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Marion's Szidik signs with Salukis

  • Marion native Nicole Szidik comes to SIU after spending the 2020-21 season at Bethel University.

    Marion native Nicole Szidik comes to SIU after spending the 2020-21 season at Bethel University.

BY SIU Sports Information
updated: 7/21/2021 9:33 AM

The Southern Illinois Saluki women's soccer program and head coach Grant Williams announced the signing of 10 players on Wednesday. The 10 incoming players will join a squad that returns 22 from its 2020-2021 season.
One of those 10 were Marion native and Bethel University transfer Nicole Szidik.
Szidik, a 5-foot-4, middle fielder comes to SIU after spending the 2020-21 season at Bethel and came to the McKenzie, Tennessee campus after signing scholarship papers with the Eastern Illinois University tennis team.
"Obviously anytime you're talking about the signing class there's an air of excitement because you know you are in a position where you're trying to help your program," Williams said.  "We couldn't recruit in-person for 15 months so that certainly presented some challenges for our staff.  The recruiting shifted more to video which really slowed the process down, but presented us with opportunities to look at some kids that we necessarily weren't initially looking at. But it has worked out for everybody, it's worked out for our program and the ten young ladies that are getting ready to come join us. It's worked out for those players in finding a place that's going to invest in them and being able to play at the highest level so we're all very excited about that."
The Saluki women's soccer program continues to span the country with their recruiting efforts.  The incoming class is represented from as far west as California, to as far east as New York.  The 10 incoming signees are also evenly split between incoming freshmen and transfers.  According to Williams, this was something that was done by design to help better his club.
"As you look at what are our needs are, being able to bring in some players that have some experience is going to be helpful to us. We are still pretty young from a game-playing experience, therefore we looked at bringing in areas of either depth or areas that we needed to challenge in. When you look up the makeup of the class, we helped all 4 lines really.  We brought in a goalkeeper, two defenders, three midfielders, and four forwards. So across the gambit we checked a lot of boxes in how do we help our team progress and move forward."
"We needed to bring in some competition. As I've told the players coming in and the existing players, we needed to get more consistent in our performances. That means getting better performances out of our existing players and bringing in players that are hungry to make their own mark and carve out a spot for themselves. My guess is that it is going to get the best of both sides. For me that is a win-win as we get ready to start year three."

Brooke Wheaton | Freshman | Forward | Corona, California | Legends FC
Ashley Scesniak | Freshman | Midfield | Hoffman Estates, Illinois | FC United
Ary Lougher-Harris | Freshman | Goalkeeper | Pittsford, New York | NY Rush
Hannah Elkebir | Freshman | Forward | Rancho Cucamonga, California | Legends FC
Kylie McDermott | Freshman | Defense | Eastvale, California | Legends FC
McKinley Stiff | Transfer | Forward | Lewisburg, Tennessee | Jacksonville State
Gwynevere Cardinal | Transfer | Midfield | Spring Hill, Tennessee | Austin Peay
Nicole Szidik | Transfer | Midfield | Marion, Illinois | Bethel University (TN)
Paris Walsh | Transfer | Defense | Las Vegas, Nevada | North Dakota State
Samantha Dodd | Transfer | Forward | Liberty Township, Ohio | University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

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