Aberdeen, SD (NSUWolves.com) – Northern State University head coach Bob Casper announced the addition of five student-athletes to the 2023 roster. Ella Blake (Lobe Tree, Colo.), Emma Puttin (Rogers, Minn.), Lizzy Rawlings (Orem, Utah), Julia Taurinskas (Mendota Heights, Minn.), and Sophie Taylor (Westhill, Scotland) will join fall additions Lauren Carpenter (Prior Lake, Minn.), Brooke Dunham (Gillette, Wyo.), Torre Gulseth (Brandon, S.D.), Hadley Meier (Brandon, S.D.), Chloe Voss (Andover, Minn.), and Lauren Youngquist (Anoka, Minn.) as members of the 2022-23 signing class.
Ella Blake – Defender, Lone Tree, Colo. / Highlands Ranch HS
Ella Blake is a 5-foot-5 defender out of Highlands Ranch High School. She was a 4-year starter and team captain of the Falcons under the direction of head coach Steven Carels. As a junior, Blake was named to the all-conference first team and honored as the Defensive Player of the Year. She is a 3-time scholar athlete award winner. She is the daughter of Rob and Lisa Blake.
Casper’s Thoughts – “Ella comes to Northern from a strong club environment at Real Colorado, who consistently produces strong players. Ella is a disciplined defender who has great awareness as a back and is in position to make good plays. She can get into a 1v1 defensively and come out of it with the ball, while also having a good technical skill set to keep possession. Ella is another well rounded player who can fill roles outside or centrally, and we’re looking forward to her contributions to the team.”
Emma Puttin – Midfielder/Forward, Rogers, Minn. / Rogers HS
Emma Puttin is a 5-foot-3 midfielder/forward out of Rogers High School. She was a 4-year letter winner for the Wildcats under the direction of head coaches Aaron Lindquist and Todd Dusosky. As a member of the Boreal 05 Premier Black, Puttin tallied four goals and six assists in 2022-23. Her team won the 2022 TCSL Minnesota Cup. She is the daughter of James and Kelly Puttin.
Casper’s Thoughts – “Emma is joining Northern from a great club in Boreal. She is training and playing in a great development system. Emma will bring versatility to our attacking positions, whether it’s centrally or out wide. Emma has a quick first step, and this will help her get open in the attack and create passing options for her teammates. I’m excited to see how she can impact the team with a good work ethic, and determination in her freshman year.”
Lizzy Rawlings – Defender, Orem, Utah / Orem HS
Lizzy Rawlings is a 5-foot-7 defender out of Oren High School. She was a 4-year starter and team captain for the Tigers. Rawlings is a 3-time all-conference honorable mention selection and was her team’s top goal scorer in 2022. She is the daughter of Jennifer and Ryan Rawlings.
Casper’s Thoughts – “Lizzy will add versatility to our defending positions in that she has experience playing as an outside back and playing centrally whether at a center back role or even in the midfield. We graduated some stand out defenders this year, and adding Lizzy’s skill set and experience will be a boost to our defending group. She does a good job of marking players and creating turnovers, and can be a productive part of the team in the build-up play.”
Julia Taurinskas – Defender, Mendota Heights, Minn. / Two Rivers HS
Julia Taurinskas is a 5-foot-4 defender out of Two Rivers High School. She was a 5-year starter and senior team captain for the Warriors under the direction of head coach Jay Miller. In 2022, Taurinskas tallied six goals scored as a member of the TRHS defense and was named the Defensive MVP and a Section All-Tournament team member. In addition, Taurinskas was a 4-time MEC All-Conference honorable mention recipient. She is the daughter of Mary Taurinskas.
Casper’s Thoughts – “Julia will come to us with a great playing background, and with some high level experience as an outside back. Our team has benefited from having hardworking outside backs and Julia is someone who will continue to keep that characteristic in our backline. She can get up and down on the flank, which is going to be a strong suit in how we like to play. She has the discipline to take care of her defensive responsibilities while also helping push the attack.”
Sophie Taylor – Forward, Westhill, Scotland / Westhill Academy / Sussex County CC
Sophie Taylor is a 5-foot-5 forward out of Westhill, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, as well as Sussex County Community College. At Sussex CC, Taylor scored 32 goals and added 13 assists in two seasons. She earned NJCAA All-Region first team both seasons and was a GSAC Garden State Player of the Week. In addition, Taylor was honored on the all-academic team and SCCC won their first district title and advanced to the national tournament. She is the daughter of Stephan Taylor and Lynne Lisle.
Casper’s Thoughts – “Sophie is someone who stood out as a player that would fit into the demands we have for our Forwards. She has a high work rate and likes to play at a high tempo. She has the ability to not only finish opportunities in front of goal, but she can also help set up scoring chances. Her previous experience in Junior College has helped prepare her in a way that she values playing hard on both sides of the ball.”