Summer Lanter, Kinsey Cichowitz, Haley Gribler and Kaela Leskovar will all suit up for the Maroon and White next season.
“With the loss of several key players and starters I felt it was very important for us to bring in a good class for this coming fall,” said coach Yelton, whose teams won four of the last five NAIA National Championships. “Not only do I feel like we accomplished that goal, I believe we brought in not just a good class, but a great class.”
If the name Lanter sounds familiar it is because it is not a new one to the Lee soccer program. Summer Lanter will join the Lady Flames in the fall after an outstanding club and high school career. The dynamic forward from Soddy Daisy has been a two-time member of the Tennessee State ODP pool and in 2011 was a member of the ODP Region III player pool.
Playing with FC Alliance out of Knoxville, she led her team to the 2011 Tennessee State Championships and a spot in the Region Playoffs. Additionally, Lanter scored nine goals in four games this past January in the teams championship performance at the prestigious Disney Showcase.
Making an equally, if not more, impressive impact on her high school team, Soddy Daisy advanced deeper in the state tournament at any point in history in 2011 in reaching the semi-finals, and qualified for the state tournament three times in Lanter’s career.
For her efforts she was named Tennessee All-State for three years, named the District MVP three times, along with her teams Best Offensive and MVP honors multiple times. In addition, Lanter was named the Chattanooga Times Free Press Area Player of the Year for 2011, and in 2012-2013 she was named as the Tennessee Gatorade High School Player of the Year. In addition to her impressive soccer skills, Lanter has maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA and is a member of Beta Club and the National Honor Society.
“In my opinion we signed the best player coming out of the state of Tennessee this year. Summer is a player who absolutely strikes fear into her opponents. She is fast, aggressive, and has no trouble putting the ball in the back of the net. She will be a great addition to our program and with her work rate and desire I believe that her best soccer is still in front of her,” declared coach Yelton.
“Summer is lightning fast and finishes at speed with either foot. If anyone loses the ball, she runs it down immediately. The problem she poses, as a coach, is she gets the ball and [her teammates] sometimes stop and watch,” commented Josh Gray, Director of Coaching for FC Alliance.
Cichowitz is a 5-foot-6 center midfielder from Buena Vista, Colo. She is a member of the three time state champion Pride Predator 96 out of Colorado Springs. In addition, her club team were finalist at the 2011 Disney Showcase and were semi-finalist at this past year’s Las Vegas Showcase. She has twice been named to the Colorado State ODP Pool, once in 2007 and again in 2011, and attended Region Camp in 2011. Cichowitz is no stranger to leadership roles either as she has captained every team she has been a part of since 2010.
Cichowitz has also excelled in the classroom having earned Honor Roll, Optimist Award, and National Honor Society recognition, along with being named class president in her sophomore year. An all around athlete, she also plays basketball and runs cross-country. In recognition of her success, she has been named the Female Athlete of the Year in both her sophomore and junior year at Bunea Vista High School.
“Kinsey is a very gifted player who we are thrilled made the decision to come to Lee. She is a box-to-box type player who can do all the key jobs of a quality central player. In addition, she is an extremely hard worker who always gives her best effort to allow her team to have an opportunity to be successful,” commented coach Yelton.
“Kinsey is a player with great character, commitment and enthusiasm for the game. A technically gifted and versatile player who is capable of playing in many positions. As a central midfield player Kinsey shows great composure under pressure, has great range to her passing and is a goal scoring threat from outside the box or when breaking ahead of the forwards. Kinsey is tireless in her defensive efforts for her team and is excellent in the air,” assessed Sian Hudson, Director of Coaching Pride Soccer Club.
Gribler is a 5-foot-8 goalkeeper out of Springboro, Ohio. She is the latest of many players to join the Lady Flames from the Buckeye state. Over the course of the last several seasons she has established herself as one of the top goalkeepers in United States. In 2009 she took part in the U14 National ID Camp, and was a member of the ODP Region II team from 2009-2011 and competed with the team as part of tours to Costa Rica and Europe. In addition she has been an integral part of her high school team at Springboro and helped lead them to the District Finals in 2010 and the Greater Western Ohio Conference Championship in 2012. Along the way she was named as a two time All-State player and her team’s MVP to go along with a host of other conference and regional awards
Gribler also excels in the classroom and was a four-year recipient of the Scholar Athlete Award. She is also a member of Cincinnati United Premier, where her team finished as the Ohio South State Runner Up this past year.
“Haley will be the latest in a long line of outstanding goalkeepers that we have had at Lee over the last several years, but could very well end up being the best goalkeeper to ever play for our program. She has a great presence in the box, is tough to beat in the 1v1 and makes it very tough on opposing teams to score. In addition, she has great skill with her feet and helps her team keep possession with the ability to pass and play through her out of the back,” remarked coach Yelton
"Haley's willingness to do whatever is needed to make her team and herself better each and every day is a testament to her character and an unbelievable asset to any program. She has been one of the most talented and dedicated players I have ever had the pleasure of coaching. Players like her just don't come around that often," related Eric Detmer, head coach at Springboro High School.
Leskovar is the final member of the 2013 class out of Plainfield, Ill. She has played successfully for Team Chicago Santos and led the team to back-to-back Disney Showcase Championships in 2012 and 2013. Additonally, she helped the team to a Region II MRL Championship this past season and in 2008 she made the Illinois State ODP Team.
During her time as a member of the Team Chicago Program she has captained the team for all five seasons. She has also made a big impact on her Plainfield North High School team helping the two straight Conference Championships.
Leskovar is an accomplished student as well as a member of the National Honor Society and has been named to High Honor Roll all four years of high school. She was recently named a Presidential Scholar at Lee University.
“Kaela is another outstanding addition to our program. She can play in multiple roles and has the vision and creativity that I think will make a big impact on our program right away. What I really appreciate about Kaela is her determination to succeed. She has a real desire to win and you can see the effort that she puts into everything that she does,” expressed coach Yelton
"Kaela Leskovar has been a true leader both on and off the field for Team Chicago Academy-Santos over my four years with the team. She has been our leading scorer in each of the four years, and she has served as co-captain as well. Kaela has a tremendous work ethic on the field. She is great with her back to goal, ambidextrous, and she has a real knack for being in the right spot at the right time to score goals. I am convinced that Kaela will have a tremendous impact on the storied Lee University women's soccer program,” according to Phil Nielsen, Director of Coach – Team Chicago.