CSU soccer adds seven on National Signing Day

Christian Hedrick

Coming off their most successful season to date, the Colorado State soccer team solidified its side for 2018 with the addition of seven signings announced by the team on Wednesday morning.

Coach talking to players
Head coach Bill Hempen talks to the women’s soccer team at half time during the game against Utah State. (Jordan Reyes | Collegian)

The newcomers feature every position group and the program’s first three athletes from the state of Texas. Though all seven signees will be fresh faces for the green and gold, some may be familiar to local soccer fans, as three are Fort Collins natives.

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From Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, defender Baylee Bedard will join the Rams after playing the last two years at Kansas State. Bedard’s father, Brian, is the head CSU track & field coach and her sister, Kelcey, is a junior all-conference thrower for the Rams.

Also hailing from Fort Collins are defender Scout Bohlender and goalkeeper Gabi Macdonald. Bohlender will strengthen the Rams’ defense with the departure of captain Taylor Hodgson and McDonald will help fill in for graduating goalkeeper Paige Brandt.

A three-sport athlete at RMHS, McDonald earned the Coloradoan’s Northern Colorado Female Athlete of the Year award in 2017 and the Northern Colorado Female Soccer Player of the Year award in 2016. McDonald will continue her multi-sport legacy at CSU and compete under (Brian) Bedard on the CSU track & field team.

Along with the reinforcements on defense and in net, the Rams solidified their attack with three new midfielders and a forward. From Thornton, Colo., three-star athlete Samantha Studt will help fill the shoes of graduating midfielders Janelle Stone, Maddi Rodriguez and Gianna Marconi.

Joining Studt in the middle will be Ariell Hopkins from Rockwall, Texas and Marissa Porras from Leander, Texas. CSU coach Bill Hempen said Porras is a versatile athlete who can play in multiple positions, while the left-footed Hopkins will provide some much needed support on the left flank.

Rounding out the Rams’ 2018 National Signing Day class is forward Jackie Balderrama from El Paso, Texas. A two-time captain for El Paso High School, Balderrama earned Texas District 1-5A Offensive Player of the Year recognition in 2016.

“Her technical ability, her willingness and her ability being comfortable with the ball at her feet is going to be something we really need in the offensive part of the field,” Hempen said in a statement.

The Rams’ newest reinforcements will join the 22 returning athletes on the pitch when the soccer season resumes this fall.

Collegian sports reporter Christian Hedrick can be reached by email at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @ChristianHCSU.