Soccer Signs Six New Redbirds
Illinois State head coach Pete Kowall is excited about his teams new additions
Illinois State head coach Pete Kowall is excited about his teams new additions

Feb. 9, 2006

NORMAL, Ill. - Soccer season is seven months away but the time is now for head coach Pete Kowall and the Illinois State women's soccer team. The `Birds have added six players to the 2006 roster: Bree Bast, Shannon Eccleston, Amy Heredia, Danielle Mutters, Raquel Rattray and Ammanda Wisniewski, as each have committed to play for Illinois State in the upcoming season.

After losing three seniors to graduation and three other team members for personal reasons, Kowall was looking for players to fill those voids.

"We were looking for versatility, as well as some kids who could help us score goals," said Kowall. "I think we've done that with this class. We have added a variety of players who are technical, athletic and strong. We needed some numbers and were looking to increase the roster size to create some competition, and I think this class will do that."

During her sophomore campaign at St. Charles North High school, Bast was the leading scorer with 23 goals. As a starting forward, she led her team to a regional and sectional championship. Bast was named to the 2003 Kane County Chronicle all-area first team and was a special mention on the Daily Herald all-area team. Forced to sit out her junior year due to ACL/meniscus surgery, the South Elgin, Ill., native, currently plays club soccer for the Naperville Soccer Association.

"Bree is a Lauren Kahlenbeck (former Illinois State soccer captain) type of player," said Kowall. "She always works hard and will do everything she can to help the team win games. She has good pace and can score goals."

Eccleston, a defender from North Olmsted, Ohio, was a varsity letterwinner at North Olmsted High School from 2003-05. She was named as the team's defensive MVP in 2004 and was named to the Southwest Conference second team in 2004. Her club team, Ohio Premier, was a Region 2 Semi-Finalist in 2004, the 2004 Ohio North State Champions and a state finalist in 2002 and 2003. Eccleston also owns a 4.0 GPA and was named Academic All-Ohio for both soccer and track.

"Shannon also has good pace and plays tactically well for her club team," said Kowall. She is an athletic defender that has good experience that will add to the depth of the back line."

A forward from Cary, Ill., Heredia enjoyed a successful career at Cary Grove High School. During her sophomore year, she received all-conference and all-area honors, and was also selected as her team's Defensive Player of the Year. As a junior, Heredia, who plays club soccer with the FC United, was again named to the all-conference and all-area teams, as well as pulling in all-sectional honors. In 2005, she was also selected to the Great Northwest Girls Soccer Team and earned Daily Herald Player of the Week honors. Her team voted her MVP and she was selected as the 2005 Cary Grove Female Athlete of the Year. In addition to soccer, Heredia also plays basketball at Cary Grove.

"A versatile player, Amy can play any position," said Kowall. "She is quite athletic and good on the ball. She plays basketball, as well, so she is a strong all-around athlete. She is going to help us in many different ways."

Mutters is a member of the ASC United soccer club and her U-17 team was the 2005 state runner-up. Mutters, a native of Darien, Ill., was named to the 2004 and 2005 West Suburban Gold All-Conference team as a midfielder at Hinsdale South High School. During her junior year, she was named to the Daily Herald All-Area team, the Suburban Life All-Area team and was picked as her team's MVP. She was also the West Suburban Gold Conference's leading scorer as a junior. Mutters, a three-sport athlete, also competed on both the indoor track and cross country teams.

"Danielle is a really tough kid," continued Kowall. "She is a hard nosed soccer player who hates to lose. She is technically solid and good in the air. Another versatile player, Danielle can play a couple of different positions for us."

Rattray plays for the Eclipse Premier 87/88 club team as a center midfielder. As a member of the Eclipse, Rattray attended the 2004 Notre Dame Soccer Camp and was named to the camp's all-star team. She did not play high school soccer her junior year as she was rehabbing a knee injury, but as a sophomore at Evanston Township High School, Rattray scored four goals and tallied five assists, while being named to the all-conference and all-sectional teams. Rattray carries a 3.9 GPA and has been on the high honor roll for the past six semesters.

"Raquel has great athleticism," said Kowall. She understands how to play the game and plays at a good club level. She is also a very technical player and another versatile player who will help our team from various spots on the field."

Wisniewski, a 5-6 midfielder was named to the Daily Herald All-Area Second Team and was a North Suburban All-Conference Honorable Mention in 2004. As a sophomore at Mundelein High School, she tabbed six goals and three assists. Wisniewski is also a member of the Eclipse Select 87/88 soccer club, and her U-17 team was named the Celtic Cup U-19 Green Champion in 2004 and 2005.

"Ammanda will help us score goals," said Kowall. She serves a very good ball with both feet and is also good in the air. She will be used both at the midfield and at the forward spot."