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FLC women’s soccer signs a N.M. Player of the Year

’Hawks’ blue-chip recruit (Riley) already is a member of the family

Fort Lewis College women’s soccer head coach Damian Clarke announced his first five signings for his 2013 recruiting class:

Carolyn Archer from Huntington Beach, Calif.

Haleigh Macomb from Cedar Park, Texas.

Ana Moran from Salt Lake City.

Courtney Riley from La Cueva, N.M.

Kirsten Ryan from Mesa Community College.

Clarke, in a news release to The Durango Herald, said he “expects to sign a handful of additional players in the next few days.”

Riley, the younger sister of FLC defender Lauren Riley, was named the Gatorade New Mexico Player of the Year on Thursday, then she signed her national letter of intent to play with her sister and the Skyhawks.

“Courtney is an athlete whose accolades speak for themselves,” Clarke said. “She could very well be the most decorated high school athlete that the program has ever signed. Courtney is a special athlete with a very high ceiling, a kid who can run, likes having the ball and is quite fierce in the tackle. She can play in any position she is asked to.”

Among the younger Riley’s aforementioned accolades, she is the 2012 New Mexico 5A Player of the Year with numerous all-district, all-metro and all-state selections. She’s played all three field positions for La Cueva High School, which won back-to-back state titles in 2011 and 2012 after finishing runner-up in 2010.

Clarke is familiar with Ryan, too.

A forward, Ryan, a Grand Junction High School alumna, played club soccer for Clarke while the latter was at Mesa State (now Colorado Mesa) as an assistant coach.

“She’s very versatile,” Clarke said of Ryan, who led Mesa Community College last season with 12 goals and six assists. “She could play up top, wide or in the center midfield. She’s a very dangerous player who can score with either foot from a variety of areas on the field.”

Archer was a four-year starter at center back and central midfield for Huntington Beach High School. She played club soccer for the Laguna Hills Eclipse and the Irvine Strikers.

“Carolyn is another kid who found us through our summer camp, The Academy,” Clarke said. “She’s our first Elite Club National League commitment from the highest level of club soccer for girls. She’s a very strong and technically gifted central midfield player who is obviously battle-tested.”

Macomb, too, is a four-year starter on defense and in the midfield. She was first team 4A all-state and the District 51-4A Defensive Co-Player of the Year last year. She played club soccer for Lonestars 95G Red and was an all-star at University of Colorado, University of Denver and FLC soccer camps in 2011.

“Haleigh is a hard-nosed defender,” Clarke said. “She’s a kid who has been in and out of the highest level of Lonestar, a very big club in Texas. We expect her to be a very difficult 1-v-1 defender to beat.”

Moran will help on offense. A three-year starter at wing, forward and defense for Highland High School, Moran is a versatile athlete that the Skyhawks’ sixth-year head coach envisions at striker.

“Ane is a big, strong athlete and a target type of forward,” Clarke said of the honor roll student and 2011 Region 4 debate champion. “Academically, she’s absolutely impressive. I think she’s going to fit well into our system, not only with her size and strength but with her intelligence and speed of thought.”

heraldsports@durangoherald.com