Waves soccer signs seven for 2018 class

March 12, 2018

MALIBU, Calif. – Pepperdine women’s soccer coach Tim Ward introduced the newest generation of Waves who will aim to lead the program to future seasons of success, naming the seven recruits that recently signed national letters of intent.

Kinsey Ehmann (Paradise Valley, Ariz.), Brittany Harriman (Naperville, Ill.), Nicolette Lewis (Granite Bay, Calif.), Leyla McFarland (Chula Vista, Calif.), Isabel “Izzy” Nelson (Houston, Texas), Olivia Packer (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Trinity Watson (Ocean Beach, Calif.) will enroll at Pepperdine this fall as freshmen.

“We’re truly excited about the incoming group of recruits for the class of 2018,” Ward said. “Each one possesses qualities that will help and complement the team we already have in place. All of them are wonderful students and phenomenal people that we feel will continue to represent this amazing University both on and off the soccer field.”

Following is information about each of the seven recruits:

Kinsey Ehmann, goalkeeper (Paradise Valley, Ariz./Xavier College Prep/Del Sol Development Academy)

Four-year varsity starter at Xavier College Prep and a three-time all-state selection … Won 6A state titles in 2017 and 2018 (didn’t allow a goal in four state tournament games this year) … A Wendy’s Arizona state Heisman award winner in 2017 for excellence in athletics/academics/leadership … All-state in track at Xavier College Prep as well … Starting goalkeeper for Del Sol Development Academy 00/99 team … Undefeated as a starter during the fall 2017 Southwest Region season … Played with Massachusetts’ ODP team in 2013-14.

Chose to attend Pepperdine because “of the great athletics and academics and the amazing community and spirit present throughout the campus. Once I visited Pepperdine and met the team and coaching staff, I knew I was meant to be a Wave.”

Tim Ward says: “Kinsey is an excellent goalkeeper and a very high-end athlete. She is coming in with all of the natural tooks to be an excellent goalkeeper at this level, though she will have to compete with the returning talent that we have. When we mentioned that to her in the recruiting process, she humbly replied that she’s had to do that her whole life. She is the business of excelling and one only needs to look at her academic prowess to see that she most definitely ascends to the highest level in all that she pursues.”

Brittany Harriman, forward (Naperville, Ill./Naperville Central HS/Chicago International SC)

Focused on club soccer instead of high school … Team captain for the past seven years with Chicago Inter … Illinois State cup semifinalists in 2016 and 2017 … Led team to 2013-18 Midwest Regional League Championships.

Chose to attend Pepperdine because “the environment the coaches create is so encouraging and positive. Pepperdine has everything I am looking for: a strong soccer program, great academics and a community where I can grow in my faith. The moment I stepped on campus, it immediately felt like home and I knew no other school could compare.”

Tim Ward says: “Brittany is our first true Chicago-area recruit. We first saw her an ID clinic a few years ago and were immediately impressed with her athleticism and nose for goal. Since that time, she has continued to impress in front of the net and is a consistent goal scorer for her club team. An injury slowed her down about a year ago, but we feel she’s done a fantastic job progressing, patiently and intelligently, to get back to her top level. She is a wonderful human being and a remarkable student.”

Nicolette Lewis, defender/midfielder (Granite Bay, Calif./Granite Bay HS/Placer United SC)

An all-league selection at Granite Bay High … Played on Premier league travel/PDP teams for the NorCal Region in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015 … Was on the 2014/15 NorCal ODP ’99 travel team … Made the All-Tournament team at the 2016 ODP Region IV Championships.

Chose to attend Pepperdine because “not only did Pepperdine feel like home when I visited, but also the coaches made feel like I will 100 percent be able to become the best version of a soccer player and person while attending the university.

Tim Ward says: “Nicolette was the first to verbally commit from this class of 2018 and we will be excited to see her grow in our care. She brings a versatility in that she can play both in the center of midfield and in the back row. She is a good passer of the ball and a solid athlete that we believe, in time, can grow into a highly skilled central operator in the Waves’ midfield. She is a very good student and teammate with a wonderful energy.”

