Head coach Rich Manning has brought another top-level recruiting class to the University of Utah.
Feb. 6, 2006
SALT LAKE CITY - Coming off its fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and the 2005 Mountain West Conference regular season title, the Utah women's soccer team has signed two Utah high school seniors to national letters of intent. The announcement came today from Ute head coach Rich Manning.
Joining the Utes this fall will be Kelly Isleib, a forward from Park City, and Jena Roberts, a defender from Centerville.
Isleib was named the Utah 3A MVP in 2004 and `05, leading Park City High School to back-to-back state championships. She also made the 2005 NSCAA Adidas All-America team and was named a Top 50 recruit by Soccer Buzz magazine. Isleib was a member of the Celtic Storm club team that won the Utah state title 2001-04.
Isleib played for Manning on the Region IV Olympic Development Program team in the 2005 Adidas Cup last May in Houston. She is in the player pool for the Under-20 U.S. National team. Islieb has been a five-year member of the Utah State ODP team.
Roberts was named first team all-state by both the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret Morning News in 2005 after leading Viewmont High School to the Region I title. She played for the Utah ODP team in 2003-04 and attended the ODP region camp in the summer of `04. Roberts played for the Utah Rush club team, leading it to the 2004 U-18 Utah state championship.
"Kelly and Jena bring with them so many positives for our soccer program," said Manning. "They're talented soccer players with good experience. They will be ready to contribute right away. They fill needs for our team. They demonstrate great teamwork. They are positive people. And, in due time, they will be good leaders."
Isleib and Roberts will join the Utes next fall. Utah has 19 letterwinners returning from a team that went 14-7-1. In four years under Manning, Utah has won two Mountain West Conference regular season titles and two league tournaments, as well as making four straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
"We only graduated one player (Kim Lloyd) from this year's team. So we were not out there beating the bushes for a large group to bring in," said Manning. "We were able to be very selective. Kelly and Jena each fit the bill of things we were looking for. Lynzee Lee and Danielle Sample redshirted this year due to injuries. Those four players will form a terrific class. And, in the future, will be a strong leadership group for the team.
"It is exciting to us that these two local players, who had plenty of offers from good soccer programs all over the country, chose Utah," Manning continued. "They see the success we have had and the great potential that exists here. Both feel that they can get the best in a college experience, on and off the field, right here in their own backyard. We are so glad they are joining our soccer family."
Kelly Isleib - Forward Hometown: Park City, Utah Parents: Bob and Kim Isleib ODP: Utah State Team (2000-04), Regional Team (2005), National Pool (2005), Under-20 U.S. National team pool player (2006) Club: Celtic Storm and Avalanche Club Coach: Robyn Brezting (Celtic Storm) and Jo Barney (Avalanche) Club Honors: Celtic Storm - State Cup champions (2001-04), regional finalist (2002). Avalanche - State Cup champions (2004-05) High School: Park City HS Honors: Utah Class 3A Player of the Year (2004-05)
"Kelly is a terrific all-around soccer player. She is a true `No. 10,'" said Manning. "She excels at two parts of the game that are very hard to find. She can beat people off the dribble, and she can make that final, delicate pass that leads to goals. Those qualities will help us unlock defenses and make us more dynamic in the attack. Most importantly, Kelly has a rare love of the game that is so apparent, you cannot help but be swept away in her passion. She makes her teammates want to get out and play great soccer. She makes playing and coaching fun. Kelly is going to help us be successful. She will also be extremely entertaining to watch. Ute fans are in for a treat."
Did you know... Kelly's father Bob played professional soccer briefly for the New York Cosmos of the NASL before suffering a career ending knee injury.
Jena Roberts - Defender Hometown: Centerville, Utah Parents: Craig and Jill Roberts ODP: Utah State Team (2003-04), Regional Camp (2004) Club: Devastation and Utah Rush Club Coach: Chuck Miller, Missy Dennis and Gordon Ebner Club Honors: Utah State Cup champions (2004) High School: Viewmont HS Honors: All-state first team (2005)
"Jena has great qualities for a defender," said Manning. "She is fast, tough and good in the air. I also love the way she communicates in the back. She has a forceful, but positive tone that helps organize the defense. Jena has been to our soccer camp in the summer and we have seen tremendous improvement in her game over the years. She is a great find and her best soccer is ahead of her."
Did you know... Jena played high school and club soccer with current Utah sophomore goalkeeper Emalee Rogers.