FC Wichita Women: Meet our backline

by Charles Chaney

Your backline is the last line of defense on the pitch before it becomes a 1-v-1 with the keeper. For FC Wichita womens' club, the back line has a plethora of talent, including local talent. 

Of the eight defenders listed on our roster, five come from our Sunflower State. These matches can see some high-scoring out puts, so having a top-notch back line is important. 

Maria Stephens
Newman university
Wichita, Kansas

Maria Stephens, a product of Wichita South High, has spent the lat three seasons playing defense for the Jets. She was an all-GWAL selection in high school multiple times and helped Wichita South compete in the always tough GWAL. 

While at Newman, Stephens has continued that tough defensive attitude. She helped Newman's defense be one of the best in the MIAA this past season. She started 15 of the 16 games played this season and logged almost 1,500 match minutes. That helped her secure a 2nd team All-MIAA selection this fall.

Seulgi Lee
Barry University (FL)
Seoul, South Korea

The sophomore All-American from Seoul, South Korea was recently named an NJCAA 1st team All-American after playing for Barton Community College this fall. She goes down as one of the most decorated players in school history. She is the only Barton Cougar to be named an All-American twice in her career after being a second team selection last season.

She helped Barton CC to eight clean sheets and she could put up numbers, too. She had nine assists and was second on the team with nine goals. She helped Barton end the season with a national ranking, eventually making it to the region semifinals.

Lee was also chosen as the NJCAA Region VI Most Valuable Player this fall, which is selected by the coaches.

Hinata Kojima
Barton CC

Hinta Kojima is a team-first type of defender. She's willing to do whatever it takes to help the club. 

This spring she played midfield for Barton Community College but her natural position is on the back line. Barton plays her at right back but she'll play wherever FC Wichita needs her to step in. She's a technically sound defender that isn't afraid to get physical if needed. 

lexi Jack
Hutchinson CC
goddard, Kansas

Another junior college all-star is heading to Stryker. Lexi Jack, one of the premier defenders in the KJCCC will help defend for FC Wichita. As a freshman she was an honorable mention for the Hutchinson Blue Dragons under former FC Wichita head coach Sammy Lane. 

While at Hutch, Jack helped the Blue Dragons pitch five shutouts this past season, including four of those in conference. 

Jack, a product of the FC Wichita Academy and Eisenhower High School in Goddard, she was named a first team all-league defender her senior season and second team her junior year. 

Kenzi Gillispie
Kansas State univeristy
Newton, Kansas

One of the best players in Circle High School history will step on the pitch for FC Wichita this summer. Gillispie appeared in numerous games for FC Wichita last season, playing with her sister, Keila Gillispie. 

Gillispie was a freshman at Kansas State this fall and made an immediate impact for the Wildcats, helping them to tie the school record for wins in a season. During her freshman season, Gillispie logged more than 1,400 match minutes and starting 18 matches. She picked up her first collegiate point when she assisted on a goal in her second match of the year. She is one of four players for K-State to play in ever match. She ranks second in school history for minutes played as a freshman.

While in high school, Gillispie excelled, helping Circle to their first state tournament in school history her senior year. She was a first team All-State selection and All-AVCTL selection. She's also a multi-sport athlete. She finished as state runner-up at the Class 4A State Championships in tennis her senior year while at Circle.

Lindsey Maul
Bishop Carroll HS / fc wichita ecnl
Wichita, Kansas

A teammate of keeper Madison Wingler, another Bishop Carroll Golden Eagle will see playing time at the senior level this summer is Lindsey Maul. Only a junior, she will be one of the youngest players on the roster but don't let her age fool you, she can play.

She was an all-GWAL honorable mention in a sophomore. She's a large reason why Bishop Carroll has only allowed 11 goals this season, one of the best defenses in the state, regardless of classification. 

Maul was recently picked as one of the top players to watch in the Wichita area and has shown why in her time with the FC Wichita girls ECNL side. 

Sophie Klaver
Trinity Academy
Wichita, Kansas

Sophie Klaver will get some FC Wichita experience before she heads off to Nashville. The senior at Wichita's Trinity Academy has signed to play at Belmont University in the fall, where she should be an impact for the Bruins. 

While at Trinity, Klaver has become an all-state defender and should be a first team selection once the high school season comes to an end for the state of Kansas. 

She fast, physical and opposing coaches know to game plan around her. One coach in high school said you cannot really limit her but you have to hope she doesn't hurt you while you try to make others beat you.

Tyler Goodwin
Kansas Wesleyan
Covina, California

Goodwin is coming to FC Wichita after playing the last season at Kansas Wesleyan in Salina. She helped the Coyotes to one of the best records in the KCAC, winning 11 matches and making it to the KCAC semifinals. 

Previously, she attended Minnesota-Crookston, a Division II school. She played for them for two seasons before jumping into the transfer portal. She started all 32 games she played in Crookston. 

While at KWU, she helped the 'Yotes to one of the best goals against average in the KCAC. She also helped KWU to nine cleansheets.