SPRING ARBOR, Mich. – Incoming Spring Arbor University freshman Bethany Balcer headlines a group of women’s soccer honorees in head coach Jason Crist’s recruiting class for 2015.
Balcer and Hudsonville Unity Christian teammates, and fellow incoming Lady Cougars, Casandra Besteman and Lauren Orr are fresh off a successful defense of their 2014 MHSAA division three state championship, outlasting Detroit Country Day 2-1 in the 2015 title game. The championship was the third for the three SAU recruits and Unity’s ninth in the last 11 years.
Besteman was named Second Team All-State for the Crusaders as a defensive midfielder while Balcer racked up a plethora of recognitions, including First Team All-State plaudits. The 5-foot-9 attacker was also named the Grand Rapids Press Player of the Year and earned a spot on the state of Michigan’s Dream Team, an honor reserved for the top eleven soccer players in the state regardless of the division of their high school. Traditionally, the Dream Team is made up primarily of players from large division one high schools. Balcer notched 40 goals and passed out 16 assists in her senior season.
Cougar recruits were evident all over the All-State lists. Incoming defender Katie Carroll was named Third Team All-State in division three, while 2016 commit Kaley Buck took home First Team honors, also in division three. Incoming goalkeeper Allison Keizer was named First Team All-State in division four after leading her Calvin Christian Squires to their fourth consecutive MHSAA division four state championship.
“We are extremely pleased to be bringing in great players that are also awesome people and terrific ambassadors for Christ and our University,” commented Crist. “We are confident that these young ladies will continue to build on the rich tradition of excellence in our program. These young ladies will help to propel our program forward and will represent Spring Arbor University and the Kingdom on the field, across campus and in the community. I am very excited to work alongside them.”