USU soccer signs six for the 2021 season

LOGAN, Utah – Utah State head soccer coach Heather Cairns has announced the addition of six signees for the 2021 season, including Addi Coon (Pleasant Grove, Utah), Bizzy Arevalo (Kaysville, Utah), Brooke Watkins (Hyde Park, Utah), Grace Nicol (Layton, Utah), Kaitlyn Richins (Layton, Utah) and Tenzi Knowles (Providence, Utah).

“We are very excited to welcome the newest class of Aggies!” Cairns said of the group. “It is a class full of big on-the-field personalities who will become beloved teammates off the field. They will represent Aggie Nation proudly!”

Coon is a four-year letterwinner at Pleasant Grove High School, anchoring the Viking back line each of the last four seasons and serving as the team captain during her senior year. During her time at PGHS, Coon helped the team to back-to-back state semifinal appearances, along with a quarterfinals appearance at state during her freshman year. At the club level, Coon played with Avalanche under head coach Kelli Smith, earning Avalanche Player of the Month honors, and helping the squad to a regionals appearance during the 2015 season.

Coon is also a four-year letterwinner in basketball for the Vikings, leading the state in the number of charges taken and earning second-team all-state honors. In the classroom, Coon ranks first in her class with a 4.0 GPA and has been named to the honor roll every semester, and earned academic all-state honors.

“Addi’s intense competitiveness makes her a determined and difficult-to-beat defender,” Cairns said. “She is equally comfortable being isolated out wide in one-v-one battles or in the center, working to deny opponents from getting behind the defense.”

Arevalo played her final year of high school and lettered at Davis High School (Kaysville, Utah), before spending her first three years at Logan High School under head coach and USU alum Natalie Norris. Arevalo played on every part of the pitch for the Darts under head coach Souli Phongsavath, helping the team to the 2020 Utah state championship. As a senior, Arevalo recorded 19 goals and 21 assists, as part of 47 career goals and 47 assists. At Logan, Arevalo lettered three years and helped the Grizzlies advance to the Utah 4A state semifinals and back-to-back region championships. Arevalo was recognized with multiple individual honors at Logan, picking up first-team and second-team all-state accolades, and an All-Valley Player of the Year award.

At the club level, Arevalo played under Phongsavath for five years with Avalanche, helping the team to the finals of the State Cup in 2019 and a State Cup semifinal appearance in 2018. Arevalo also spent time in Utah’s Olympic Development Program, playing for head coaches Felipe Diaz, Pancho Ovalle, Eric Gundred and Dennis Burrow. Arevalo’s ODP teams advanced to the finals of the 2020 Region 4 ODP Championships and individually was recognized as a member of the Region 4 training pool, a member of the Utah ODP championship team and the TOSH Athlete of the Month.

“Bizzy attacks opponents’ defenses with freedom, confidence and a smile,” Cairns said. “She is clever with her dribbling, brave when shooting, and intelligent about finding a final pass to a teammate.”

Watkins is a four-year letterwinner at Green Canyon High School in Cache Valley, leading the 4A class in the state of Utah in shutouts during both the 2019 and 2020 seasons. Additionally, Watkins led the 4A class in goals allowed as a senior, surrendering only 10 the entire 2020 campaign. Watkins was a three-year team captain for the Wolves and earned numerous individual accolades, including first-team all-state (2019), first-team all-region (2019), a pair of honorable mention all-region (2017/2018) and a pair of team MVP honors.

At the club level, Watkins minded the posts for La Roca under head coach Pancho Ovalle, leading the team to the championship of the 2019 state cup, a third-place finish at nationals in 2019 and a DPL championship in 2019. In addition to her success on the pitch, Watkins was a three-year letterwinner for the Green Canyon girls basketball team, leading the squad in rebounds, and ranks at the top of her class with a 4.0 GPA, earning academic all-state honors and representing the National Honor Society.

“Brooke is an athletic goalkeeper with superb instincts,” Cairns said. “She instills confidence in her back line by taking control of the box and makes the goal seem smaller to shooters.”

Nicol is a four-year letterwinner, and teammate of Arevalo, at Davis High School, leading the Darts to the 2020 Utah state championship and back-to-back second-place finishes in each of the previous two seasons. As a senior, Nicol totaled 46 points on 14 goals and 18 assists as she shared time in the midfield and as a forward under Phongsavath. In all, Nicol recorded 45 goals and 45 assists during her high school career, earning third-team all-state honors as a sophomore and first-team all-state honors during her junior year. Nicol also played her club soccer under Phongsavath with Avalanche for five years.

“Grace is a dominant personality in the midfield who adds to a team’s attacking ability,” Cairns said. “She works well off of the forwards, becoming an additional scoring threat that defenses need to respect.”

Richins is a four-year letterwinner at Layton High School, where she helped the Lancers to a 2018 Utah state championship and a semifinal finish at state during the 2017 campaign. During her senior year, Richins led LHS to an overall mark of 14-4-0, including a 12-2-0 record in region, scoring 12 goals as an attacking midfielder under head coach Tara Ferrin. At the club level, Richins played seven years for La Roca under Ovalle, and one year for Avalanche under Phongsavath.

“Kaitlyn’s well-rounded skills and high soccer IQ allow her to dictate the rhythm of play,” Cairns said. “She will have the most touches on the team and be our glue as she does so much quality work on both sides of the ball.”

Knowles is a four-year letterwinner at Ridgeline High School in Cache Valley, helping the Riverhawks to back-to-back region championships and back-to-back appearances in the state title game. RHS finished as the runner up in 2019 before capturing the state title in 2020. Knowles played club with Avalanche under head coach Darin Christensen, earning team MVP honors and both team Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year accolades. She also played two years with Avalanche in the ECNL under Phongsavath. Knowles was equally strong in the classroom, ranking first in her class with a 4.0 GPA and earning academic all-state honors.

“When Tenzi has the ball at her feet, be prepared for something exciting to happen,” Cairns said. “She is tricky off the dribble and fearlessly attacks defenses.”

Fans can follow the Aggie soccer program on Twitter, @USUSoccer, on Facebook at /USUSoccer and on Instagram, @USUSoccer. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program on Twitter, @USUAthletics, Facebook at /USUAthletics and on Instagram, @USUAthletics.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.