LUBBOCK, Texas – Head coach Tom Stone announced the signing of five new Red Raiders to its 2020 class Wednesday. The talented group hails entirely from Texas, with three from Dallas and two from San Antonio.
"We want to go after the top players in Texas and bring them to this campus," Stone said, whose current roster includes 13 Texans. "We've recruited from everywhere, but the players that met our needs and got us the most excited about taking this program to the next step were right here in our home state."
Hometown: Southlake, Texas
High School: Southlake Carroll
Club: FC Dallas (DA)
Elise Anderson joins the Red Raiders as a superb defender. Coached by Matt Grubb out of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy's FC Dallas program, Anderson led her club to a third place finish in the 2019 National Tournament. The Southlake native has Stone excited for her arrival, as the offensive-minded defender fits the Tech mold perfectly with her ability to push upfield from the back line and present an attacking threat. Anderson signs as a three-star recruit, according to TopDrawerSoccer.com.
"She's a natural at getting forward," Stone said. "if you're going to be an attacking-minded team and send defenders, you've got to send ones that can dribble and that have good technical ability, and she's got all that."
Hometown: San Antonio, Texas
High School: Brandeis
Club: Classics Elite
Avery Chaney comes to Tech as a two-year letterwinner from Brandeis High in San Antonio, where she was a First Team All-District and All-Region selection. At the club level, she played with Classics Elite under Dennis Chavarria, where she earned a U14 National Team call-up in 2016 and, more recently, led the Elite to a top-eight finish at the national ECNL tournament in San Diego.
"The game can go through Avery," Stone said. "She's got good range and is super skillful. I think her passing ability is one of the best that we've recruited in a few years. She really sees the game well, and when she's in the flow of the game and getting a lot of touches, she can really control the tempo."
Hometown: Cibolo, Texas
High School: Steele
Club: Lonestar SC
Gisselle Kozarski comes to Lubbock as the lone striker in the 2020 class. Hailing from Cibolo, Texas, Kozarski is a decorated attacker from Steele High. She was a First Team All-State selection, San Antonio Super Team member and named the District Midfielder of the Year. Stone believes she can bring a lot of talent to a Tech offense that ranked second in the Big 12 in scoring this season.
"Gisselle is just an honest vertical threat," Stone said. "She's one of the fastest kids we've recruited and physically she's very strong. The weight room is going to be her friend. She has a very unique ability to smash the ball with either foot. We're going to get her a little more technical, but for a player who can already run like she can and hit it with both feet as well as she can, I think she hits the ground running for college soccer."
Hometown: Coppell, Texas
High School: Coppell
Club: Dallas Sting SC
Katie Odum will come to West Texas as yet another signee out of the prestigious Dallas Sting SC. Odum, a talented outside back, is an All-District selection several times over out of Coppell High in the DFW area. She was a three-year letterwinner and was named the Star Local Media Defensive Player of the Year as well as the Dallas Morning News District Defensive Player of the Year. She was a national champion with the Sting, leading the club to an ECNL title while playing with the U16 group.
"When you see Katie play, you're struck by her raw athleticism," Stone said. "She is probably one of the most competitive youth players we've seen in years. She loves to get forward and I think we'll turn her loose more than she's had the opportunity to in the past. She likes to attack as an outside back and she'll come in and challenge for a spot right away."
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
High School: Hebron
Club: Dallas Sting SC
Briley Weatherford comes to Tech as a four-star recruit according to TopDrawerSoccer.com. The center back, whom Stone considers one of the top in the nation, played her club ball alongside Odum with the Sting. Weatherford was a four-year letterwinner for Hebron while at the same time leading the Sting to the national tournament the last three years. She was named to the ECNL U17/18 Texas All-America team.
"The play from Briley is such a fit for how we play," Stone said. "She is uber aggressive and very competitive. Our Red Raider fans are going to love the physicality – she doesn't back down from anyone. Over the last year, we've seen her play three or four of the top forwards in the country who are going to other big programs and Briley has gone toe-to-toe with them and been fantastic. I think she can step in right away and play for us."
For complete social coverage of signing day, check out @TexasTechSoccer on Twitter and Instagram, as well as @ttusoccer on Facebook.