Courtney Ratz (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) and Laurel Rapson (Bay City/Central) are the latest additions to the Ferris State University women's soccer program as the two will don the Crimson and Gold this fall as announced by Bulldog head coach Neathan Gibson.
Ratz, a 5-5 defender-midfielder, will be a four-year starter at Naperville (Ill.) Neuqua Valley High School entering her senior year this spring. An Upstate 8 Conference All-Academic selection, Ratz produced 15 points on four goals and seven assists as a junior in 2009 while helping head coach Joe Moreau's squad to a 21-3-1 overall record. She registered eight points (all assists) for her 2008 sophomore campaign as a defender as the Wildcats turned in a 21-3-2 season performance. As a freshman defender, Ratz chalked up eight points (all assists) as the 2007 team generated a 22-2-1 overall mark. The Wildcats have been ranked nationally among the top 10 prep girl's soccer teams and have been super-sectional finalists during each of her three seasons.
Ratz has been a three-year participant in the Illinois Olympic Development Program (ODP), which identifies players on the basis of open tryouts and develops them to represent their state, region, and the United States in soccer competition.
In club soccer, Ratz has played 10 years for the Windy City Pride under coach Ko Thanadabouth. The Pride have been three-time finalists in the state cup and two-time United States Club national finalists. All of her club teammates are playing collegiate soccer at either the NCAA Division I or II levels.
The daughter of Paul and Jana Ratz of Naperville, Ill., Courtney will graduate in June 2010 and plans to study pre-pharmacy at FSU.
"Courtney is a dynamic player with a vibrant personality," said Gibson, who will start his fifth year at Ferris State this fall. "Courtney has a wonderful sense for the game and technical ability. She will be giving our program added strength and quality to compete at a higher level within our conference."
A 5-9 forward, Rapson is a three-time (2007-09) All-Saginaw Valley Conference pick and has been named twice (2008-09) to the Bay City Times' Dream Team at Bay City (Mich.) Central High School. Rapson, a two-time (2008-09) conference all-academic team member, has been chosen as the team's Most Valuable Player the last three seasons (2007-09) while pacing the Wolves in assists each of the last three (2007-09) campaigns.
As a junior in 2009, Rapson totaled 37 points on 12 goals and 13 assists while helping head coach Mark Lesinski's team to a 10-6-2 overall record. She accumulated 19 points in her 2008 sophomore campaign after tallying six goals with seven helpers as squad registered a 9-9 overall mark. Rapson, who will serve as a captain in her upcoming 2010 senior year, paced BCCHS in goals scored as a freshman in 2007. She played from 2005-09 for the Vardar Soccer club team at the defender position.
Rapson is a three-year (2008-10) participant in the school's Varsity Choir while also holding membership in the National Honor Society and the Ecclesia Club (English Honor Society).
The daughter of Lawrence and Barbara Rapson of Bay City, Mich., Laurel will graduate this June 2010 and is interested in studying biotechnology at Ferris State. She has been a certified soccer referee since the age of 11 years old.
"Laurel is a versatile player who will give us with more options in her ability to play multiple positions and play them well," said Gibson. "Laurel is a strong player particularly in the air. I'm confident with her size and ability that she will play a significant role in our team's success this upcoming season and in the future."