Aberdeen, SD (NSUWolves.com) – Northern State University head coach Bob Casper announced 11 additions following National Signing Day. Kylie Albert (New Richmon, Wis.), Taylor Dudzinski (Lakeville, Minn.), Sydney Gilbertson (Rosemount, Minn.), Jaylee Hofer (Sioux Falls, S.D.), Mia Metzger (Fargo, N.D.), Abby Missman (Shakopee, Minn.), Clara Nelson (Hartford, S.D.), Lydia Nordquist (Andover, Minn.), Kailyn Poppen (Aberdeen, S.D.), Ella Ready (Sioux Falls, S.D.), and Maliyah Ritthirak (Elk River, Minn.) will join the Wolves in the fall of 2024.
“This 2024 class is a well-balanced group and includes players across all positions,” noted Casper. “We have had the great fortune of graduating some talented players the past three years, and now we’re really looking to balance out our team as we move forward.”
“This group, combined with our returning players, will help push our program forward as we work to achieve our next level of team goals. They all have expressed interest in continuing to build and uphold a high-quality team culture; and they have all expressed the desire and commitment to hard work. I’m excited for their arrival and future impact on Wolves soccer.”
Kylie Albert – Forward, New Richmond, Wis. / New Richmond HS
Kylie Albert is a 5-foot-4 forward out of New Richmond High School and the St. Croix Soccer Club. In the previous two club seasons, Albert scored over 30 goals. SCSC are 2-time Minnesota Cup Champions, 2-time US Club National Cup participants and members of the National League Club vs. Club and E64 Regional League. She is the daughter of Mike and Jill Albert.
Casper’s Thoughts: “Kylie is a driving force in the attack for her club team. She has a great willingness to make runs, chase down through balls, and apply high pressure. Within our program idea of giving great effort, Kylie will fit in seamlessly and even help push her teammates. She can create scoring opportunities by applying pressure to opposing back lines and can break down defenses off the dribble. Kylie has the ability to change direction very well while on the ball and can work in tight spaces extremely well. She is playing at a high level with her club that will give her a great level of preparedness for college soccer.”
Taylor Dudzinski – Midfield, Lakeville, Minn. / Lakeville North HS
Taylor Dudzinski is a 5-foot-3 midfielder out of Lakeville North High School and the Tonka Fusion Elite. She was a 2-year starter for the Panthers under the direction of head coach Marco Campoverde. Dudzinski scored seven goals in her final two seasons. Lakeville North won the 2021 South Suburban Conference Championship, as well as the 2021 and 2023 Section Championships. She is the daughter of Tina and Chris Dudzinski.
Casper’s Thoughts: “Taylor brings with her a diverse playing experience and will fit in well with how we like to have our team attack. She can provide early crosses from wide areas and also knows how to take on one versus one situations. Taylor is going to give us a chance to open up opponents and help push our goalscoring efforts. She has been competing at a high level both with her club team and high school team. She is highly motivated, and we’re looking forward to her time playing for the Wolves!”
Sydney Gilbertson– Forward, Rosemount, Minn. / Rosemount HS
Sydney Gilbertson is a 5-foot-5 forward out of Rosemount High School. She was a 2-year starter and team captain for the Irish under the direction of head coaches Gretchen Stramel and Todd Farrington. Gilbertson tallied 15 goals and 32 assists in her prep career. She earned South Suburban All-Conference accolades. Rosemount recorded back-to-back section championships in 2021 and 2022, winning the state championship in 2022. In addition, Gilbertson is a member of the MTA NPL 06 out of Richfield. She is the daughter of Lisa and Grant Gilbertson.
Casper’s Thoughts: “Sydney really caught our attention by the way she creates scoring opportunities in the attacking third of the field. She has the ability to put her mind to taking on a one versus one moments and driving at the opposition’s back line. She has a relentless drive to score and create, and is a constant threat in front of goal. Sydney can also be counted on to help defend, which is very important to our team approach to both attacking and defending.”
