Field Hockey Announces Seven Signees to National Letters of Intent
March 6, 2008
University Park, Pa. - Penn State head field hockey coach Charlene Morett today announced the signings of seven student-athletes to national letters of intent to attend Penn State and play on the field hockey team. Hannah Allison of Mifflinburg, Pa., Ayla Halus of Hershey, Pa., Jessica Longstreth of Richboro, Pa., Casey McCartin of Horsham, Pa.,, Kristen Schaefer of Millersville, Pa.,, Alex Schlener of Bethlehem, Pa., and Arielle Spadea of Canton, Mass. will all join the defending national runner-up Nittany Lion field hockey program beginning next fall. Four of the eight signees come from high schools that also produced current members of the Nittany Lion field hockey squad.
"We are very excited to introduce our incoming freshmen class for next season," said Morett. "They are a very talented and versatile group of young women. We have added depth to every position from the goalkeeper to the forward line. We look forward to this class contributing to the success of our 2008 season."
Allison currently attends Mifflinburg High School in Mifflinburg, Pa., where she helped lead her team to a 24-3 record, a runner-up finish in the district and a state championships this past year while scoring 20 goals and recording 19 assists. In her four-year career on the varsity squad, Mifflinburg went 76-14-1 and she recorded 47 goals and 51 assists. The team also was co-champions of its league during her junior year. A three-sport athlete in high school, Hannah is also been a member of the basketball and softball teams and is a career 1,000 point scorer in basketball and also led the softball team in home runs and batting average last year. A midfielder/forward, she is the daughter of John and Noreen Allison and has three older siblings. Her older sister, Rachael, played collegiate field hockey at Division III Messiah College and is currently an assistant coach at Robert Morris.
"Hannah played a significant role in leading her high school field hockey team to a state championship this past fall," Morett explained. "She has a strong shot and creative stick skills which give her the versatility to play either in the midfield or on the forward line. Hannah is unique in that she continues to play three sports year round. That in itself speaks highly of her athletic ability."
Halus is a goalkeeper out of Hershey High School in Hershey, Pa., where she is coached by Tami Scola, the mother of current Nittany Lion senior-to-be Allison Scola, who also attended Hershey High. She is a veteran of the Penn State field hockey camps for the last four years and will add depth to the goalkeeper position on the Nittany Lions, where as of right now, it is scheduled to be a crowded position with redshirt senior-to-be Jen Beaumont and sophomore Ali Meves in addition to Halus. Also a member of the basketball and lacrosse teams at Hershey, she played her club field hockey on the East Coast Lightning. She is the daughter of Eugene and Joanne Halus.
"We have had the opportunity to see Ayla develop over the years at our camps. She continues to improve her kicking skills and decision making abilities," complimented Morett. "(Goalkeepers coach) Annie Zinkavich and our staff have been impressed with her coachability and her athleticism in the cage. We look forward to Ayla providing depth to our goalkeeping core."
Longstreth will come to Penn State from Council Rock North High School in Newtown, Pa., the same high school as current Nittany Lions Bethany Marvel and Gina Bartolacci. She is a two-time first team All-State selection and as a senior was named the Suburban One Player of the Year and the Bucks County Courier Times Player of the Year. She helped lead the team to a 20-4-1 record, a second place finish in the district and to the state quarterfinals as a senior. She is also a three-time first team All-League selection and is a member of the USA Field Hockey Futures Elite program. A midfielder/forward in field hockey, she is also a member of the lacrosse team and helped that team to league championships in each of the last two seasons and was also a state medalist as a part of the 4x200 indoor relay team while running on the indoor track team. The daughter of Earl and Kim Longstreth, she has an older brother and a younger brother.
"Jessie will certainly add speed and quickness to our forward and midfield lines," said Morett. "She will be an asset to our transition game from the midfield. On the attack she has great speed and skill with the ball and is therefore able to put the ball in opportune scoring positions."
McCartin will come to Penn State from Hatboro-Horsham High School, the same high school as current Nittany Lion Jenny Purvis. She has been a four-year starter on the varsity team and a four-year All-Conference selection as well. As both a sophomore and a junior, she helped lead the team to Suburban One League championships. She is also a two-time All-State selection, as both a junior and senior and in those same years was also an All-Intelligencer Team selection. A midfielder/back, she has been a four-year member of the USA Field Hockey National Futures program and as a senior was voted Hatboro-Horsham High School's Most Athletic Female for 2008. She has also been a member of the lacrosse team and helped lead the lacrosse team to a pair of league championships and has been a three-year All-Conference pick as well. The daughter of Thomas and Megan McCartin, she also has a younger sister.
"Casey shows tremendous poise and game sense when playing the ball. She has a keen sense of the game and does a nice job of setting up the play from the backfield," complimented Morett. "Her anticipation on defense is one of her strongest skills when shutting down opposing attackers."
Schaefer currently attends Penn Manor High School, the same high school as current Nittany Lion Britney Long and assistant coach Lisa Bervinchak-Love. This past season, she helped lead her team to a 26-4 record while scoring 13 goals and dishing out 14 assists. The team won the LL League and district championships and was the state runner-up. As a junior she helped lead the team to a 21-5-2 record. She is a three-time LL League All-Star and a two-time All-State selection. A member of the basketball team for one year as well as the track and field team for the last three years, Kristen will be primarily a back at Penn State. She is the daughter of David and Kim Schaefer and has an older sister, Lauren, who plays field hockey at Louisville.
"Kristen is a pure back who possesses very strong defensive skills," Morett explained. "She has exceptional timing on her tackles and can then quickly outlet the ball up the field. Kristen will also be a very good attacking back due to the strength of her passing skills."
Schlener hails from Liberty High School in Bethlehem, Pa., where she was a first team All-Conference selection and first team All-Northampton Division as a senior and was named to the All-Area team by both the Morning Call and Express Times. A two-time team MVP, she was the second highest scorer in the Northampton Division as a junior and was also a second team All-Northampton Division pick. A back in field hockey, she is also a member of the soccer team, which is a spring sport in the Lehigh Valley, and has been the leading scorer on her team for the past two years in soccer and is already a two-time All-Conference selection. Her parents, Mike and Beth Schlener, are both former student-athletes. Her father played baseball at Maryland while her mother attended Penn State and competed in synchronized swimming in the mid 1970s. She also has two sisters, one older and one younger.
"Alex really showed a great deal of potential when we first saw her this past year at our Elite Camp. She was equally impressive at the Keystone Games this summer," Morett commented. "She has a tremendous competitive spirit and works hard off the ball to support her teammates. We see her as having the ability to play a strong back position for us."
The lone member of the class not from Pennsylvania, Spadea hails from Canton High School in Canton, Mass., where she played on a pair of undefeated state championships teams as a freshman and as a junior. In her junior year, she scored 29 points and recorded 15 assists to lead both the team and the league in points and scored both goals in the state championship game as the team went 21-0-2. She was a two-time League All-Star. As a senior, she played in just three games, recording four goals and three assists before her season was cut short by a broke thumb. A forward in field hockey, she has served as the starting goalie since her freshman year on the ice hockey team and she also played two years of softball. The daughter of Joe and Dee Spadea, she also has an older brother.
"Arielle has incredible finishing skills around the cage. She really does a nice job of maintaining her poise to score goals," said Morett. "It's quite ironic because she also plays goalie for her high school ice hockey team. We look forward to her having a presence on the forward line."