Women’s Soccer Focuses on Speed and Physicality with Addition of Seven New Players for 2013

Eagles sign three more Spokane natives to national letters of intent, including the Greater Spokane League offensive and defensive MVPs

After adding three local players to his roster in 2012, Eastern Washington University head women’s soccer coach George Hageage has continued to find the top talent of the Inland Northwest. Among the seven newcomers that make up EWU’s 2013 recruiting class, three hail from the Spokane area.

The Eagles also signed two high school standouts from the west side of the state, as well as a forward from Kealakekua, Hawaii and a goalkeeper out of Mönchengladbach, Germany.

The common denominator among these seven signees is a certain level of speed and physicality that Hageage was looking to add to his program.

“We went into the recruiting process knowing we wanted to find players that we thought were physical, had some speed and were willing to work,” said Hageage. “We wanted to increase our pace in all positions on the field, and especially find players who could be more physical in the middle of the park. We had a lot of injuries last year, and there were times when I thought we just weren’t as strong in the midfield as we could have been.”

Highlighting Eastern’s local recruits is a pair of teammates out of Central Valley High School, who have earned distinction as the best offensive and defensive players in the Greater Spokane League. Laci Rennaker was tabbed as the GSL Defensive MVP in back-to-back years (2011, 2012), and was also a 2012 WSSCA All-State First Team selection. Paige Galloway was the GSL Offensive MVP in 2011, and appeared on the All-GSL first-team for three-consecutive seasons.

“There has always been some talent in the Spokane area,” said Hageage. “But I think right now, we are hitting a point where we have a number of kids from different clubs that are all very talented. It just happens to be a really good time right now for recruiting locally. And we were able to find some of those players who wanted to stay close to home.”

From the west side, Hageage added another first-team all-league player in Sheridan Becanic out of Glacier Peak High School in Snohomish. Becanic was an All-WESCO 3A First-Team defender for the Grizzlies, but will look to help Eastern’s midfield when she begins her collegiate career in the fall.

Hailie McClure from Freeman High School in Rockford will also be an important addition to Eastern’s midfield, while Ua Ruedy from Kealakekua, Hawaii will provide an additional scoring threat for the Eagles.

“Ua will provide us with some of that toughness and speed we were looking for up top to help take some pressure off Cassie [Black],” said Hageage.

Black, an All-Big Sky second-team selection in 2012, scored nearly half of EWU’s total goals last season, and took at least 20 more shots than any player on the team.

With the departure of senior goalkeeper Jaime Walker, EWU also had a specific need between the pipes, as Hageage and the coaching staff like to carry a minimum of two goalkeepers on the roster.

“The only real positional need we had was at goalkeeper because we only had one coming back,” said Hageage.

Joining Switzerland native Nathalie Schwery, who will be a junior with the Eags in 2013, is Clara Elsholz out of Germany, and Courtney Young from Granite Falls, Wash.

“I think it’s awesome to have Clara coming in from Germany,” said Hageage. “I think she will be a great addition. Then we also have Courtney, who is really a solid player out of the Crossfire club team that is really well known.”

EWU Women’s Soccer 2013 Recruiting Class (Alphabetical)

Name Pos. Yr. Exp.    
Hometown (Previous School)
Sheridan Becanic     Midfielder Fr. HS Snohomish, Wash. (Glacier Peak HS '13)
Clara Elsholz Goalkeeper    
Fr. HS Möenchengladbach, Germany (Gesamtschule Rheydt Muelfort)
Paige Gallaway Midfielder Fr. HS Spokane, Wash. (Central Valley HS '13)
Hailie McClure Midfielder Fr. HS Spokane, Wash. (Freeman HS '13)
Laci Rennaker Defender Fr. HS Spokane, Wash. (Central Valley HS '13)
Ua Ruedy Forward Fr. HS Kealakekua, Hawaii (Ke Kula 'o 'Ehunuikaimalino '13)
Courtney Young Goalkeeper Fr.    
HS Granite Falls, Wash. (Granite Falls HS '13)


Pronunciation Guide

Sheridan Becanic  
Clara Elsholz ELS-holtz
Hailie McClure HAY-lee
Laci Rennaker REN-ick-er
Ua Ruedy Ooo-uh ROO-dee




George Hageage on Becanic: “Sheridan adds strength and ball-winning ability to our midfield. She is unreal in the air, ultra-competitive and will give us someone who can help hold the middle from day one.”

High School: Earned All-WESCO 3A South First-Team honors in 2011 and 2012, and landed on the 2012 all-area first team as well…Selected as the team MVP in 2009 and 2011 and served as team captain in 2012…Played for the Northwest Nationals club team, earning Player of the Year honors in 2012 after helping lead the squad to a Pleasanton Rage Showcase title, Las Vegas Player’s Showcase title and a semi-final berth at the 2012 Surf Cup...Participated in the 2012 U-17 Canadian World Cup Evaluation Camp and was on the 2011 U-16 Washington ODP team.

Personal: Daughter of John Becanic and Rhonda Bentson-Becanic…Plans to major in health sciences.


