HUNTSVILLE – Sam Houston State soccer welcomed eight players on national signing day, backing the program’s three mid-year transfers, head coach Tom Brown announced on Wednesday.

The class included four defenders (Ellie Chapple, Daisy Ervin, Baylee Ford and Riley Pfannenstiel), two midfielders (Courtney Pawlik, Mackenzie Smith), one forward (Sammi Mayock) and one midfielder/defender (Riley Kaderli).

“I feel that this is a very strong recruiting class that will impact our team for the next four years,” Brown said. “We struggle in defense last season and this recruiting class who has several players who can help us improve in this area.”

One season after advancing to the Southland Conference championship game, propelled by a 10-win season, the Bearkats look to respond following a challenging 2016 campaign. According to Brown, the 2017 class will be a key part in that answer.

“We were disappointed with how last season went for us,” Brown said. “I think that this recruiting class can help make us better.  Our returners are really focused on changing things in our program and are excited about this recruiting class will help us do that.”

The class features a strong presence of players from the Lone Star State. Six of the eight signees hails from Texas while Ervin and Chapple come to Huntsville from Phoenix, Ariz., and Broken Arrow, Okla., respectively.

Ellie Chapple – Broken Arrow, OK – Defender
Ellie Chapple

Bishop Kelley High School (Tulsa, OK) – Coach Troy Tokarchik
• 4 year varsity player (currently in senior season)
• 3 time all-district honoree
• Team captain for 3 years (sophomore – senior years)
• Freshman year was selected as Newcomer of the Year for the team
• Sophomore and junior years was selected the Team MVP and led the team in assists.
• Selected to the Tulsa All-Metro Team in sophomore and junior year
• Academic Team State Champions – sophomore and junior year
• Selected Academic All Frontier Conference  - selected sophomore and junior year
• Club Soccer – TSC Hurricane – Coaches Donivan Bradshaw, Kerry Shubert and Jesse Williams
• Won the Texas Conference (undefeated) and finished ninth in the nation in ECNL in her junior year.
• Member of Spanish Club and Campus Ministry.  Honor Roll all 4 years.
• Intends to major in Business Administration and minor in Spanish.

“I decided to go to Sam Houston State because I fell in love with the campus and the energy of the soccer girls.” -- Ellie Chapple

• Parents – Dr. James and Suzette Chapple

“We are really excited about Ellie joining our team for next year.  She is a terrific wide defender and is very good at attacking from deep positions.” -- Tom Brown

Daisy Ervin – Phoenix, AZ – Midfielder/Forward
Daisy Ervin

Pinnacle High School (Phoenix, AZ) – Coaches Suzanne Kirchner and Joe Kiefer
• 3 year varsity player
• D1 High School All-Section 2nd Team
• Varsity soccer “Coaches Award
 2015-16 team finished 5th in playoffs
• Club Soccer – SC Del Sol 98 and 99 ECNL – Coaches Mat Evans, Ally Maxwell and Les Armstrong
• Member of the Interact Club (community service) and Junior Purple Society Club (educates students about childhood cancer).
• Intends to major in nursing.

“I chose to come to Sam Houston State University because I wanted the opportunity to play the game I love at a D1 level while majoring in nursing.  After meeting the friendly coaches and team, I knew it was meant to be.” -- Daisy Ervin

• Parent – Christina Ervin

"Daisy brings in some great experience and has been involved with one of the best youth soccer clubs in the country.  She is a tough competitor who will help us re-establish our tough defending.” -- Tom Brown

Baylee Ford – Georgetown, TX – Defender
Baylee Ford

Georgetown High School – Coach Sam McCutchen

• 3 year varsity player (not playing senior year)
• 3 time 1st Team All-District and Academic All-District
• 3 time team Defensive MVP
• Junior year was a team captain and leading scorer with 11 goals
• Made it to the 3rd round of playoffs all three years
• Club Soccer – Lonestar 99 ECNL Team – Coach Sophia Mundy
• Played in the 2015 National Championship game
• Serves as an assistant coach for the Junior Academy Teams
•  Intends to major in Political Science/Law

“As soon as I walked on campus, Sam Houston felt like home!” -- Baylee Ford

• Parents – Bryan and Shannon Ford

Baylee is a good defender who is strong in the air.  She has the ability to get forward and score from free kicks.” -- Tom Brown

