POCATELLO — Two Highland soccer players are ready to take the next step.
Kylee Bennett and Maysi Thompson signed their National Letters of Intent on Wednesday in the school’s library to continue their soccer careers at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Treasure Valley Community College, respectively.
Bennett, a four-year varsity player, was the Rams’ starting center-midfielder this season, scoring 12 goals and earning first-team 5A District 5-6 honors. Bennett was a second-team all-conference selection as a sophomore and junior.
The center-mid had a breakout final prep campaign as the focal point of Highland’s attack as the Rams scored 3.8 goals per game.
“She is a player that came into my program, and I knew she was going to be solid from the get-go,” Highland coach Korbie Vaughan said. “She is probably one of the best players to come through. She is everything a coach wants in a player.”
Bennett signed with the school in Prescott, Arizona, because of her interest in engineering. Bennett wanted to pursue an aerospace engineering degree and play soccer.
Embry-Riddle had the program Bennett wanted and everything “came together perfectly.”
“I’ve always wanted to go into engineering,” Bennett said. “So, I had to find the right school for that, and then find the right place for soccer. I went down and visited and fell in love.”
Bennett is joining a team that ranked 10th in the 2018 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 Postseason Poll after the Eagles finished 18-3, including a 10-0 mark in California Pacific Conference games. The Eagles lost 2-1 in the second round of the NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship to Benedictine College.
Bennett will be an attacking midfielder for the Eagles, who have won two consecutive California Pacific Conference titles.
“She is a go-getter,” Vaughan said. “A lot of that starts from inside. She was a captain this year. She is one of the best leaders I’ve had."
THOMPSON TO TREASURE VALLEY CC
Everything clicked at Treasure Valley Community College for Maysi Thompson.
The Highland senior visited the school in Ontario, Oregon, in November 2018 and it felt like home. Thompson visited College of Idaho and Idaho State, among others, but decided to sign with the Treasure Valley soccer program on Wednesday.
“They were very consistent with talking to me," Thompson said. "They showed they wanted me, a drive to talk to coaches and family. Everyone was involved.”
Thompson was a three-year varsity player for the Rams and was reliable as the squad's center defender. Thompson helped the Rams allow 1.4 goals per game, including seven clean sheets.
The senior earned first-team 5A District 5-6 honors as a defender this season after collecting section-team honors as a junior.
“She has a presence on the field," Vaughan said. "She is tall and physical. When you see her on the defensive line, that can be intimidating.”
Thompson also was a threat to come forward and assist the Rams' attack, especially on corner kicks and set pieces. Thompson finished the season with five goals.
“They want me to be part of the attack and come back and help really solidify everything," Thompson said.
Treasure Valley finished the 2018 season 3-11-4 and had a 2.7 goals against average. Thompson can help solidify the squad's defense.
“She was a key piece," Vaughan said. "She played in the center of the defense. She directed the line.”