Jaylee Hofer – Forward, Sioux Falls, S.D. / Harrisburg HS
Jaylee Hofer is a 5-foot-5 forward out of Harrisburg High School and the Dakota Alliance Soccer Club. She was a 3-year starter and team captain for the Tigers under the direction of head coach Eric Christensen. Hofer racked up 52 career goals, including 22 her senior season. She was a 2-time all-conference selection, 2-time all-metro pick, 2-time all-state honoree, and the 2023 State Championship Offensive Player of the Game. Harrisburg won back-to-back South Dakota State Championships in her final two seasons. As a member of Dakota Alliance, Hofer placed third at USYS nationals in 2022 and was a USYS National Champion in 2023. She is the daughter of Nicole and Eli Hofer.
Casper’s Thoughts: “Jaylee is a very composed attacking player who has great vision. In addition to helping set up attacks, Jaylee has great awareness for finishing moments and gives our team someone who will be a constant threat to score goals. Within our system of play, Jaylee will help our attack in wide areas as she looks to make great crosses when she’s not in front of goal herself. She also possess a very positive attitude, and will work hard to represent the program with great integrity and character.”
Mia Metzger – Midfield, Fargo, N.D. / Shanley HS
Mia Metzger is a 5-foot-3 midfielder out of Shanley High School. She was a 4-year starter and team captain for the Deacons under the direction of head coach Ryan Christianson. In 2023, Metzger tallied seven goals and 11 assists. She is a 3-time All-EDC selection, 2-time North Dakota State Tournament Team member, and 2023 all-state honoree. Shanley appeared in the state tournament each of her four seasons, winning the State Championship in 2019. Metzger holds the school records for career assists, season assists, and single game assists. In addition, she is a member of the Dakota Fusion Club. She is the daughter of Todd and Jill Metzger.
Casper’s Thoughts: “As a central midfield player, Mia has great awareness of when and where to pass the ball. She can really pick out dangerous passes, and also knows when to simply connect a pass to extend out a possession. Mia also has great vision as she moves off-the-ball, and thus she’ll work to be a focal point of our possession. She is also a great teammate, who will not only help link players on the field but will also make a great impact off the field. She knows how to carry a team, and that drive will serve her well in college.”
Abby Missman – Forward/Midfield, Shakopee, Minn. / Shakopee HS
Abby Missman is a 5-foot-6 forward and midfielder out of Shakopee High School and the Tonka Fusion Elite. She was a 4-year starter and team captain for the Sabers under the direction of head coach Robert Davies. Missman tallied 21 career goals and ten assists. She was a 3-time all-conference honoree and 2-time all-state selection. Her Tonka Fusion Elite team was Premier 1 League Champions, Minnesota State Cup Champions, and Blue Chip Showcase Champions. She is the daughter of Scott Missman and Jennifer McKeand.
Casper’s Thoughts: “Abby is an extremely hard worker and leads by example on the field. She plays at a high tempo and knows how to break teams down both off the dribble and through her passing. Abby can create by providing a great cross, or she can drive in and set up plays off a counterattack. She is also someone who doesn’t give up, and she will embody our desire to have our program compete in all situations. Abby is a high character person and will really help reinforce a positive team culture.”
Clara Nelson – Midfield, Hartford, S.D. / West Central HS
Clara Nelson is a 5-foot-9 midfielder out of West Central High School and the Dakota Alliance Soccer Club. She was a 4-year starter and team captain for the Trojans under the direction of head coach Greg Anderson. As a junior, Nelson recorded six goals and West Central won back-to-back State Championships her first two seasons. She earned all-state accolades as a senior. In addition, Nelson was a member of the WCHS track and field State Championship. Her Dakota Alliance Club team are 2-time state champions and qualifiers for USYS Midwest (finalist), USYS Nationals (third place), and the Midwest Presidents Cup. She is the daughter of Corey and Sarah Nelson.
