Minnesota Soccer Signs Seven in 2018 Class
Feb. 7, 2018

Minnesota Soccer 2018 Spring Roster

The University of Minnesota soccer program announced the signing of seven student-athletes for the 2017-18 season. McKenna Buisman, Patricia Ward, Ana Aguado, Lydia Ruppert, Megan Gray, Alana Dressely and Delaney Stekr will join the program for the upcoming season.

"Our 2018 recruiting class is a solid group of seven awesome young women that will strengthen our depth on both ends of the field, help us maintain high standards in the classroom, and continue to give back to the community. We graduate a really strong class in Sydney Squires, Julianna Gernes, Megan Koenig, Kellie McGahn, Tori Burnett, and Maddie Gaffney, so there is a lot of opportunity for players to compete for bigger roles right off the bat. We expect this group to be ready to compete straight away, and we cannot wait to get rolling. Patricia, McKenna, Lydia, and Ana have already started with us and have represented their class well from the get go!"

Ana Aguado hails from Plymouth, Minn. after graduating Robbinsdale Armstrong High School. Aguado was an All-Conference goalkeeper from 2014-17 in the Northwest Suburban conference. She was named an All-American in 2017 at the All-American game in Celebration, Fla. Aguado was named MVP of her team in both 2014 and 2017, while also being the captain her junior and senior seasons. She finished her high school career with a 41-15-7 record in goal. Aguado was a multisport athlete in high school playing both Lacrosse, in 2015 and 2016, and hockey from 2013-18.

"Ana is a keeper who has a world of potential. She has the size and she expects a lot out of herself. Ana came in behind physically, but that is the benefit of coming early...she has the opportunity to work with Corey to put herself in the best position possible to compete, and it is a process that will take time. So far, we have seen a good level of focus and willingness to create new habits to inch her way forward."



McKenna Buisman is a 2017 winter graduate of Mankato West High School. Buisman was named the Class A Ms. Soccer in 2017, which is given to the best player in a respective class in the state of Minnesota. She was the section player of the year in 2017, and was named an All-American by the United Soccer Coaches Association. She holds her high school’s single season record with 45 points and 18 assists. She holds career records with 123 points, 81 goals, 42 assists and 102 matches played. Buisman played varsity soccer for five seasons, earning a letter each season. She was an All-Conference selection her sophomore, junior and senior seasons, while also being a part of the All-City team from 2014-17.

"McKenna will be a player who will add to our depth up top. She is athletic and competitive, which are two qualities we love, and as an added bonus, she is left-footed. Her work rate on both sides of the ball and willingness to be coached have already stood out and we are excited about what her growth in our program can look like over the next four years."

Alana Dressely will join the Maroon and Gold in the fall after she graduates Hill-Murray, which has also produced current captain Emily Heslin along with 2017 senior, Julianna Gernes. Dressely comes from a long line of soccer family members including a combined 10 family members who have played college soccer currently or in the past, which includes Gophers alumnus Kyndra De St. Aubin who is currently the color commentator for Minnesota United. Dressely is also the niece of Bill Palmer, who was drafted by the Miami Dolphins. Dressely was a four-time letterwinner in soccer while also gathering All-State honors in soccer. She was a three-time All-Conference player, and a part of two Hill-Murray section championship teams and is coming off a conference championship in her senior season. Dressely was also a big part of the Minnesota Thunder Academy team that won the 2015 National Title.

"Alana, whose nickname is Mickey, is a player who will add depth to our backline. Another left-footed player, Mickey is as tough as they come and she is super competitive as well. We are excited to get her here and to start working her into our system and style of play."

Megan Gray joins the Gophers out of Ankeny, Iowa where she graduated from Ankeny Centennial where Gophers softball star Kendyl Lindaman hails from. Gray was a three-sport athlete, running track and field, cross country from 2014-2017 along with soccer. Gray has been committed to her academics in high school, being awarded the Academic Presidential Award from 2014-16, and the Norman E. Borlaug for World Food Prize Iowa Youth in 2015 while also being involved with the National Honor Society from 2016-18. On the field, Gray was a part of the Iowa Rush from 2004-18 and won the State Cup Championship in 2013-14 and 2016-18. They were also the 2017 Fall Midwest Region League Champions in the Premier 1 league. Gray was also a highly successful athlete in Cross Country and track, she was named the 2015 Runner of the Year by the Ankeny Centennial Cross Country team and qualifying for the Drake relays three times in high school.

"Megan is an athletic player who has a lot of versatility to where she could help us on the field. We are initially going to look at her as an outside back, but I wouldn't be shocked if she ends up moving further up the field. She is good on the ball, extremely mobile with a deep fitness base, and she is another natural competitor. Megan will fit right into our culture."

Lydia Ruppert is a 2017 graduate of Minneapolis Washburn High School. She was a four-time letterwinner in soccer, and lettered in track and field in 2015. Ruppert was a part of the All-Conference team from 2014-2017 in the Minneapolis City Conference, and named to the All-Section team from 2015-17. Ruppert broke out in 2017, earning All-State honors. She played with the Minneapolis United Soccer Club for a decade, starting in 2008. She was a part of four state champion teams, which include 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017. Ruppert’s Godmother, Jean Freeman, was the Minnesota swimming coach from 1973-2004 and is planning to major in Architecture.

"Lydia is one of the most coachable athletes I've been around, and she is a team-first student-athlete. She has a good technical base and a willingness to play whatever role the team needs on any given day. She will add to our depth in our forward line. We are excited she is already on campus with us and she has a great attitude and willingness to grow."

Delaney Stekr joins the University of Minnesota from Omaha, Nebraska. She will be a 2018 graduate of Marian High School where she was a part of the National Honors Society. She also was a part of the Spanish, Science, Journalism and History National Honor Societies. Stekr was named to an All-State team in 2016, and helped her team win two state championships her sophomore and junior seasons. Stekr has seen other soccer success as well, winning four state championships with her club team, Elite Girls Academy where they won the 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017 championships.

"Delaney is a fierce competitor who will play in our backline, whether it be as a center back or an outside back. She is left footed and connects well over distance, a hard-nosed 1v1 defender, strong in the air, and she can cover a lot of ground. We are excited to get her here and worked into our system and style of play."

Patricia Ward hails from Newport News, Virginia and is a product of Warwick High School. Ward was a two sport athlete and was a letterwinner in both indoor track and field and soccer all four years of high school. Ward collected All-State honors in 2016 and 2017 and earned her team’s Offensive MVP in 2017. Ward was named Top Drawer Soccer’s No. 25 ranked player in the Mid-Atlantic Region in 2017. During her high school career, her team finished with a 30-13-2 overall record. Ward also was a standout on the track, being named the Indoor Track Rookie of the Year in 2014-15. Ward also was a member of the National Honor Society throughout her high school career. Ward’s family is also full of athletes. Her mother, Debroah, ran Track and Field at James Madison University from 1985-87. Her uncle Steve was a basketball player at Elon College from 1989-93 while her brother, William, played baseball at Chowan University from 2009-13.

"Patricia is a talented athlete who has a tremendous amount of potential. She is an incredibly dangerous wide forward who has the pace to get behind opponents' back lines and on the other side of the ball will put them under an incredible amount of pressure. She is very competitive and holds herself to a very high standard, and her work rate and willingness to be coached have already stood out in these first few weeks on campus. Patricia has also played as an outside back, so there is that possibility should we need to make some adjustments!"


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