Canisius College women's soccer head coach Jim Wendling has announced the addition of five student-athletes for the 2012 season. Joining the Griffs are Brittany Bowen, Erika Falinski, Brittany Krause, Alexis Kroese, and Tara McPherson. The incoming 2012 freshmen class is compromised of student-athletes, representing three different states and Canada.
"I am very excited with the caliber of players we are bringing to the team next fall," said Wendling. "Each player will provide the needed technical and tactical abilities to our team that will get us back into the MAAC Tournament and compete for a second MAAC Championship."
Hometown: Sacramento, Calif.
Intended Major: International business and marketing
Bowen currently plays for the Davis Shock Soccer Club, while previously playing with the Elk Grove Everton Soccer Club. Displaying her skills at the Region Six Player Development Program, she was invited to the US Soccer Training Center to train under the Technical Advisor for the USSF, Hugo Perez. In addition, she took part in the MTC Girls Showcase with Mike Dickey, the former head coach of the U15-17 U.S. National team. Bowen has been a part of successful club teams that have captured the GSSL League Championship and the CYSA District League Championship, while reaching the 2009 State Cup Finals. She has played and started at JFK High School since her freshmen year. In 2011, the Cougars captured the Metro League Championship with Bowen earning All-League honors. This year, she served as captain of her team. In addition to playing center back, Bowen can also play center-midfielder and forward. She plans on studying international business and marketing. Her parents are Tom and Lisa Bowen and she has a sister, Jessica.
Hometown: West Monroe, N.Y.
Intended Major: Sports medicine
Falinski plays for the Syracuse Blitz Tsunami team that is currently ranked 67th in the Nation in the U19 age group. Her club team has won the 2008 MAPS/MSSL College Showcase, the Hudson Invitational Tournament Championship, 2010 Albany Empire Championship, and 2011 State Cup Championships. As a part of the Blitz Tsunami, the team was a finalist in the US Club Soccer Region A Championships. Including in her ability to play center back, she can also play midfielder or a winger position. Falinski has very good speed and reads the game very well. She has a great long and dangerous free kick that will create goal-scoring opportunities for the team during set players. While not tall, one of her strengths is locating the ball off corner kicks. The Blitz Tsunami finished second in the New York State Cup in 2011. Her parents are Mark and Barb Falinski and she has a brother, Mark and a sister, Aly. Her father played tennis at Florida State University.
Hometown: Virginia Beach, Va.
Intended Major: Sports medicine
Krause plays for the highly ranked Virginia Rush Nike team of the ECNL League as a forward, winger, and center-midfielder. She is currently the leading goal-scorer for the Rush Nike team. Her club team has won numerous tournaments, including the 2010 Rush Sun Cup and 2009 Disney College Showcase Premier Championship. In the Virginia State Cup, her team finished as a finalist in 2010 and semifinalist in 2009. As a senior at Frank W. Cox High School, Krause was named to the All-Beach District First Team, All-Eastern Region First Team, All-Tidewater First Team, and All-State Honorable Mention. In her senior year, she placed in the Eastern Region for most goals scored. As a junior, she was selected All-Beach District Second Team, All-Eastern Region Second Team, and All-Tidewater Second Team. Krause tied for fourth in the Eastern Region as the goals leader as a junior. The Falcons are the reigning All-Beach District Champion, winning the title in 2009, 2010, and 2011. Her team went on to capture the All-Eastern Regional Championship back-to-back years in 2009 and 2010, while reaching the semi-finals both years in the Virginia State AAA Championship. In 2011, finished as a finalist in the State Championship. Her success on the pitch mirrors her achievements in the classroom as a member of the National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, National Math Honor Society, and the National Latin Honor Society. She decided to attend Canisius over Bryant, East Tennessee State, Longwood, Georgia Southern, and Florida Gulf Coast. Her parents are Cary and Kelley Krause. Her father Cary played football for the US Naval Academy as a strong safety.
Hometown: Amherst, N.Y.
Intended Major: Currently undecided
Kroese is a fast, technical left-outside back, who is versatile with the ability to play as sweeper or forward. An Amherst-native, she plays for the Buffalo Soccer Academy of the ECNL Club League. For the last five seasons, the Buffalo Soccer Academy has been the premier club team in the Western New York region. The team has captured three State Cups in that span, while reaching the 2010 Region-One Championship. The Buffalo Soccer Academy is currently ranked second in Western New York and 41st nationally. Attending Williamsville North, the Spartans has been ranked first in the Western New York polls and third in the State. While she was a part of the team, the Spartans successfully won their District and Regional. As a senior captain, she was named first-team All-State, scoring four goals and adding three assists. In her junior and senior seasons, she was selected to the All-Western New York First Team along with ECIC First-Team All Star honors. As a Spartan, she tallied a combined 32 goals and 22 assists. At this time, Kroese is undecided on her major. Her parents are Mario and Veronica and she has a brother, Anthony, who also attends Canisius.
Hometown: Stratford, Ontario
Intended Major: Business and psychology
McPherson is capable of playing down the middle of the soccer field, as a center-back, center-midfielder or forward. She is projected to play either as a center-midfielder or center-back. The Stratford, Ontario-native is very composed with the ball, has great vision to go along with her quickness, agility, and speed. On defense, she is a great tackler of the ball, playing defense and can get up in the attack on free kicks and corner kicks, as she great threat in the air. McPherson played club soccer for Waterloo United, a level-one team based out of Ontario, Canada. In addition to playing soccer St. Michael's Catholic Secondary, she played basketball and volleyball. She currently intends to study business and psychology. Her parents are Dan and Leah McPherson. Her father Dan, played Division-I Hockey for the University of New Hampshire. She also has two brothers, Grant and Kent, who played hockey at Michigan Tech.