Former area prep stars help UCM women’s soccer to Final Four
Four Shawnee collegiate student-athletes have helped the University of Central Missouri women’s soccer team to its first NCAA Division II Final Four appearance in school history, and they’ll try to finish off an undefeated season this week.
Shawnee Mission Northwest alumna Mikala Modiri, Mill Valley products Haley Freeman and Kayla Hamner, and former SM West standout Ashton Dvorak have guided the Jennies to a 24-0 record entering Thursday’s Final Four showdown against Mercy College (N.Y.) at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Mo.
The Jennies have outscored their opponents, 85-4, this season. Hamner has been a force on the UCM back line, as she earned MIAA Defensive Player or the Year and Division II Conference Commissioners Association women’s soccer all-central region first-team honors. The redshirt senior has contributed offensively as well with seven goals and seven assists.
Modiri and Freeman have also been in the mix offensively for the Jennies. Modiri has scored five goals and one assist during her senior campaign. Freeman has notched four goals and dished out three assists while contributing immediately as a freshman in the midfield.
Dvorak has not appeared in any matches in goal for the Jennies in her freshman season. Ana Dilkes has recorded 20 shutouts this season and 63 for her career, which is the most in NCAA Division II history.
Other players from the Kansas City area who have contributed to UCM’s Final Four run include: Taylor Hughes (Olathe South), Courtney Killian (Lee’s Summit), Kelsey Mueller (Excelsior Springs), Emily Griffin (Blue Springs South), Abby Rhodes (Olathe South), Alexis Cutrera (Notre Dame de Sion), Frankie Ross (Blue Valley West), Callie Henshaw (Smithville), Megan Woolley (Piper), Skylar Drum (Lawrence High), Allysa Gann (Lee’s Summit), Gianna Palmentere (Lee’s Summit North), Baylie Edwards (Raymore- Peculiar), Emma Jarrell (Shawnee Mission South), Annie Parscale (Lee’s Summit West), Madi Sanders (Park Hill South), Jordyn Atagi (William Chrisman), Kristina Colling (St. Thomas Aquinas) and Mallory Kroencke (Blue Springs South).
UCM and Mercy will kick off at 2 p.m. Thursday. The winner will advance to the national title game at noon Saturday against the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs or Carson- Newman College.