Press Box

MARQUETTE, Mich. – Matt Granstrand, the women’s soccer coach at Northern Michigan University, announces the signing of student-athletes to a National Letter of Intent to attend NMU and play soccer for the Wildcats. All the signees will play for the ‘Cats in the fall. The four are Kari Buckel, Ali Ramaeker, Anne Speers and Dana Stephens.
Granstrand coming off a 16-2-0 campaign in 2006 is pleased with his recruiting effort. “We are very pleased with this recruiting class. These four young ladies are all quality individuals as well as exceptional student-athletes,” Granstrand said. “I think we more than adequately addressed our recruiting needs with this group. I expect all four to make an immediate impact on this team.”
Buckel a forward from Traverse City, Mich. and Central High School was a four-time letterwinner and starter. She played club soccer for Northstar ’87. Buckel was selected as the Rookie of the Year after her freshman season. She was named the MVP forward after her sophomore and junior campaigns. Other honors included all-region and second-team all-conference.
“Kari is a fast, aggressive and talented player who will add depth to our front line,” Granstrand said. “She is expected to compete for frontline playing time.”
Ramaeker is a transfer from North Dakota State University where she played one season of soccer at midfield. A native of Menomonie, Wis. she was a four-year starter for Menomonie High School. She was a captain of her high school team and was selected All-Big River Conference three times. In high school, Ramaeker, was a member of the National Honor Society. She played club soccer for the West Wisconsin Dynamo U-19.
“Ali is coming in having played one year at NCAA I NDSU, which has a quality program and is well coached, Granstrand said. “With Ali’s speed and athletic ability, she should make an immediate impact in the middle of the field.”
Speers is a defender from Edmonton, Alberta and St. Francis Xavier Catholic High School. She is ranked academically in the top 10 in her class. Speers played for the St. Francis Xavier Soccer Academy and the Edmonton Drillers U-18 Tier 1 team. She is the captain for the Drillers.
“Anne brings us our third Canadian player to join the Wildcats and just as the first two I expect her to make an immediate impact. Anne has played at a very high level for years and will be playing a central mid-defensive position for us,” Granstrand said. “For us, Anne is just one of those players that have the personality that refuses to lose.”
Stephens is a forward from Wyandotte, Mich. and Riverview Community High School. She is a three-time MVP selection for her team as well as the captain. Stephens has tallied 77 goals and 33 assists after three seasons of high school play. She has earned league MVP honors, all-league, all-district, all-region and all-state honors.    Stephens played club soccer for the Michigan Rush.
“Dana comes with a proven track record of success at the high school level and brings us another fast strong forward,” Granstrand said. “She will help bolster the front line.”
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Prepared By
David Faiella
Sports Information Director