OLLU women’s soccer adds four San Antonio natives to 2020 roster

The women’s soccer team is proud to announce the signing of four incoming freshmen from San Antonio. They will join the team in fall 2020.

Head Coach Arthur Salazar said, “We have been able to attract some very good local talent throughout the program’s history, and this year is no different.”

Ijayla Criswell is a center back from Taft High School. She was awarded First-Team All-District throughout high school and First-Team All-Region during her junior year. Salazar coached Criswell in club soccer and that contributed to her decision to play for OLLU. Her athletic role model is professional tennis player Selena Williams.

Salazar commented, “We are excited to have Ijayla joining the program. She is a solid center defender with a great attitude and work rate. She brings a lot of ability to improve our backline.”

Samantha Benne is a defender and midfielder from Reagan High School. She was the Elite Clubs National League(ECNL) Regional Captain for three years and received the Ian’s Cup scholarship for 2020. She heard about OLLU from club soccer and showcases. Her athletic role model is South Korean professional soccer player Son Heung-min.

Salazar mentioned, “Samantha is a wonderful overall addition to the program. She is a versatile player who we feel will come in and have a strong impact on the program.”

Samantha Nava plays the defender position and will be graduating from Madison High School. While there, Nava was named to Second-Team All-District and made the Academic All-District team. She heard about OLLU from the alumni players on the women’s team she plays with. Her athletic role model is retired NBA player Manu Ginobili.

Salazar said, “Another strong defender we added to the group is Samantha Nava. Sam is coming off a fantastic senior year in high school. She has a tremendous amount of talent that we look forward to having as part of our program.”

Tess Pitcher is a goalkeeper from Churchill High School. She received an honorable mention as goalkeeper in high school and was part of the Academic All-State team twice. She knew about OLLU from being a San Antonio native and has friends who are currently enrolled in the university. Her athletic role model is retired professional soccer player Hope Solo.

Salazar commented, “Tess Pitcher is a goalkeeper who has played at a high level throughout her club career and is no stranger to competition. Her technical ability and competitiveness are some things we look forward to adding to our group of goalkeepers.”