Women's Soccer Announces First Four Of Incoming Class
March 8, 2011
STOCKTON, Calif. - Head coach Keith Coleman announced the first four additions of the incoming class for his Pacific women's soccer program. Joining Pacific for 2011 campaign are Malaya Cabrera, Maha Abdallah, Megan Mata and Nicole Penick,
Malaya Cabrera, a 5-6 defender/midfielder from Canyon Country, Calif., is a three-time All-League selection earning first team honors her last three seasons at Canyon High School. Under coach Eric White, Cabrera played varsity for four seasons of winter soccer and saw time at every position on the field except goalkeeper, helping the Cowgirls to Foothill League championships in 2008 and 2009. The team MVP, Cabrera earned First Team All-Valley honors as a senior, her third straight year receiving that honor.
"Malaya is a very good athlete," Coleman commented. "She's strong in the air and tenacious when it comes to defending. She's a physical defender but also has the ability to play anywhere on the field. We're excited to welcome her to Pacific."
Maha Abdallah, a 5-9 center defender from Monterrey Park, Calif., was a two year captain and team MVP at Alverno High School, helping her team to four-straight Horizon League championships and the 2009 CIF Title.
She has also been instrumental in one of the Western United States top youth teams climb to success. Under Coach Kristy Walker's tutelage, her Real So Cal team has been one to the regions best over the last three years. In 2008 they won the Far West Regional League Championship and advanced to the CYSA Western Regional finals in Hawaii. After being National Cup semi-finalist in 2009. The team won Southern California National Cup, the CYSA West Regional in New Mexico and progressed to the National final Four in 2010.
"Maha is an exceptional soccer player," Coleman commented. "Her ability to read the game, her strength in the air and her leadership abilities make her an exciting addition to our team. We expect big things from her immediately."
Megan Mata, a 5-3 forward/midfielder from Stockton, has helped St. Mary's to three straight undefeated league seasons in the Tri-City Athletic League (T-CAL), with a 58-5-11 overall record. A three-time First Team All-League selection for coach Mark Kusanovich's Rams, Mata also was named the most valuable attacker of the T-CAL championship as a sophomore and junior, while garnering league-wide MVP honors as a junior.
"We're extremely excited to be adding Megan," Coleman said. "I feel that her attacking flair will add another dimension to our offense. She's a very technical player, who uses her quickness to catch opposing defenders off balance."
Nicole Penick, a 5-3 midfielder/defender, is a native of Saugus, Calif., where she has helped Saugus to three-straight Foothill League Division II Championships. In 2010, Penick earned second team all-league honors. A three-sport athlete, Penick was also a first team all-league cross country runner, as part of two state championship teams. In track & field, Penick has been a part of three Foothill League championship teams and won the CIF championship in 2010.
"Penick is extremely fast, but she is also very skillful. Her combination of speed and skill gives her the potential to make an immediate impact on our program. She's another player who is extremely versatile,"
The quartet is the first of Pacific's 2011 class, which will join 18 returning players for next season, as Pacific losses seven student-athletes to graduation. The Tigers finished the 2010 season at 8-8-3 overall, while facing a schedule that included six games against ranked opponents and eight games against teams which earned NCAA Tournament bids. Pacific's 5-3-0 Big West record earned them a tie for third place in the conference and the program's second conference tournament berth in three years. The Tigers fell to No. 11 UC Irvine, 2-1, in the semifinal.