WMU News

WMU soccer teams announce recruits

March 18, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University's women's soccer team has signed four high school student-athletes to national letters of intent, and the men's team sign two student-athletes this past week.

Men's Soccer

The Western Michigan University men's soccer team has signed two high school student-athletes to National Letters of Intent for the 1999 season, head coach Chris Karwoski announced today. The recruiting class consists of forward Rob Friend (Kelowna, B.C./K.L.O Secondary) and defender Mark Stickler (Hudson, Ohio).

Friend was leading scorer for the 1997 British Columbia Provincial team, a collection of the top youth players in western Canada. Friend was the first Kelowna resident to make the provincial team and captained the squad as well. Last season, the 6-4 Friend played for the Okanagan Challenge of the USISL Premier Development League and scored two goals while playing an exhibition match for the Vancouver 86ers of the A-League. During his career, Friend has also trained with the English First Divison's Crewe Alexander F.C.

Stickler completed his second varsity season for Hudson High this past fall after earning team "most valuable player" honors and Western Reserve Conference accolades as a junior. The 6-2 Stickler currently plays on one of Ohio's top club teams, the Cleveland Internationals, who have captured back-to-back State Cup titles. Mark has family ties to the Mid-American Conference as his older brother, Michael, plays at Kentucky.

Western Michigan opens its 1999 campaign on September 1, playing host to Cleveland State at the WMU Soccer Complex.

Women's Soccer

The Western Michigan University women's soccer team has signed four high school student-athletes to National Letters of Intent for the 1999 season, head coach Mike Haines announced today. The recruiting class consists of forward Kersten Conklin (Livonia/Churchill), midfielder Jennifer Leone (Fraser), midfielder Amber Scyphers (Troy/Bishop Foley) and defender Jennifer Wiles (Troy/Athens).

Conklin enters her senior prep season with 57 career goals and 142 points. As a junior, she scored 26 goals to earn Division I All-State third-team honors along with All-Western Lakes Activities Association accolades. Conklin has spent four seasons with the Livonia Meteors club team.

Leone is an elite player in the state for her age class as a member of the Olympic Development Program (ODP). She also competes for the Vardar Under-18 team, considered one of the top club programs in Michigan.

Scyphers has led Bishop Foley to three consecutive Division III state championships and has played alongside Jennifer Leone on the Vardar Under-18 club and ODP teams. Haines, the former coach at Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Central, saw much of Scyphers in back-to-back state title matches against Foley.

Wiles embarks on her third season as a starter this spring for Athens High, which has produced current Broncos Katie Markey, Gretchen Markey, Jamie Mastrangelo and Kelly Thack. The past three seasons, she has captained the TPSA Dynamite club team.

Western Michigan opens its fourth varsity season on September 3 at the Cyclone Classic, hosted by Iowa State in Ames, Iowa.

Media contact:Daniel Jankowski, 616 387-4138; daniel.jankowski@wmich.edu

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