Wildcats Add Pair of Proven Leaders

Hextall and Jones look to make big impressions on the Wildcat season
2007 Eastern Conference GK of the Year Robin Jones Among Acquisitions

West Windsor, N.J. (Friday, April 10, 2009) – With their 2009 W-League opener less than a month away, the New Jersey Wildcats announce today two key acquisitions for the upcoming season. 2007 W-League Eastern Conference Goalkeeper of the Year Robin Jones and La Salle University graduate Kristin Hextall have made official their intentions to join the Wildcats for their 14th year of play.

“Robin has tremendous hands to go with great technical ability,” Wildcats head coach Dave Barbour stated. “She reads the game very well, and from what I’ve seen of her so far, it is clear that she has the ability to play at the next level.”

A native of Roseburg, Oregon, Jones attended The Pennington School and finished her high school career with a cumulative 66-9-8 record, posting a school best 50 shutouts during her time with the Hawks. The former Trentonian Prep Player of the Year enjoyed a 37-game unbeaten streak that stretched from her junior to senior season and headed to Rutgers University after high school commencement. In the two years she suited up for the Scarlet Knights, Jones missed only two contests and received a handful of individual accolades along the way. Despite being between the pipes for only a pair of seasons, she is currently seventh all-time in program history in saves (117), eighth in save percentage (.760), fifth in GAA (0.87), fifth in minutes (3826) and fourth in clean slates (16). Jones finished out her college career at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, registering 13 shutouts and a 1.01 GAA for the Diplomats. For the past two seasons, she has played in the W-League, being selected the 2007 Eastern Conference Goalkeeper of the Year after her rookie season with the Wildcats.

Joining Jones and the Wildcats this year is La Salle University product Kristen Hextall, someone who has been on Wildcat headman Dave Barbour’s scope since she was playing youth soccer.

“When she was younger, I coached against Kristin, and she was a phenomenal athlete even then,” he commented. “She is a strong player with sound technical ability and has progressed her talents with each year she has played. Based off what I have seen and know of her, Kristin is another player that deserves an opportunity at the next level.”

Hextall currently serves as a student assistant coach at La Salle after a well accomplished playing career there. She quickly made an impression upon the Explorers and was named to the All-Atlantic 10 Second Team and Rookie Team after her freshman season. After an outstanding junior year that saw her lead La Salle in goals (7), assists (6) and points (20), she had her best collegiate season during her senior campaign. She tallied 36 points on 15 goals and six assists, being named to the Atlantic 10 First Team, Soccer Buzz All-Mid Atlantic Region Third Team and NSCAA Mid-Atlantic Region Third Team for her efforts. For her four-year career, she finished second all-time in goals (33), points (83) and games played (78), while finishing first in shots (234), fifth in assists (17) and sixth in games started (71). Before heading to the college ranks, Hextall had a great high school career at Bishop Eustace Prep in Pennsauken, New Jersey. She won a pair of South Jersey championships (2002, 2003) and scored the game-winning goal in the 2002 state championship game. She also won a handful of club championships while playing for the Voorhees Lazers.

After debuting in March, Women’s Professional Soccer now offers the opportunity for talented W-Leaguers to play at the next level here in the United States, something that Wildcats front man Dave Barbour feels can serve as a motivator for players in the W-League.

“WPS can serve as a great motivator for players that aspire to play at the highest level,” he said. “From what I have been seeing at training, we have players here that I feel will get that opportunity.”

Already in the WPS are 14 players that suited up for the Wildcats in the past. Among the Wildcat alumnae is Kendall Fletcher (Los Angeles Sol), Bonnie Young (Chicago Red Star), Formiga (FC Gold Pride), Manya Makoski (Sol), Denise Reddy (Red Star assistant coach), Karina LeBlanc (Sol), Cat Whitehill (Washington Freedom), Christine Latham (Boston Breakers), Kelly Smith (Breakers), Lindsay Tarpley (Red Star), Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC), Rebecca Moros (Freedom), Carli Lloyd (Red Star) and Maggie Tomecka (Breakers).

Don’t miss your chance to see the WPS stars of tomorrow this season with the Wildcats this year! After opening the 2009 season with four consecutive road contests, the Wildcats will make their home debut at Mercer County Community College on Sunday, June 7th, when they host the Boston Renegades at 4:00 p.m. Tickets for that opener are available now by calling 732-963-9769.

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