Signing Day 2016, which took place on Feb. 3, saw five high school recruits sign with GVSU for the upcoming season.

Despite GVSU’s now-national recognition, the Lakers continue to stay close to home and draw primarily from inside Michigan, which, despite being a cold-weather state, produces some of the best soccer talent in the country.

Four of GVSU’s five signees hail from Michigan, with the fifth coming from Naperville, Illinois.

Charley Campbell – East Lansing, Michigan

Haslett High School/Michigan Chill

“She’s a player that is kind of the ultra competitor,” said GVSU head coach Jeff Hosler. “She’s a very humble, hardworking, unassuming kid that’s going to continue to bring that culture-type player we need in our program.

“She’s a good athlete, a really good athlete, has played a lot of different positions in the high school ages. We see her as being a really good outside back for us in the future.”

Kasey Codd – Brighton, Michigan

Brighton High School/Michigan Hawks

“She comes from one of the best clubs in the country with the Michigan Hawks,” Hosler said. “She’s a very versatile player. For us, she could play as a holding mid or anywhere in our back four. She has great field presence, tremendous communicator, reads the game really well.”

Alexis Dandridge – Naperville, Illinois

Naperville North High School/NSA Premier

“The lone out-of-state kid… Comes from one of the best clubs in the Midwest. She’s a player that’s developed a lot in the last couple years,” Hosler said. “We see her as playing for us as a target center forward, very strong, tall, fast player that can be back to goal to help with possession, and is going to be really dangerous in the final third in the air with her ability as a goal-scorer.”

Mia Gale – Ferndale, Michigan

Ferndale High School/Waza

“Through the Olympic Development Program, Mia has been one of the best midfielders in the Midwest region, which consists of 12 states,” Hosler said. “She’s an explosive attacking midfielder, great vision, the ability to score herself. A player that has a lot of upside that we expect to be able to help us right away.”

Corey Sawall – Portage, Michigan

Portage Central High Schools/Midwest United

“Corey is a really dynamic attacking mid, someone who can create goals for herself whether she’s facing one-on-one or back to the goal,” Hosler said. “A very good ball-striker, naturally left-footed but hits it with her right just as well. She’s very smooth on the ball, plays in a way that almost looks effortless and has the ability to bring others into the game in dangerous moments.”

Last year, the Lakers rostered 28 players, 22 of whom hail from Michigan. Four of the other six players come from Midwest states, while Jayma Martin (Pueblo, Colorado) and Aunika Ortiz (Los Angeles) make up GVSU’s outer-region presence.

Recruiting starts on individual players a couple of years in advance of signing day, so GVSU’s roster could see a more diverse set of states in the near future, as GVSU is clearly the best place to go for athletes searching for a national title.

For now, however, the Lakers will continue to mine from the abundance of gold in their own backyard. After all, it’s worked out well in the past.