Women's soccer: Roster features 5 backyard Bulls
The Bulls women's soccer team features more local faces than it has in the last half-decade, and veteran coach Denise Schilte-Brown has plain ol' puberty to thank.
As her sixth-grade twins -- Ethan and Kenza -- have grown, so has her relationship with local club and prep coaches. To Schilte-Brown, a former Canadian national team member who still heavily recruits internationally, that's not a total coincidence.
"I think my twins are getting older, so I've been more engaged in the Florida scene," said Schilte-Brown, whose 2016 roster features five bay area players (three from Hillsborough County, two from Pasco).
"It's tough as a head coach, you feel like you're pulled in a million different directions. And although my husband (Chris) and I are associate heads, I still feel like the expectation for (recruits) is to see me, and that can be tough sometimes. But because my twins are more involved in the youth game, my relationships personally with the local club coaches and the girls have strengthened."
While the quintent of local Bulls is the most on a USF women's team since 2011, the roster remains distinctly international, with 13 players who hail from outside the U.S. including six from Canada.
Schilte-Brown, an Ontario native who played professionally in Germany, needed her international recruiting ties to initially fortify the Bulls program upon her arrival a decade ago. Even today, she said it remains her and her husband's niche.
"Prior to coming to USF, (international recruiting) had to be our bread and butter," she said.
"Now we're here at this amazing school in the heart of Tampa, arguably the best school in the country in terms of location and athletic department. So we know that we can get great kids from Florida, and we're just trying to combine those two and that's where our strengths lie."
Bay area Bulls
F AJ Blount, Sr. (Wiregrass Ranch)
D Rebekah Anderson, Fr. (Durant)
MF Cassidy Kallenborn, So. (Sunlake)
MF/F Kylee Burroughs, Fr. (Plant City)
D Jessica Villa, Fr. (Holy Names)