South Dakota women’s soccer head coach Michael Thomas is pleased to announce the signing of 11 players to National Letters of Intent. Maliah Atkins, Kayla Aymar, Hattie Giblin, Mia Griffin, Ashby Johnston, Brooke Kercher-Pratt, Angie Kinzie, Kyla Knapke, Tatum Lundgren, Maggie Pallesen and Janaina Zanin will join the Coyotes for the 2020 season.
“I am extremely excited to announce our 2019-20 recruiting class,” said Thomas. “The class spans six different states and has players that have been competing at the state, regional and national level. Most importantly, we think they are good teammates and people who are excited to represent the University of South Dakota.”
Maliah Atkins | Defense | Roxborough, Colo. | Thunder Ridge HS
A center back from Roxborough, Colorado, Maliah Atkins played for Jamaica’s under-17 soccer team in the CONCACAF Nations League tournament in the fall of 2017. A two-time all-Continental League player, she helped Thunder Ridge High School take home a league title as a freshman. Atkins now plays for the Real Colorado Soccer Association’s Development Academy team year-round. A member of the National Honor Society, Atkins plans to major in biology at South Dakota.
Kayla Aymar | Midfield | Tea, S.D. | Tea Area HS
A midfielder from Tea, South Dakota, Kayla Aymar helped Tea Area High School capture the 2019 South Dakota Class A Championship. She earned a spot on South Dakota’s all-state team for the second consecutive season. The Titans finished runner-up in South Dakota’s Class A twice during Aymar’s career. Aymar totaled 23 goals and 39 assists during her high school career. An academic all-state honoree on the soccer field, Aymar plans to enroll in the business school at South Dakota.
Hattie Giblin | Midfield | Sioux Falls, S.D. | Roosevelt HS
A midfielder from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Hattie Giblin is a two-time all-state player for Roosevelt High School. She also earned a spot on the all-Metro Conference team the past four years. A two-time team captain for the Rough Riders, she took home the team’s Golden Boot Award with 48 goals and 27 assists during her prep career. Giblin also plays for the Dakota Alliance Soccer Club. Off the pitch, she plays basketball and runs track and field for the Rough Riders. A National Honor Society member and academic all-state honoree on the field, Giblin plans to study pre-med at South Dakota.
Mia Griffin | Forward | Bettendorf, Iowa | Bettendorf HS
A striker from Bettendorf, Iowa, Mia Griffin is a three-time all-Mississippi Athletic Conference honoree. She helped Bettendorf High School capture conference titles as a freshman and sophomore, qualifying for the state tournament as a freshman in 2017. Griffin earned all-district honors as a junior with nine goals and six assists. She’s totaled 19 goals and 13 assists for her prep career entering her senior season. Griffin is a member of the Iowa Olympic Development program and played club ball with Sporting Iowa East, leading her club team to three state cup semifinals. She also played basketball and ran track and field for the Bulldogs. A National Honor Society member and academic letterwinner, Griffin plans to major in medical biology at South Dakota
Ashby Johnston | Forward | Corona, Calif. | Santiago HS
A forward hailing from Corona, California, Ashby Johnston leads Santiago High School in goals scored by averaging a goal per game. Johnston plays club ball for BYSC Corona United, where she ranked second in the SYL league for goals scored last season with 14. Johnston plans to major in psychology at South Dakota.
Brooke Kercher-Pratt | Midfield | Broomfield, Colo. | Legacy HS
A midfielder from Broomfield, Colorado, Brooke Kercher-Pratt helped Legacy High School advance to the 2019 Colorado Class 5A state playoffs. She earned second-team all-Front Range League honors. Kercher-Pratt played for Colorado’s Olympic Development Program team in 2018. Her club team, the Broomfield Blast SC 02G Prestige, captured the 2019 Colorado State Cup championship. She also plays volleyball for the Lightning in the fall. Kercher-Pratt is an academic letterwinner and earned academic all-state honors in soccer.
Angie Kinzie | Goalkeeper | Urbandale, Iowa | Des Moines Christian HS
A goalkeeper from Urbandale, Iowa, Angie Kinzie earned first team all-state and all-conference honors at Des Moines Christian High School. She’s been a four-year starter in goal for the Lions. Kinzie is also a member of the Iowa Olympic Development Program and her club team, Sporting Iowa, has won three state cup championships. Off the pitch, Kinzie also played basketball, softball and volleyball at Des Moines Christian. An honor roll student and National Honor Society member, Kinzie plans to major in medical biology at South Dakota.
Kyla Knapke | Defense| Aurora, Colo. | Grandview HS
An outside back from Aurora, Colorado, Kyla Knapke helped Grandview High School capture its fourth Colorado Class 5A state title in five years. The Wolves also won the Centennial League. Knapke also played for the Colorado Rush Soccer Club and was a member of the Grandview High School track and field team. An academic all-state honoree and member of the National Honor Society, Knapke plans to enroll in the nursing program at South Dakota.
Tatum Lundgren | Defense | Omaha, Neb. | Burke HS
A center back from Omaha, Nebraska, Tatum Lundgren enters her senior season next spring as a two-time honorable mention all-state recipient. She helped her club team, GSC Prima Green, capture back-to-back Nebraska State Cup championships in 2018 and 2019. She also played basketball and ran cross country for the Bulldogs. Lundgren plans to major in special education at South Dakota.
Maggie Pallesen | Defense | Omaha, Neb. | Marian HS
A defender from Omaha, Nebraska, Maggie Pallesen starts on Omaha Marian High School’s back line, leading the Crusaders to a runner-up finish at the Nebraska Class A State Tournament last spring. Her club team, GSC Prima Green, captured back-to-back Nebraska State Cup championships in 2018 and 2019. They also qualified for Region II championships for four-straight years (2016-19) and the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships in 2017. Pallesen also plays basketball for the Crusaders, receiving honorable mention all-state last season. A National Honor Society member, Pallesen plans to enroll in South Dakota’s business program.
Janaina Zanin | Midfield | Pierre, S.D. | T.F. Riggs HS
A midfielder from Pierre, South Dakota, Janaina Zanin joins her older sister, Joana, on the Coyote soccer roster. Zanin captured a pair of South Dakota Class AA state titles in 2017 and 2018 with T.F. Riggs High School. She’s a three-time all-Eastern South Dakota conference honoree and earned all-state honors twice. Zanin has 22 goals in her career with the Governors. She also ran track and field at T.F. Riggs. An academic all-state honoree on the soccer field and a National Honor Society member, Zanin plans to enroll in South Dakota’s business program.