Immediate Release: April 18, 2005
VESTAL, N.Y. - In the team's first off-season since capturing the America East championship, Binghamton women's soccer has added three high school players, head coach Jeff Leightman announced. Signing a National Letter of Intent to joing the program in 2005 were midfielders Kimberly Thomas (Stony Point, N.Y.), Kristen Dressel (Randolph, N.J.) and Talitha Wood (Nassau, Bahamas).
The trio will help bolster a BU midfield that will graduate two key players in captains Deli Plourde and Caitlin O'Shaughnessy.
"We are adding three very good players who will help us develop and hopefully return to the NCAA tournament," Leightman said. "All three have the potential to start, and I'm looking forward to seeing their growth and see the impact they can have for us."
Thomas, 5-feet-7, comes from a strong scholastic program at North Rockland High School, where as a junior, she helped the team advance to the state title game. There, they lost to a Massapequa team which featured current BU striker Kim Povill. During her four years, North Rockland advanced to the Final Four twice and reached the regional final one other year. Thomas was a three-time first team all-league selection at center midfield.
"Kimberly has the potential to come in and make an impact right away," Leightman said. "She brings a strong work rate to the center midfield position and is very technical with good field vision."
Dressel, 5-feet-6, was a four-year starter for Randolph High School, the same school that produced current BU starting defender Vicky Vernicek. She was a two-time all-state and three-time all-county player and served as team captain this past fall.
"Kristen is a versatile player who will probably begin as an outside midfielder for us," Leightman said. "She has more of an attacking style, but can play several different positions."
Wood, 5-feet-2, comes all the way from Bahamas, where she was captain of her country's Under 19 World Cup qualifying team in 2004. A defensive-minded midfielder with an impressive soccer resume, Wood led her team to a runnerup finish at the Umbro Cup in Manchester, England in 2003, and also competed at the Haarlem Cup in Amsterdam, Holland in 2002.
She was the two-time team MVP at Temple Christian High School, where she played for six seasons.
"To bring in a national team captain with Talitha's great leadership ability is exciting for us," Leightman said. "She brings a defensive presence to the field, and will battle out there. It's great to open a door to a new region of the world for us."
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