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Fort Lewis College women’s soccer brings in five new players

Clarke brings in mix of technical, strong players

The Fort Lewis College women’s soccer team brought in a heap of athleticism, as five players signed National Letters of Intent to play for the Skyhawks. FLC head coach Damian Clarke believes they will bring plenty to an already stacked table.

FLC will look to build upon the 2019 season after it went 7-7-3 and reached the quarterfinals of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference tournament, where the Skyhawks lost to No. 2 seed Colorado School of Mines, 3-0.

Clarke added two forwards, Audrey Swindle and Jordan Rosser, two midfielders in McKenna Ford and Harmony Meier, and a defender in Audra Sumetz.

“I think we’ve added a bunch of athletic kids,” Clarke said. “In general, we landed a group that’s going to help increase our athleticism all the way around, and they’re kids that have been successful in front of goal. Combined with the growth we’ve had in the past season, they can make an impact right away.”

Swindle, a forward out of Las Cruces, New Mexico, signed Wednesday and is a pure goal scorer. She scored 23 times last season and added two assists to help Centennial High School reach the state’s Class 5A state championship game.

“Audrey up top is athletic, powerful and has scored a ton of goals,” Clarke said. “I think she’s going to create a ton of problems for the teams we play against.”

The other forward Clarke brought in was Rosser of Burleson, Texas. She has been on Clarke’s radar since his time at Midwestern State University. When he took the job at FLC for his second stint, he made sure Rosser was still a priority. She scored six goals and added three assists last season in only seven games.

“We’ve known about Jordan since she was at the ID Camp at Midwestern,” Clarke said. “She followed us when I took this job, and she’s another player that is capable of stretching teams out and creating problems. Jordan, along with Audrey and the forwards we already have, it could be a really good problem because of how dangerous they are.”

Ford out of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, and Meier out of Colorado Springs will add depth to the FLC midfield. Clarke is hopeful Ford will turn into a player like Ashley Strader, who was named to the RMAC honorable mention team after a strong freshman season.

“McKenna Ford is a rugged player,” Clarke said. “She’ll run through a brick wall if she has to. She wants to make contact with the defenders. She’s really hard-nosed and has a great worth ethic.”

Meier is the lone Centennial State signee, as she starred for Rampart High School. She played in 17 games last season and helped the Rams reach the Class 5A quarterfinals.

“Harmony Meier is going to be phenomenal,” Clarke said. “She’s super technical, and I think if you’re going to put a player in a certain sense in a role similar to that of Emma Patron. She’s the type of player that is capable of playing all over the pitch. Her ability to get up and down the field will help out Val Maestas, and she’s a box-to-box midfielder. Her parents moved to Brazil for jobs when she was younger, and she grew up in an environment where her technical foundation was really hammered home. She’s another big addition for us.”

Sumetz is a defender out of Phoenix who Clarke believes will challenge the back line right away in the center back position.

“She’s the defensive player of the year for Arizona in Class 6A and is super good on the ball,” Clarke said. “She is left-footed and, in the back, she can give us so much help on the left side more than a right-footed center back might. She’s going to be one of the players who will be competing for a starting spot right away.”

With Fort Lewis’ Identification Camp approaching on Dec. 14, Clarke will be on the lookout for more future Skyhawks.

“I think it’s exciting to get another group of talented kids in here,” Clarke said. “We’re going to have a really strong mix of old and experienced players, but also some young players that will challenge for spots right away. I think the five players are going to be dedicated to the culture we are trying to create.”

bploen@ durangoherald.com

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