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first_imgDES MOINES, Iowa – The Drake University women’s soccer team is excited to welcome six student-athletes in Reilly Bertram (Urbandale, Iowa), Ali Burke (Shawnee, Kan.), Shelley Lyjak (Bartlett, Ill.), Mariah Northrop (Arden Hills, Minn.), Cassie Rohan (Palatine, Ill.) and Annie Schmitz (St. Louis, Mo.) for the 2016 season, head coach Lindsey Horner announced on Friday, Feb. 5.”I’m excited by the possibilities of our 2016 class,” Horner said. “I believe they will positively contribute to our team’s culture as they are motivated to compete at a high level, are dedicated students and most importantly young women of high character. Our returners have set high goals and expectations for this fall, so I’m excited to see how these new student-athletes transition to the college game and continue to push our program to further success.”Bertram is a local product from Dowling Catholic High School. A forward, she has helped the Maroons earn a pair of Iowa Class 5A State title runner-up finishes and another spot in the state semifinals. Bertram is a member of the Sporting Iowa club.Burke, from Shawnee, Kan., is a talented two-sport standout in basketball and soccer for St. James Academy and a four-year member of both Thunder teams. She is a midfielder and a member of the KC United Rangers soccer club that has helped the club win more than 50 tournaments and six-consecutive Kansas State Cup championships.Lyjak, from Bartlett, Ill., is another two-sport standout playing basketball and soccer for Bartlett High School. She is a member of the Sockers FC Chicago ECNL club.Northrup, from Arden Hills, Minn., is a forward for Mounds View High School. She was a captain this past season for the Mustangs that earned first team all-state honors and helped the team finish fourth at the 2015 Minnesota Class AA State championship. She is a member of the SC Centennial Premier club.Rohan, a midfielder, is from Palatine, Ill., who attends William Fremd High School. She is a member of the Eclipse Select club, which has captured back-to-back Illinois State Cup champions.The final member of the 2016 class is Schmitz, a defender from St. Louis, Mo. She played one season for Ursuline Academy and earned a varsity letter for the Bears. Schmitz is a two-year captain of the St. Louis Scott Gallagher ECNL club.2016 Drake University Women’s Soccer Class On Why They Chose Drake Reilly Bertram”I chose to come to Drake because I want to continue my soccer career in a program that fits my style while also receiving a high quality education.”Ali Burke”I chose Drake because it’s a university that will challenge me academically, prepare me for the future and allow me to further my soccer career.”Shelley Lyjak”Being a Bulldog will give me the opportunity to be the best student-athlete I can be.”Mariah Northrop”I chose Drake because of the numerous opportunities it holds academically, as well as the opportunity to continue my soccer career.”Cassie Rohan”I chose Drake because I really see myself attending its beautiful campus for the next four years. The soccer program is excellent and I want to be a part of it.”Annie Schmitz”I chose Drake because I felt a great connection between myself and the coaching staff.  It feels like they are genuinely concerned about me as both an athlete and a student.  They really push academic excellence as being part of the program, which is important to me.”What They Are Saying About The 2016 Drake University Women’s Soccer ClassReilly Bertram”Reilly possesses sound technical ability coupled with a good tactical understanding of the game. Reilly has a tremendous work ethic and passion for the game and a dedication to learn and improve all the time. She will be a great addition to Drake, both on-and-off the field.”John Sheridan, Head Coach Sporting IowaAli Burke”Ali is the consummate team player. She is a great friend to many, is very coachable and has a great understanding of her strengths and limitations. She is a selfless player who works hard on the defensive side of the ball and offensively has a great knack for making sure that the most dangerous player on her team will get the ball in transition.  She will be a great addition to the Bulldog squad on-and-off the field.”Rick Enna, St. James Academy CoachShelley Lyjak”Shelley has been a great player to coach over the past few years. Her speed and Energizer bunny effort is what sets her apart from other players. We are excited to see how Shelley will take on her next challenge playing at Drake.”Albert Martin, Sockers FC Chicago ECNLMariah Northrop”Mariah is one of the most dedicated, self-motivated, and coachable players I have known in my time as a coach.  Her work ethic and competitive nature will raise the level of those around her.  The Drake soccer program can look forward to a natural leader joining their team, someone who will excel on the field, in the classroom and set a positive example among her peers.  Drake is fortunate to have such a positive and impactful individual joining its program.” Katelynn Fast, Assistant Coach, Mounds View High SchoolCassie Rohan”Cassie’s combined ability to screen the line defensively as well as set the play up in the front makes her an elite two-way player. She has been a centerpiece of the success her team has had on the national level. She will be a great addition to the Drake program.”Rory Dames, Eclipse Select ECNLAnnie Schmitz”Annie has been such a positive influence on her club over the past several years, growing as a leader and helping to drive her team in the right direction. She has worked relentlessly to get up and down the line from her wingback spot and show a high level of commitment to find excellence in her game. We are very proud of her here at St. Louis Scott Gallagher and we know that she will be an asset for Drake in the next four years.”Scott McDoniel, St. Louis Scott Gallagher ECNL Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more