Women's Soccer Adds Four More For 2011

Women's Soccer Adds Four More For 2011

Feb. 10, 2011

Contact: Brian McCann

CLEVELAND, Ohio - A week after signing what head coach Derrek Falor called "the most talented incoming class in program history," the Cleveland State women's soccer team received another boost on Thursday (Feb. 10) when the team announced that four additional players have committed to join the Vikings in the fall.

Joining the Vikings are Emily Cowan (Belmont, Mich.), Ellen Cusma (Twinsburg, Ohio), Sarah Kalain (Seville, Ohio), and Meghan Zidonis (Mentor, Ohio). All four will enter as freshman with four years of eligibility.

"This group represents a big step for our program," Falor said. "As we began building the program, it was hard for us to get as many quality players as are needed to compete well at this level over the course of a whole season. We have often been fighting a thin roster.

"As a result of the really good things we accomplished last fall, we were able to bring in this very solid group of players to add to our initial signing class. These four are better players than some of the starters we had in our first few seasons and we are very excited for them to join us."

Cowan, a forward and midfielder, was an all-district second team selection in 2010 playing for Rockford High.

Cusma, a defender, is a two-time All-Greater Cleveland selection. She was also twice named to the All-Northeast Ohio Conference first team and was the captain of her Twinsburg High team as a senior.

Kalain, a goalkeeper, was named the All-Suburban League Goalkeeper of the Year following her senior season. She helped lead her Cloverleaf High team to three straight conference championships and a No. 9 ranking in the state of Ohio as a junior.

Zidonis, a defender, is a three-time All-Greater Cleveland selection. As a senior she was named to the All-Lake Erie Conference first team and the News-Herald first team and was voted her team's most valuable defensive player.

In addition their accomplishments on the soccer field, each of the signees is also strong in the classroom, as the average GPA of the four players is 3.8.

The group is joining a team that set a school record for wins with a 9-8-2 campaign in 2010. The Vikings also set CSU records in home wins (seven) and goals scored (24).

A biography on each of the four additions follows.

2011 Cleveland State University Women's Soccer Recruiting Class Biographies

Emily Cowan
5-3, Fr., Forward/Midfielder
Belmont, Mich. (Rockford)

"Emily fits the mold of the creative and technical player we are excited to be adding to our roster. Her clean first touch and deceptive dribbling ability makes her a threat whenever she is on the ball. She also has shown a good ability to make the final pass and play a teammate into the final third. That range of skills on the ball will allow her to compete both out wide or up top and immediately provide us with more quality options in our attack."

All-district second team selection at Rockford High...competed at the Super Y National Championships while playing for the Grand Rapids Crew Juniors...selected to play at the Olympic Development Program state pool.

Born December 29, 1992...daughter of Gregory and Julie Cowan.

Ellen Cusma
5-5, Fr., Defender
Twinsburg, Ohio (Twinsburg)

"Ellen is a fierce competitor. Right now her biggest strength is in eliminating the opposition's featured attacker, rising to the challenge of winning that 1-on-1 battle for the length of the game. She is a strong and intense athlete who will really enjoy the increased physicality of the game at our level. Once her decision making adapts to the new speed of play at this level, we are confident that she will have the tools necessary to be another strong piece of an excellent back line."

Two-time All-Greater Cleveland selection...two-time all-conference first team honoree...team captain as a senior.

Born June 4, 1993...daughter of Joe and Tricia Cusma...political science major.

Sarah Kalain
5-8, Fr., Goalkeeper
Seville, Ohio (Cloverleaf)

"Sarah has been a very productive goalkeeper at both the high school and club level for the last few years. At 5'8" she brings a solid and athletic frame that lets her cover her box well and deal with things out of the air when needed. As she continues to improve on her explosiveness and footwork, she is quickly going to find herself using that frame and athleticism even more as she's able to make a wider range of saves. Also, she is very good with her feet at that position, which will allow us to continue to build possession through her by playing around the back."

All-Suburban League Goalkeeper of the Year as a senior...led her Cloverleaf High team to a No. 9 ranking in Ohio and a No. 32 ranking in the country as a junior...helped her team to three consecutive Suburban League titles.

Born August 15, 1993...daughter of Frank and April Kalain.

Meghan Zidonis
5-6, Fr., Defender
Mentor, Ohio (Mentor)

"Meghan's biggest assets as a defender right now are her quickness, ability to anticipate, and her soft first touch. As a central defender with the game in front of her, she is consistently able to analyze the opponent's attack and use her speed to be in the necessary position to make the play and cut off threats. In possession, she is a solid passer and can create space for herself helping us maintain control of the game's tempo. Her skill set and versatility will allow her to challenge for playing time out wide and centrally come August."

Earned first team All-Lake Erie Conference honors as a senior...three-time All Greater Cleveland selection...chosen to the News-Herald first team as a senior...team captain and voted team's most valuable defensive player as a senior.

Born August 24, 1993...daughter of Jeff and Kelley Zidonis...earned the All-Ohio Academic Award as a senior.