Sammi Mayock – Round Rock, TX – Forward
Sammi Mayock

Round Rock High School – Coach Jonathan Spradley

• 4 year varsity starter
• 1st Team All-District Forward in 2014, 2nd Team All-District Midfielder in 2015, Offensive MVP in 2016.  Academic All-District all three years.
• District Champion and Regional Semi-finalist in 2014, 3rd round of playoffs in 2016
• Club Soccer – Lonestar 99 ECNL Team – Coach Sophia Mundy
• Played in 2015 National Championship Game, 2nd leading scorer on the team
• Round Rock High School Academic Excellence Award 2014-2016
• Intends to major in Criminal Justice

“The first time I stepped on campus, Sam Houston State University felt like home!  Coach Tom Brown and all of the players made me feel like I was a part of the Bearkat family from the very beginning.  The atmosphere on campus is what I always imagined my college experience would be like.”  -- Sammi Mayock

• Parents – Rick and Courtney Mayock

“Sammi is a deadly finisher in and around the box.  She can play more as a target player and that brings a different type of player into our team.” -- Tom Brown

Riley Kaderli – Spring, TX – Midfielder/Defender
Riley Kaderli

Klein High School (Klein, TX) – Coach Adrian Ramirez
• 4 year varsity player
• 3 time 1st Team All-District and Team Captain in 2017
• District Champions in 2015 and 2016, Regional Semi-Finalist in 2016
• Club Soccer – Challenge Soccer 99 ECNL – Coach Chris Maravalli
• Member of National Honor Society and BEST buddy club
• Intends to major in Special Education.

“When I first visited Sam Houston, everything about it caught my attention.  I loved the coaches, team and of course the school and campus itself.  It was also one of the best schools for my major which is special education.” -- Riley Caderli

• Parents – Mark and Shannon Kaderli

“Riley is a strong competitor that can help us in the midfield and in defense.  She is good on the ball but also good at ball winning at the back of the midfield.” -- Tom Brown

Courtney Pawlik – Missouri City, TX – Midfielder
Courtney Pawlik

Ridge Point High School (Missouri City, TX) – Coach Evelyn Torres

• 4 year varsity player
• 3 time 1st Team All-District and Academic All-District, 2nd Team All-Region in 2015 and 1st Team All-Region in 2016
• Preseason All Greater Houston and Top Vype Soccer Player Nominee in 2017
• District Champions in 2015 and 2016
• Club Soccer – Challenge Soccer 99 ECNL – Coach Chris Maravalli
• Member of YES Hours, National Honor Society, PALS, Kick Off Mentor and Spanish Honor Society
• Intends to major in Business

“I decided to go to Sam Houston because the campus made me feel at home and the soccer program was a perfect fit for me.” -- Courtney Pawlik

• Parents – Wayne and Melanie Pawlik

"She is a great all-around player that can dominate on both the attacking and defending part of the game.  Courtney will be able to help develop our attack and destroy the other team’s attempts to attack us.” -- Tom Brown

Riley Pfannenstiel – Round Rock, TX – Defender
Riley Pfannenstiel

Hendrickson High School (Pflugerville, TX) – Coach Rennie Rebe
• 4 year varsity player
• Regional finalist in 2015, undefeated District Champions and Area Qualifiers in 2016
• Club Soccer – Austin Texans 99G Red – Coaches Sergio Rapuano and JD Cochran
• US Club Texas Champions League Champions and 2nd place in USYS National League
• Hawk Pride Award 2015 in Geometry
• Undecided on major

"The reason I chose Sam Houston State was that from my first college visit there, I fell in love with the school.  The atmosphere on Campus has such a community/home-like feel, as well as having a variety of majors to choose between.  Since I am also going to Sam Houston for soccer, I loved the girls, the coaching staff and the style of play.  I feel like Sam Houston will challenge me in both academics and the competitive NCAA Division 1 soccer program.” -- Riley Pfannenstiel

• Parents – Amber Teague and Kevin Pfannenstiel

“Riley is a strong defender who can play anywhere along the back line.  She is good in the air but can also help us keep possession when we build out of the back.” -- Tom Brown

Mackenzie Smith – Cypress, TX – Midfielder
Mackenzie Smith

Cypress Ranch High School – Coach Victoria Parsons
• 4 year varsity player
• 3 time All-District honoree while leading the district in assists and being 1st Team All-District in 2016, Offensive Player of the Year in 2016
• Club Soccer – Albion Hurricane 99 and ECNL teams – Coaches Danny Hill and Mac McCallum
• National Honor Society
• Intends to major in Education

“I chose Sam Houston State because I fell in love with how the team acted like a family.  I love the school and the fact that it isn’t too close or too far away from home.” -- Mackenzie Smith

• Parents – J.R. and Tracy Smith

“She is a terrific player on the ball and will be able to make an impact on our midfield for four years.  She has good vision of the field and the technical ability to get the ball where it needs to be.” -- Tom Brown