DMCV Sharks Players Continue Success at Collegiate Level
Del Mar Carmel Valley Sharks has provided North County San Diego with a youth soccer program that has continued to make strides in recent years. Alongside former USWNT star and current club Director of Coaching Shannon MacMillan, the Sharks have put together a staff that is dedicated to providing promising youth talent with a pathway to the next level.
The club’s former 96/97 Girls Elite team is remembered for its accomplishments on the national stage with almost every one of the players still competing at the collegiate level today.
Soccer News: SoccerToday takes a look back in history to recognize the latest accomplishments of former promising stars that have continued to receive accolades during their collegiate career.
During their years together, this DMCV Sharks Elite team won back-to-back US Youth Soccer National Championship and Cal South National Cup titles. In fact, in 2015, the team went back a third year and were finalists in the US Youth National Championships.
Following the conclusion of their highly successful youth soccer club career, a majority of the players went on to play at top athletic and academic programs with many players now competing against each other in NCAA competition.
Head coach Felicia Kappes was also recognized in 2013 for leading her team to such accomplishments as she received Cal South Competitive Coach of the Year honors.
Kappes is currently the Director of College Program for the DMCV Sharks and is approaching her fifth year coaching with the club.
During her career she has been an Olympic Development Program Regional assessor and was the West Regional Chairperson for the NSCAA All-American Division I Committee.
Where They Are Now
Melissa Lowder is currently a sophomore at Santa Clara University. The Broncos concluded the season with a 12-7-4 overall record and advanced to the Elite 8 in the 2016 NCAA tournament.
Shelby Lee and Lili Andino are currently in their sophomore season at UC Irvine. The Anteaters concluded 2016 with an overall record of 13-7-2, which consisted of the program’s most wins since 2011. UCI finished second in the Big West Tournament after losing to Long Beach State in the final.
On the winning side of UCI’s loss was Jordan Sanders — who is also in her sophomore season. Long Beach State finished with an overall record of 10-7-4 and has qualified for the NCAA Tournament over the past two seasons.
Natalie Saddic, a sophomore at UCSD, led her side to a 19-3-0 overall record in 2016 as the Tritons were crowned 2016 Conference Champions. Saddic’s side advanced to the quarterfinals of the Division II NCAA Tournament. She was named to the 2016 All-Tournament Team and CCA All-Conference Second Team.
Julianne De Armas and the USD Toreros finished the year with an overall record of 10-8-1 (5-4-0 in conference play). De Armas was named to the All-WCC Freshman Team last year.
Jennifer Ballez is currently in her junior season at Point Loma Nazarene University. The Sea Lions concluded 2016 with a 10-4-4 record, including 8-3-2 in PacWest Conference play.
Gianna Montini is in her sophomore season at Auburn University. The Tigers finished 2016 with a 17-7-0 overall record, including 9-2-0 in SEC play.
Her team won the Sweet 16 match to advance to the Elite 8 of the NCAA tournament — thanks in part to Montini who scored the game-winning header over SEC Champs University of Florida.
As a freshman Montini also helped Auburn advance to the Sweet 16 in 2015, which was the first time in program history.
Samantha Staab, a sophomore at Clemson University, finished the 2016 season with the most assists in the ACC and was selected to the conference’s All-Region Second Team. The Tigers finished with an overall record of 14-5-4 (7-1-2 in conference play) and were Co-Champions of the ACC. Clemson advanced to the Sweet 16 of the 2016 NCAA Tournament. During her freshman season, Staab was named to the 2015 All-ACC Freshman Second Team.
Angel Meriwether is currently in her junior season at the University of Nevada Reno. The Wolfpack finished with an overall record of 5-13-0, including 2-9-0 in Mountain West Conference play.
Hannah Keogh and Sydney Wooten are both in their sophomore year at North Carolina State University. Keogh was named team captain during the spring season of her freshman year.
NCSU held a 11-8-2 overall record (4-5-1 in conference play) as the Wolfpack ended its 20-year NCAA appearance drought reaching the Sweet 16 this year.
Hailey Harbison is in her junior year at Pepperdine University. The Waves finished the season with an overall record of 12-5-4, including 7-1-1 in conference play. Harbison competed against former teammates Keogh and Wooten in the Round of 16 of the NCAA Tournament this season, which saw NCSU edge Pepperdine 1-0 to advance.
During her freshman season, Harbison was named WCC Freshman of the Year as well as received All-Region honors. In 2015, she was was named to the NSCAA All-West Region team and received All-WCC Second Team honors.
Dominique Diller is in her second year at Lipscomb University. The Bisons finished 2016 with an overall record of 12-5-2 (5-1-1 in ASUN conference play).
Zisi Komar is currently in her sophomore year at Stevens Institute of Technology. During her freshman season, Komar was named Empire 8 Rookie of the Year as well as to the All-League Second Team. She was also named E8 Conference Championship MVP and Second Team All-NSCAA East Region as she led her team with 20 goals and 10 assists on the year.
In 2016, Komar was named First Team All-Empire 8 as she finished second in the conference with 16 goals and 12 assists. The Ducks closed out the season with an overall record of 19-2-0.
During her sophomore year at Princeton, Alexandra Whiting and the Tigers finished with a 10-4-3 overall record, including 2-3-2 in Ivy League conference play.
DMCV remains proud of these rising stars as they continue to grow at their universities.
As the former Sharks head into the latter part of their collegiate career, eyes remain on the next stages of their development as they begin to take on leadership roles within their teams and grow into role models off the field.