(L-R) Wilson, O'Keeffe, van Aarle and Luke are the latest additions to the Liberty Lady Flames field hockey program.
Liberty Field Hockey Head Coach Nikki Parsley has announced the addition of four student-athletes to its 10-player 2017 recruiting class.
The four players – Greer Wilson, Victoria O'Keeffe, Moniek van Aarle and Kennedy Luke – come to Liberty from four different countries. Wilson, O'Keeffe and van Aarle hail from Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands, respectively, while Luke is from Pennsylvania.
"I am very excited to welcome three new international student-athletes from Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands," Parsley stated. "They are all feisty and opportunistic players with great game sense. Greer, Moniek and Victoria are all handy players that add tremendous depth to our lineup."
"Kennedy is an enthusiastic, humble and hard-working goalkeeper. We are thrilled to have her on the team and rounding out our goalkeeper crew for the 2017 season," said Liberty Field Hockey Assistant Coach Jacki Bolt. "With a strong technical and tactical foundation, I look forward to seeing her development, confident that she will become a leader in goal for the Flames."
Greer Wilson (M – Brisbane, Australia/Vermont) Wilson, a midfielder, joins the Lady Flames as a transfer following two years at Vermont. She started in all 38 games in her two seasons with the Catamounts. As a freshman in 2015, Wilson earned America East All-Rookie team honors.
As the captain of the team during her senior year of high school, Wilson guided her squad to a 15-1 record and Queensland Girls Secondary School Sports Association (QGSSSA) title. For her efforts, the Australian native was tabbed the MVP. Wilson was also named 2013 Northern Suburbs MVP with her club squad, the QLD Schoolgirls field hockey team.
"Liberty is such a unique and special place," Wilson said. "I think choosing Liberty wasn't just about selecting a top field hockey program and reputable school, but to become a part of an accepting family I will have for the rest of my life."
Victoria O'Keeffe (F – Wellington, New Zealand/Samuel Marsden Collegiate School) O'Keeffe, a forward, joins the Lady Flames following a successful prep career and club career in New Zealand.
As a senior on the Samuel Marsden Collegiate School first XI field hockey team, O'Keeffe guided her squad to a 22-5 record in Premier 1 competition while serving as a team captain and leading her team in scoring (20 goals). O'Keeffe was also on the Capital U18 Regional Representative hockey team that placed fourth nationally.
As a junior, O'Keeffe was Samuel Marsden's top goal scorer. She also played on the Wellington U18 Association team that placed fifth at the National U18 Association Tournament.
O'Keeffe played club field hockey for Harbour City Hockey (2016-17) and the Karori Hockey Club (2012-15). Her signature moment for Harbour City was winning the Jenny Hair Trophy National Secondary Schools Hockey Tournament in Napier, New Zealand in 2016. O'Keefe also collected first-place finishes with her Karori Hockey team at the Wellington Women's Premier Competition (2015) and the P2 Premier 3 Women's Competition (2013).
"I am so thankful to be able to be a part of the Liberty field hockey team and program, be coached by wonderful coaches and attend such a fabulous university," O'Keeffe stated. "It is a dream come true and goes beyond expectations. Liberty is truly unique, and I am honored to feel part of it."
Moniek van Aarle (F – Schijndel, Netherlands/Maastricht University) Van Aarle, a forward, will be coming to Liberty after studying at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. Van Aarle obtained a bachelor's degree in medicine from Maastricht and will be pursuing her master's degree in human counseling: health & wellness at Liberty.
Over the past five years, van Aarle has played at the club level for SMHC De Hopbel. Van Aarle played in all 95 matches, compiling 53 goals, 26 assists and 89 points. She helped guide the 2015-16 SMHC De Hopbel squad to a third-place finish for the first time in club history. Van Aarle's U18 squad won an indoor championship during the 2012-13 season, and she then went on to captain the team during the 2013-14 season.
"I was looking for a great and understanding field hockey coach and a warm team. I think the Lady Flames field hockey team has both," van Aarle said. "(Coach) Nikki's kindness, compassion and persistence, combined with the Skype conversation with one of my future teammates and the active academic support, makes me certain about signing with Liberty."
Kennedy Luke (GK – New Hope, Pa./New Hope-Solebury High School) Luke, a goalkeeper, joins the Liberty field hockey squad following a highly successful career at New Hope-Solebury High School.
As a senior, Luke set the school record with 15 shutouts during the season in leading her team to a 14-3 league record and runner-up finishes in the Bicentennial Athletic League (BAL) as well as in district and regional play. Luke also guided the Lions to their first appearance in the state tournament in the last 25 years.
For her outstanding play in her final campaign, Luke earned a bevy of awards, including: PA All-State first team, All-Intelligencer first team, BAL first team, Phila Hockey Senior All-Star, 2016 NFHCA selection and team Defensive MVP.
Luke was a three-year varsity letterwinner and served as a team captain. She closed out her career with a school-record 27 shutouts. The New Hope, Pa., native played club field hockey for Mystx FHC.
"The moment I stepped on campus and on that field, I knew that this was where I wanted to be. I visited many schools after that, but in my heart, I was already committed to Liberty," Luke stated. "As much as I love field hockey, I would have gone to the school regardless, so having the opportunity to play means the world to me. It's been such an incredible journey to get here, but I can't imagine it any other way."
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