Five Lewis-Palmer state champion soccer players sign National Letters of Intent

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Photo - Girls soccer coach Ryan Parsons talks about his five stars from the 2016 4A state champion team before they signed their letters of intent at Lewis-Palmer High School Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, during National Letters of Intent Day. Brianna Alger, left, will play for Washington State, Karly Sandoval will play at North Dakota State, Annica Fletemeyer will play at Middle Tennessee State, Kirsten Hatton at the University of St. Thomas and Kate Devine will play at Northern Colorado.   (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)
Girls soccer coach Ryan Parsons talks about his five stars from the 2016 4A state champion team before they signed their letters of intent at Lewis-Palmer High School Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, during National Letters of Intent Day. Brianna Alger, left, will play for Washington State, Karly Sandoval will play at North Dakota State, Annica Fletemeyer will play at Middle Tennessee State, Kirsten Hatton at the University of St. Thomas and Kate Devine will play at Northern Colorado. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

MONUMENT  - It's not hard to figure out why Lewis-Palmer won the Class 4A girls' soccer title last spring.

Not when you look at the number of players from the squad that signed National Letters of Intent to play soccer in college.

Five players from last season's state championship team signed NLIs Wednesday to continue their soccer careers at the college level.

Of those five, four are heading to Division I programs.

"Honestly, it's a four-year process," Rangers coach Ryan Parsons said. "We talk to each and every one of them and see what their plan is. To actually see them put goals together and see them accomplish them, as a coach, as a father, it's awesome. You can't really ask for more."

Brianna Alger, who led the team with 29 goals and 12 assists, signed with Washington State, Kate Devine is headed to Northern Colorado, Karly Sandoval is going to North Dakota and Annica Fletemeyer signed with Middle Tennessee State University.

Kirsten Hatton is headed to D-III University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.

"It also kind of feels like club, because everyone on my high school team is so talented," Alger said. "It's such a good atmosphere to be in because they're all so competitive and they keep me motivated all year round. I'm going to be sad to leave them."

The Rangers rolled to a 19-1 record last season, capping off their second consecutive trip to the state championship game with a 1-0 win over Valor Christian.

They gave up just seven goals all season.

"Because of them our goalie last year didn't get the recognition she deserved because our defense was so good," Parsons said.

When the spring season kicks off this year, the defending champs are expecting to put up another strong fight in getting to their third consecutive title game.

"I think for us we're so determined," Sandoval said. "We always said last year was for revenge on (losing to) Cheyenne Mountain since we lost to them in state (in 2015). But I think this year we're going to play for respect because we still feel like there's still so much we can prove to everybody."

Parsons can see his players' leadership getting their underclassmen ready for another deep run.

"When they get on that field they make sure that these girls understand the work ethic that needs to be," Parsons said. "They understand that they need to put in the work. It's fun to see."