BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Head Coach Jason Neidell has announced the first of three
groups of early signees for Lady Topper Soccer, the first under the new early
recruiting period in November.
WKU’s first group of signees includes four regional players, including one Kentucky
native in Katie Erwin. Ansley Cate will make the short trek to The Hill from just
across the border in Tennessee, while Logan Barber and Maddie Mitchell are set to
join the Lady Toppers from Indiana and Ohio, respectively.
WKU will seek an immediate impact from its newest freshmen as the Lady Toppers seek
to replace three graduating seniors, all of whom drew starts in nearly all of WKU’s
matches during the 2018 season. The Lady Toppers are coming off a 5-8-4 campaign and
finished the season strong, earning at least one point in five of the last six
matches against C-USA foes.
Logan Barber – Midfielder, 5’6″, New Albany, Ind.
A highly decorated player at both the club and high school level, Barber is set to
bring a wealth of experience to the Lady Toppers immediately upon her arrival on The
Hill. Barber has been a member of the Kentucky ODP squad since 2011 and served as
the team captain in both 2017 and 2018; in addition, Barber has also competed at the
international level within the ODP program, serving as a team captain on trips to
compete in the Netherlands (2017) and England (2018). Barber has also been a member
of the Region II ODP team for the last two years and has been invited to participate
in the interregional event in Boca Raton, Fla., against the other three Region
Barber has served as the team captain of her club team, Kentucky Fire Juniors, since
2014 and helped to lead the team to three consecutive State Cup championships from
2015 to 2017. For her strong efforts this year, Barber was selected as the Kentucky
Youth Soccer Player of the Year, a prestigious annual honor awarded to the top
girls’ youth soccer player in the state.
In high school, Barber played under Head Coach Shannon Dennehey at New Albany Senior
High School, earning a spot on the Courier-Journal’s All-Area Team in each of her
four seasons. A team captain as a junior and senior, Barber finished her high school
career with 45 goals and 31 assists in just 67 career matches, and helped to lead
the Dogs to the Hoosier Hills Conference championship in 2015.
Neidell on Barber: “Logan is the total package. She is a great person and a complete
player who loves the game.”
Katie Erwin – Forward, 5’6″, Louisville, Ky.
Erwin joins the Lady Toppers from Male High School in Louisville, where she was a
four-year star for the Bulldogs. A standout offensive player, Erwin was named Male’s
Offensive Player of the Year in each of her first three seasons, including a junior
year that saw her set the school’s single-season assist record, setting up 30 goals.
A two-time First Team selection on the 7th Region team as a junior and senior, Erwin
was also named an All-State selection in 2017 after also earning’s Male’s Golden
Boot with 22 goals in addition to her 30 assists. During her time at Male, Erwin
competed under Head Coach Christian Lauria.
Since joining Kentucky’s ODP pool in 2013, Erwin has gained extensive experience at
the club level, reaching the ODP Region II pool in 2018 and traveling with
Kentucky’s ODP program to compete in Liverpool, England. In addition to her ODP
experience, Erwin has also reached the Kentucky State Cup finals three times in
2015, 2016 and 2018.
Neidell on Erwin: “Katie is an attacking player who makes dynamic runs off the ball
and has a good finishing touch.”
Ansley Cate – Forward, 5’7″, Paris, Tenn.
An explosive scorer from northern Tennessee, Cate wrapped up her high school career
at Henry County High School earlier this fall with 109 career goals while playing
for Head Coach Thomas Klingenburg. Cate earned the squad’s Offensive Player of the
Year two times during her career and was also selected as the Patriots’ Newcomer of
the Year as a freshman in 2015. As a senior, Cate earned a spot on the All-State
squad during her final year with Henry County.
Not only an honoree at the team level, Cate was a four-time All-District 13
selection by the TSSAA and captured the district’s Offensive MVP honors as a junior
Neidell on Cate: “Ansley finally gives us a left-footed threat combined with great
speed and athleticism.”
Maddie Mitchell – Midfielder, 5’6″, Dayton, Ohio
Mitchell heads to The Hill after a decorated club and high school career in southern
Ohio, competing for the Ohio South ODP state team in 2016 and 2017, the Ohio
Galaxies Elite 00 squad from 2015-18 and as a three-year player at Vandalia-Butler
High School under Head Coach Burt Mattice.
In high school, Mitchell was a three-time All-Greater Western Ohio Conference North
honoree, picking up Second Team honors in 2016 before earning First Team spots
during her junior and senior campaigns. Additionally, she earned All-Area North
accolades in 2017 and 2018 while also bringing home All-District honors as a senior
from the Miami Valley Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association.
Neidell on Mitchell: “Maddie has wonderful potential and is an athletic player who
can play make or score herself.”