COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M Soccer freshmen Mikaela Harvey, Stephanie Malherbe and Haley Pounds began classes Monday and have been cleared to participate in the Aggies’ spring practice sessions.
The Texas A&M Soccer team announced the arrival of three early enrollees for the upcoming 2014 season. Mikaela Harvey of Liberty Hill, Stephanie Malherbe of Temecula, Calif., and Haley Pounds of The Woodlands all enrolled and began classes on Monday.
"We are very excited to have these three great student-athletes on our team,” A&M head coach G Guerrieri said. “Each of these young ladies is special and among the most talented players in the USA, and collectively they can help our championship caliber program move toward achieving our lofty team goals in 2014 and beyond.”
"They are all great students and have graduated a semester early from their individual high schools to come in and start training and playing with our team,” Guerrieri added. “That shows just a taste of their focus and dedication, and we can't wait to get out on the soccer field to see them in action with our returning players."
For the past four years Harvey has been a member of U.S. National Teams (U14 – U18). Last season, she was named to the NSCAA Youth Girls All-America team. She was a three year letterwinner at Hendrickson High School where she garnered Academic All-District, Midfield MVP, All-Region Second Team. Harvey played an integral role for the Lonestar Soccer Club for seven seasons which she helped the squad to the ECNL national championship in 2011.
"Mikaela is one of the very best impact players we have witnessed in youth soccer over the past decade,” Guerrieri said. “She is creative, tough, highly skilled, and incredibly motivated to be the very best she can be. She is an imaginative attacking central midfielder with many years of USA Youth National Team experience. She helped her club team win an ECNL National Championship, and has experienced some great coaching under Lonestars SC's Don Cameron and JD Cochran. Our fans are going to love seeing her on the field for the Aggies.”
Malherbe was a three year letterwinner at Great Oak High School in Temecula, California, where she helped lead the squad to Southern Section titles as a sophomore and junior. She was the Southwestern League Player of the Year as a junior and earned all-league honors her sophomore and junior seasons. Malherbe has been a member of the SoCal Blues Soccer Club since 2008 and she has been involved with the CalSouth ODP squad since 2007, helping the squad win regional titles in 2009, ’11 and ’12 and national titles in 2012 and ’13. Last April she participated in the US Youth Soccer ODP National Camp in Chula Vista, California.
"Stephanie is a very technical and creative attacking player that can make an immediate and positive impact on our success,” Guerrieri said. “She is quick and agile on the ball and can probably step in and play in any of our attacking positions/roles. Stephanie has been a wonderful student of the game under the guidance of Coach Larry Draluck and the rest of the So Cal Blues Soccer Club staff, and will fit perfectly into our developmental environment at Texas A&M.”
Pounds participated in U.S. National Team Camp on the U-14, U-15, U-16 and U-18 levels. She led the Challenge ’96 Soccer Club to the State Cup championship in 2008 and ’11. She guided them to a Region III quarterfinal appearance in 2009 and semifinal spot in 2010. Pounds was a three-sport standout at The Woodlands Christian Academy, twice earning first team all-district accolades in basketball, TAPPS 3A All-State Second Team in the triple jump and first-team TAPPS All-District 4-3A in the triple jump, 400 meters, 800 meters and 4x200 meters. Pounds was also a standout in the classroom, earning Academic All-State honors in basketball.
"Haley is a lovely young lady, from a great Aggie family, who just happens to be one of the most exciting players in the United States,” Guerrieri said. “She is an incredible athlete with fantastic pace and range. And, she can play a number of positions at the highest level. Coaches Stuart Self, Pat O'Toole, and the rest of the Challenge SC staff have done a masterful job of helping Haley develop as a player and teammate. I predict that she will quickly become a fan favorite at Ellis Field this fall."
Texas A&M will host a handful of spring contests on yet to be determined dates. The Aggies finished the regular-season ranked No. 8 in the NSCAA Coaches Poll. A&M posted an 18-5-2 record for the year and claimed their first-ever SEC regular-season title with a 9-2-0 league ledger. The Maroon and White appeared in their 19th consecutive NCAA Division I Championship, advanced to the Second Round for the 16th consecutive year and appeared in the Sweet 16 for the 12th time in program history.