George Hageage on Elsholz: “At 5-foot-11, Clara gives us a big presence in the net. She has great size, moves well and is strong off her line. It will be an adjustment for her coming from Germany, but with Nathalie [Schwery] here to help her with the language, I expect the transition to the college game will be smooth.”

High School: Played for the Sportfreunde 1930 Uevekoven club in the women’s amateur Mittelrheinliga League…2012 State Cup Champions…Received offers to play in the 1st or 2nd Bundesliga Club, which is professional league for both men and women in Germany.

Personal: Daughter of Joachim Brose and Susanna Elsholz.


George Hageage on Gallaway: “Paige will add a goal-scoring ability coming out of the midfield, or possibly in a position up front for us next year. She has the ability to dominate and make a positive impact at any time.”

High School: Four-year varsity letterwinner for the Central Valley Bears...Three-time All-Greater Spokane League First-Team midfielder, and was an honorable-mention selection as a freshman in 2009…In 2011, was named the GSL Offensive MVP…Helped the Bears earn a berth in the 4A state playoffs for three-consecutive years...Played for the Spokane Soccer Club for four seasons…In 2010, her team won the Coeur d’Alene Hot Shot Championship and River City Cup Championship, and in 2011 and 2012, captured the NW Cup Championship…Her club team was also the Washington State Premier League Division I runner-up in 2012…Also played basketball and ran track for CV.

Personal: Daughter of Rick Gallaway and Kerry Taylor.


George Hageage on McClure: “Hailie is a player who can play multiple positions well. Her speed and composure will help us in all facets of the game.”

High School: Earned Northeast “A” League first-team honors as a midfielder in 2010, 2011 and 2012…Played club soccer for Spokane Shadow…Also ran varsity track for two years, and qualified for state in the 400, 800 and 1,600-meter runs, and competed as a member of the 4x400-meter relay team that finished fifth at the state meet.

Personal: Daughter of Christopher and Michelle McClure…Plans to study dental hygiene at EWU.


George Hageage on Rennaker: “Laci is tough as nails. She has the ability to step in and challenge for a center back spot immediately. She is a solid tackler, is good in the air and has been a leader in the back for all the teams she has played on in high school and club.”

High School: Named to the Washington State Soccer Coaches’ Association All-State First-Team in 2012, after earning Second-Team honors in 2011…Back-to-back Greater Spokane League Defensive MVP (2011, 2012), and a two-time All-GSL First-Team selection…Served as team captain as a senior, leading the Bears to a quarterfinal appearance in the state playoffs in 2011 and 2012…Anchored CV’s defense in its GSL Championship run in 2010 and 2011…The Bears also captured the district title in 2011 and 2012…Played club soccer for Spokane Shadow, and also earned two varsity letters in track.

Personal: Daughter of Traci Rennaker…Plans to major in sports medicine.


George Hageage on Ruedy: “Ua will bring athleticism and pace, and certain work rate to our team that we are really excited to have. She is extremely quick and can score goals with both her right and left foot.”

High School: Four-year varsity letterwinner in both soccer and track…Earned All-Big Island Interscholastic Federation First-Team honors as a sophomore, junior and senior, and was a second-team honoree as a freshman…2010-11 Honolulu Star-Advertiser HHSAA honorable mention team…Helped lead her team to the fifth-place finish in the 2012-13 Hawaii State Championships, after finishing first in the BIIF…Had 11 goals, 15 assists as a senior, 13 goals, nine assists as junior, 11 goals, seven assists in her sophomore season, and nine goals and six assists her freshman year…Played club soccer for Lanakila Kona in 2012-13, Kona Po’okela in 2010-11, and played for Crush Academy in 2009-10…Won the  Adidas Beaverton Cup title with Crush Academy in 2009, and again with Lanakila Kona in 2012…Earned All-BIIF First-Team honors for track and field in 2011 and 2012, and was a second-team honoree in 2010…Two-time BIIF 300-meter hurdle champion, and went on to finish second in that same event at the 2012 HHSAA Championships…Also won the BIIF title in the 200-meter dash that same year…Finished in the top three of BIIF in the 100-meter hurdles and 100-meter dash in 2011 and 2012.

Personal: Daughter of Scott and Shu-Lin Ruedy…Plans to major in nursing.


George Hageage on Young: “Courtney is one of two goalkeepers we signed this year. She is great at organizing her box and covers ground extremely well. Her experience playing with Crossfire will serve her well at the collegiate level.”

High School: Started all four years in goal for Granite Falls, earning four varsity letters…Cascade Conference Second-Team in 2012 with seven shutouts…Helped lead the Tigers to back-to-back district tournament appearances in 2011 and 2012…Selected as her team MVP as a junior and senior, and was the Most Improved Player as a sophomore in 2010…Earned the WIAA Athletic Academic Award for soccer for four-straight years (2009-12)…Played club soccer for Crossfire, helping her team to the US Club Regional Championship in 2011 and 2012 and a semi-final berth in the 2012 State Cup…Also earned three varsity letters in basketball and track and field…National Honor Society officer in 2011…Member of the Future Business Leaders of America and Spanish Club.

Personal: Daughter of Michael and Sondra Novak…Plans to study business. 

EWU Women’s Soccer 2013 Recruiting Class (Alphabetical)

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