BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Birmingham-Southern Head Women's Soccer Coach Benji Walton announced on Wednesday that Bethany Kuerten, Nicole Newton, Summer Rhynes and Ansley Tomlin have completed their intent to enroll and play for the Panthers this fall.
This 2013 freshman class is comprised of:
Bethany Kuerten – Defender, Auburn, Ala., Auburn High, Auburn Thunder (Club)
Kuerten plays defender for the Auburn Thunder club team, where she co-captained the 2012 fall season and also runs track for Auburn high school. Kuerten, who is an extremely athletic individual, is just as committed in the class room, planning to major in pre-med. Her academic achievements include the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, the Committee of 25 Junior Civitans and was also a DECA winner in 2011 and 2012.
Walton Says about Kuerten: "Bethany is a versatile player that I think will help us in a variety of roles. She has club experience as a holding midfielder, but with her athleticism I believe we could see her as an outside back or an outside midfielder in her time with us as well as the middle of the field. Like all the ladies in this class she brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm to our program which I believe will become contagious with the rest of the team."
Nicole Newton – Midfielder from Baton Rouge, La., Episcopal High School of Baton Rouge
Nicole Newton comes as a highly decorated player from Episcopal High School in Baton Rouge, La. While playing for the Tigers, Nicole garnered numerous athletic awards. In t 2009-2010, she was named First-Team All- District, First -Team All -Metro, as well as to the All State Freshman team. Her rookie campaign was followed by another quality year in 2010-2011, where she was again named First-Team All-District, First -Team All-Metro, and First-Team All-State. The 2011-2012 year mirrored the same accolades as the previous season, proving that Nicole's talent and dedication to the sport was both consistent and undeniably notable.
Walton Says about Newton: "I think there is one word that defines this class and that is athletic. This will definitely be one of the more athletic classes that we have added in past years. Nicole Newton may be the most athletic of the group. She is another player that is versatile and will be competing for a variety of positions, but I know that wherever she lands with her speed and ability to accurately find crosses and through passes that she will be a contributor in no time.
Summer Rhynes – Defender, Baton Rouge, La., Episcopal High School of Baton Rouge
Summer Rhynes, another transplant from Louisiana, and fellow teammate at Episcopal High School commitment Nicole Newton, comes to the Hilltop as a highly decorated student-athlete. Summer's commitment to being her best is evident with her accomplishments both in the classroom and on the field. An intended Biology major, Summer was named to the Head of School's List from 2010-2013. In 2011, she participated in the District Rally. In the 2012-2013 academic year, she was named to the National Honor Society, the Honors Thesis Program as well as the High School Academic All-American team. Furthermore, she was given the French Merit Award in 2011 and named to her school's Honor Council in 2013. When she is not busy roaming the halls of her high school, she can be found on the soccer team manning the back line.
She was a Louisiana State Olympic Development participant in 2010-2011 and was a two-time All-District selection in 2011 and 2012. Rynes was named All-District Defensive MVP in 2011, All-Metro in 2012 as well as a team captain in 2013.
Walton Says about Rynes: "Adding Summer makes it two years in a row where we have added a solid scrappy defender to the program. She already understands how to defend at the next level. I think the key for her will be understanding how we play our system and with the leadership of assistant Coach Clifford, who works with our defenders, I think she has the potential to anchor our defense in the future."
Ansley Tomlin – Goalkeeper from Franklin, Tenn., Battle Ground Academy, Club: TNFC
Tomlin, a 5'7" goalkeeper, has also signed her intent to enroll and play soccer the next four years on the Hilltop. Tomlin, an intended nursing major, is a highly-touted prospect in the nets. She has excelled both in high school at BGA, of which she was named the 2012 Team Captain, and also on the club level. The Wildcats were Division II Semi-Finalists in 2010 and 2011. While playing for TNFC, she was named the Disney's President's Day Festival Final Four MVP in 2011. Tomlin is a soccer head and has guest-played with numerous teams in Connecticut, Florida and Kentucky in need of a capable net-minder.
Tomlin also dominates in the classroom. An Honor Roll student from 2009-2012, she was the recipient of the John Maher Scholar Athlete of the Month in October, 2012. She was also received the 2011 BGA Mary Bartley Ambassador Award in 2011.
Walton Says about Tomlin: "Ansley, brings immediate competition to the goalkeeper position for us. She is an athletic goal keeper that seems to get stronger when the games are tighter. Along with her shot stopping ability is her eagerness to distribute and start the attack. I think she will surprise many with how well she distributes the ball. We are looking forward to getting her on campus and seeing how quickly she adjusts to the college game."