Leyla McFarland, forward (Chula Vista, Calif./Eastlake HS/San Diego Surf SC)

A member of the Northern Ireland U-19 National Team … As a junior at Eastlake High, won a CIF championship while also earning All-San Diego Section first team honors and Metro Mesa League Player of the Year status … Won a 2013 national championship with San Diego Surf and was a finalist in the ECNL in 2014.

Chose Pepperdine because “I can’t imagine going anywhere else. The first time I visited Pepperdine, I was filled with undeniable happiness. I’m so excited to get started.”

Tim Ward says: “Leyla has many athletic gifts, but she excels in terms of her mobility, versatility and ability around the goal. Having a track background, Leyla can often be seen running by people all game long. She is a highly versatile player who could literally play on any line for the Waves next fall. We feel she has a tremendous future in our program. She is a very strong student and radiates a joyful energy to all that meet her.”

Isabel “Izzy” Nelson, defender/forward (Houston, Texas/The Kinkaid School/Albion Hurricanes FC)

Scored 32 goals with eight assists for The Kinkaid School in 2016-17 and earned All-South Zone and All-SPC honors … A defender for Albion Hurricanes FC who earned both the MVP award chosen by coaches and Player’s Player Award chosen by teammates in 2017 … Played in the U-17 ECNL Champions League in 2017.

Chose Pepperdine because “I wanted a small school with a great soccer program, along with great academics. I love the coaches and the program’s mission. I believe Pepperdine is a place where I will excel as a student, develop as a soccer player and grow as a person.”

Tim Ward says: “Isabel is one of a growing number of Texas prospects that have landed here in Malibu. She will look to add quality to our back line next fall, as she is a highly athletic and versatile defender. She has the leadership qualities that we think will serve her and our team very well over the course of the next four years. She is also a very good goal scorer and is often moved forward from her central back position in matches where her team might need a goal. We are very excited about her not only as a soccer player, but as a student and as a citizen.”

Olivia Packer, forward (Las Vegas, Nev., Palo Verde HS/Heat FC)

Scored 30 goals as a senior and was named to the 2017 all-state first team and the Northwest League Offensive Player of the Year … Invited to the ECNL Nike National ID camp in 206, and the ECNL PDP in 2016 and 2017 … A three-time state champion with Heat FC … Played on Nevada’s ODP team in 2012 and 2013.

Chose to attend Pepperdine because “I fell in love with the campus the moment I stepped onto it. The campus is beautiful, but the main factor that influenced my decision was the family atmosphere that it brings. The coaches are very welcoming and I love their philosophy of developing women of character. They have a strong soccer program that always competes at the highest level and they always spread positive energy on and off the field.”

Tim Ward says: “Following Calista Reyes last year, we are excited about the arrival of another Las Vegas attacker in Olivia. She has a determination and power around the goal that is really something to admire. She is a strong and tenacious left winger. She has proven herself to be an authentic match-winner over the last couple of ECNL seasons as we’ve seen her grind out goals on a regular basis. Like the rest of her classmates, she is an excellent student and a wonderful human being.”

Trinity Watson, forward (Ocean Beach, Calif./Point Loma HS/San Diego Surf SC)

A member of the U-14 and U-16 Girls’ National Team from 2013-16 … Only played high school soccer as a sophomore … Played a year up in three of her four seasons with the San Diego Surf … Won a U-15 ECNL national championship in 2014, and took third place in 2016 and second place in 2017 … Member of ODP teams from 2013-16, and won Region V championships in 2014 and 2016.

Chose Pepperdine because “I really connected with the coaches more than any other school I visited and it was the only school that truly felt like home.”

Tim Ward says: “Trinity is an amazing young woman. Her journey has not been an easy one as her career took a detour from the U.S. National Team system as she has recovered from a knee injury suffered over a year ago. Nevertheless, she has come back super strong, and she possesses magical attacking qualities. She is a match-winner in terms of her attacking abilities, and she also has the versatility to play multiple positions for the Waves. Most importantly, she possesses a determination and grit that will serve her well within our program and in life. She is wonderful teammate and a fantastic student.”

This past fall, the Waves enjoyed one of their best seasons in program history, finishing with a #16 national ranking, a 15-3-3 overall record and a West Coast Conference title.



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