Montagne says soccer class is her best ever

Ryan Schuster

Two months after the conclusion of its most successful season to date, the Gophers women’s soccer team was rewarded with what coach Sue Montagne calls her best recruiting class ever.
On Wednesday, the team announced the signings of Samantha Meyers, Juli Montgomery, Alison Rackley and Allyson Brodie to national letters of intent.
“This is the strongest recruiting class in terms of depth we have ever had,” Montagne said. “All of these athletes are going to play important roles on our team and make an immediate impact.”
Meyers, a two-time Parade and National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-American, is the most decorated of the four signees. The midfielder from Jefferson High School in Frederick, Md. is a two-time Maryland Player of the Year, an all-state selection and was recruited by Connecticut and Florida. She was also named the MVP of last year’s Maryland state championship game.
Montgomery, the only in-state player in the recruiting class, was an all-state, all-metro and all-conference defender at Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul. She was selected to the All-Midwest team last season when she and her Raiders’ teammates finished fourth in the state tournament.
Meyers and Montgomery both made oral commitments to Minnesota only hours after the Gophers ended their season by losing to Santa Clara in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Rackley and Brodie are both natives of Birmingham, Mich. and seniors at Seaholm High School. Rackley, a forward, was a two-time All-American and an all-state, all-county and all-area player. She was recruited by Michigan, Northwestern and Florida. Brodie, a defender and midfielder, was an all-area performer and a member of the Michigan Olympic Development program.
Montagne said that she probably couldn’t have signed a class of this caliber three years ago, crediting the increased visibility of the program for Minnesota’s productive recruiting.
“Our name really made it’s way out there,” she said.
The Gophers have made three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances and won the Big Ten regular-season and conference tournament titles. Last year’s team went 18-3-2 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history.
The four new signees will share the scholarship money left by departed seniors Jennifer McElmury and Jennifer Walek, who have combined to win the last three Big Ten Player of the Year awards.
“They will definitely offset the key losses of Jennifer McElmury and Jennifer Walek,” Montagne said. “We got the four athletes that we really wanted.”