Ferris State University head coach Neathan Gibson has announced Courtney Meharg (Clarkston) and Kara Stephens (St. Johns) will be joining the Bulldog women's soccer program this fall.
Meharg is slated to play at forward for Ferris State while Stephens will take to the field as a goalkeeper.
The 5-9 Meharg is a four-year varsity starter at Clarkston (Mich.) High School under head coach Sarah Wasilk. As a junior in the 2008 season, she recorded two points (both assists) in four matches before suffering a season-ending injury. Meharg produced 11 points on four goals with five assists in 2007 as the Wolves advanced to the district finals during her sophomore campaign. In her 2006 freshman year, she was chosen as the team's Most Improved Player as a result of tallying eight points with two goals and four helpers as CHS compiled a 6-9-3 record.
Meharg has served as a club soccer captain all four years for the Vardar North team and produced the game-winning goal in the 2007 district semifinals. She also participated two years apiece as a member of the Michigan Metro Stars and Michigan Gators.
The daughter of Pat and Joni Meharg of Clarkston, Mich., Courtney will graduate this spring and plans to study marketing at Ferris State. Her cousin, Josh Ruffles, captained the men's soccer team at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Mich., and was a three-time all-conference selection.
"Courtney has the potential to make a very good name for herself in our conference," said Gibson, who will embark on his fourth year at Ferris State in the fall of 2009. "She is going to be another dangerous forward who is going to give us some strength in the final third adding to our attacking depth."
A two-time team Most Valuable Player, Stephens earned first-team All-Capital Area Activities Conference accolades and all-district team recognition one season apiece at St. Johns (Mich.) High School. The school's current record holder with 441 career saves, Stephens accumulated 113 saves and seven shutouts with a 3.4 goals-against average as a junior in the 2008 season for head coach Kim Brewbaker's squad. Stephens generated 120 stops and had six shutouts in her 2007 sophomore year after starting out her prep career with a 208 saves and a 3.7 goals-against average as a freshman in the 2006 campaign. To date, the 5-4 Stephens has chalked up 14 career shutouts and a 3.7 career goals-against average. She was honored twice as an all-area honorable mention selection and earned academic all-state plaudits two years. Stephens, a three-year varsity soccer letterwinner, will be competing in her fourth season this spring as a member of SJHS' girls varsity women's soccer team. She participated in volleyball during her freshman year.
Stephens has been active in club soccer the past 15 years, which includes six years with the Premier Club team.
The daughter of Brian and Lauri Stephens of St. Johns, Mich., Kara will graduate this spring. She's interested in studying criminal justice at Ferris State.
"Kara is one of our goalkeepers who will be expected to play a key role for us this fall," stated Gibson. "I'm equally excited to have her join the Bulldog program and help lead us with her high skills set."
Meharg and Stephens are the newest additions to the 2009 Ferris State women's soccer recruiting class as the pair join defenders Madison "Maddy" Kitchen (Sterling Heights/Stevenson) and Katie Syring (Bay City/John Glenn) along with forwards Lauren Fortuna (Macomb/Sterling Heights Henry Ford II), Brianne Staley (Columbus, Ind./East).
Ferris State finished its 2008 season with a 9-9-1 overall record, which included a fourth-place tying 8-7-1 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) mark. The Bulldogs made their second straight appearance in the GLIAC Women's Soccer Tournament and advanced to the conference tournament's semifinal round.