Women's soccer inks Xenia's Amstutz

Xenia High School’s Laurel Amstutz poses with her
father, Dale (standing left), Rio Grande women’s
soccer head coach Callum Morris (seated) and her
mother, Jan (standing right) for a photo after signing
 to play for the RedStorm.

XENIA, Ohio – University of Rio Grande women's soccer head coach Callum Morris has announced the signing of Xenia High School's Laurel Amstutz for the 2013 season.

Amstutz, a 5-foot-2 forward, was a four-year letter winner, a four-year starter and a captain for head coach Jim Lamb's Buccaneers, who finished the 2012 campaign with a 13-3-3 record after a loss to Centerville in Division I district semifinal play.

"I'm very honored and very excited for the opportunity to further my soccer career at Rio Grande," said Amstutz. "I've been playing since I was six years old and, as a young player, I always planned on playing at the collegiate level. I'm very happy to have the chance to do so now."

Morris is just as happy to be providing the opportunity.

"I have to give some praise to my assistant coach (Peter Masters) for finding this catch," he said.. "Laurel is going to bring a lot of different aspects to our team. She can play midfield, she can play out wide, she's direct to the ball, quick - very much a diamond in the rough. She's a different kind of threat that we haven't had before - at least not since I've been the head coach."

Amstutz also sparked interest from a handful of other schools including Earlham (IN) College, Defiance College, Wilmington College and Centre (KY) College before eventually deciding to sign with the RedStorm.

"I was very happy with both the athletic program and the school at Rio," said Amstutz, who plans to study Pre-Med. "It's a well-rounded school. I excited to continue my education and soccer career there."

At the suggestion of Masters, Amstutz recently attended Rio Grande's Athletic Recruiting Day and participated in a workout with current RedStorm players.

Morris was immediately impressed with her performance on the pitch - so much so that he feels Amstutz will make an immediate impact on his program upon her arrival to campus.

"We're very fortunate that we were able to sign her. I know there were some NCAA Division II schools looking at her," he said. "We brought her in for a session and she stood out like a sore thumb. We're really looking forward to getting her in for preseason. When you add her in with the players we have coming in, plus the players we have coming back like (sophomores) Kasey Crow and Courtney Young in those attacking roles, I think she'll be able to fit in well and, hopefully, fire us to where we need to be."

Amstutz pointed to her ability to create chances for her teammates as the stength of her game.

"I'm hoping to help bring some solid goal-finishing opportunities to my teammates," she said. "That's going to be my goal going in and throughout my time at Rio - to have a strong, solid four years, to create some great opportunities and to finish successful."

Amstutz is the daughter of Dale and Jan Amstutz of Yellow Springs, Ohio.