Casper’s Thoughts: “Clara has a great desire to succeed, and really pushes herself to improve every time she takes the field. As a central midfield player, Clara sees the field well and knows where to make the right passes to help extend possession for her team. Her ability to challenge aerial duels and find moments to break up attacks with timely tackles is another big asset Clara will bring with her to college career. Clara is a team player and will work hard to really make sure everyone around her is also performing at their best.”
Lydia Nordquist – Defender, Andover, Minn. / Andover HS
Lydia Nordquist is a 5-foot-8 defender out of Andover High School. She was a 3-year starter and team captain for the Huskies under the direction of head coach Tracey Griess. Nordquist earned all-conference accolades in both 2021 and 2022. Andover won the section championship, as well as the state cup in the fall of 2023. In addition, she is a member of the Boreal Soccer Club. She is the daughter of Jennifer and Scott Nordquist.
Casper’s Thoughts: “Lydia is a well-rounded defender who can play at outside back or center back. She comes from a great club environment that has prepared her to be a collegiate level defender. Lydia works extremely hard to mark opposition attackers, but also is very good at seeing the field, and makes great passes to start the attack. Lydia will contribute to aerial duels as she has a fearless approach to attacking aerial service. She will help drive our team’s ability to build attacks from our backline and continue to help post shutouts.”
Kailyn Poppen – Midfield, Aberdeen, S.D. / Central HS
Kailyn Poppen is a 5-foot-4 midfielder out of Central High School and the South Dakota United. She was a 2-year starter and team captain for the Golden Eagles under the direction of head coach Merle Aske. As a senior, Poppen recorded six goals and six assists. She is a 2-time all-conference and all-state selection. Her SD United program is 3-time regional champions and 2-time national champions for US Soccer. She is the daughter of Kristy and Jeff Poppen.
Casper’s Thoughts: “Kailyn has a very high work rate, and a high level of personal accountability which is going to be a great asset for her in college soccer. She is a physical player who can utilize both her skill and work rate to win the ball back and create attacking moments. She possesses the ability to strike the ball well for finishing chances and is also a smart passer off the dribble. She has played in a variety of positions in midfield and forward, so she really fits our model of having players who can move around to help break down opponents.”
Ella Ready – Defender, Sioux Falls, S.D. / Lincoln HS
Ella Ready is a 5-foot-5 defender out of Lincoln High School and the Dakota Alliance Soccer Club. She was a 4-year starter and team captain for the Patriots under the direction of head coaches Abby Berke and Kelly Herman. Ready is a 3-time academic all-state recipient, 2-time all-conference honoree, and 2023 all-state team member. She is the daughter of Benjamin and Laura Ready.
Casper’s Thoughts: “Ella comes in to college as a great tackler of the ball, and really takes pride in shutting down attackers in one versus one situations. She takes great pride in taking on the best players and being successful in her defensive responsibilities. In the attack, Ella has a knack for seeing just the right time to make runs forward that creates an attacking overload so she can make crosses or link with forwards. I’ve been impressed with Ella’s consistency each time she plays, and she’s very motivated to continue that trend in college.”
Maliyah Ritthirak – Midfield, Elk River, Minn. / Elk River HS
Maliyah Ritthirak is a 5-foot-4 midfielder out of Elk River High School. She was a 3-year starter for the Elks under the direction of head coach Brian Steuter. In the fall of 2023, Ritthirak scored five goals and tallied six assists. Elk River won the section championship and advance to the state tournament quarterfinals in 2021. In addition, she is a member of the Boreal program that won the NL Club v Club Championship, NPL Super Group Championship, and MYSA State Cup Championship. She is the daughter of Autumn and Jennifer Ritthirak.
Casper’s Thoughts: “Maliyah is an extremely hard worker, and that has been a constant throughout all the times we have been able to watch her play. She knows how to high press opponents in the midfield, without overcommitting. She has that same level of intensity while attacking, and really puts pressure back onto opponents as she drives through the midfield. Malyiah also challenges hard in 50-50 opportunities, and that edge will be a great asset for our team.”