Two high school seniors, both of whom were all-state picks and prolific goal scorers, have signed national letters of intent to play women's soccer at Western Washington University beginning this fall. They are Elise Aylward from Lindbergh High School in Renton and Caitlyn Jobanek from Thurston High School in Springfield, Ore.
"We are excited to add two players of this caliber to an already fantastic returning group of players," WWU head coach Travis Connell said. "We expect them to make an immediate impact as freshmen both on and off the field. These two young ladies are great students, talented soccer players and both have great character. "
Aylward was a second-team Class 2A all-state, first-team Seattle Times Star Times all-Area and Seamount League Player of the Year as a senior at Lindbergh. She had 32 goals, 13 assists and 77 points for the Eagles, helping them to the state playoffs for the first time since 2010 and a tie for the league title.
"Elise is a powerful attacking player who combines speed, strength and skill to overwhelm opponents," said Connell. "She played at a high level for Andy Schmetzer's Crossfire team so we know she is college ready. She has a tremendous work ethic and can score goals."
Jobanek was a first-team Class 6A all-State choice as a senior at Thurston. She played on a state championship team that finished 17-0-1.
In the playoffs, Jobanek assisted on a goal in a 2-0 state title game win over Clackamas and scored the game winner in a 1-0 victory over Grant in the state semifinals.
Jobanek finished her four-year prep career with 52 goals, 42 assists and 146 points, having 11 goals and 12 assists as a senior.
"Caitlyn is a versatile player who can play just about every position on the field," Connell said. "We will use her in an attacking role next year to take advantage of her creative playmaking abilities. She is fast, skilled and dangerous off the dribble."
Last fall, WWU finished with a 19-4-0 record, winning both the Great Northwest Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament titles and reaching the title game at the NCAA Division II Far West Regional.