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Stockton's Ashley Nop signs with SAGU

Lady Lions roster now fields four from Left Coast

WAXAHACHIE, Texas  --  The women’s soccer team at Southwestern Assemblies of God University has enjoyed a very active off-season according to veteran head Coach Mandy Fortner. They have just added another promising recruit to the Class of 2013 with the addition of Ashley Nop.

A 5-foot-2 midfielder and goal-keeper, Nop is the second recruit this year from Stockton, California, joining Kristen Lambdin (Jim Elliot Christian HS). The pair are close friends and attend the same church. Stockton (pop. 291, 707) is located in the Central Valley region in Northern California.

Nop played for Head Coach Chris Handsor at Lincoln High School. He also coached her on the club level with the Stars soccer team. Handsor offered high praise for Nop, as a person, student and player.

“Ashley is an exceptional young lady. She is well-known for her intellect, lofty ambitions, generosity, and kindness. Ashley is a dedicated student and, thus, her grades have been exemplary. She has been an honor roll student for all four years of high school.”

“Her selflessness shows no bounds,” Coach Handsor continued. “On the soccer field she has proven to be a take charge person who is able to successfully comprehend game plans and implement them.”

“She has successfully demonstrated her leadership ability by commanding the respect of her teammates and leading by example on and off the field for her underclass teammates. Her comments and advice has been a great help to these student-athletes.”

As a student at Lincoln, whose enrollment is 2,678, Nop was an honor student in Spanish for three years while also earning honors in Chemistry and Advanced Placement Statistics.

Nop plans to major in Criminal Justice or Missions at SAGU.

Two highlights during her prep years were missions trips she participated in to Haiti and another to Mexico. She also was active in the local chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Ashley’s parents are Chandara Nop and Tina Sharkey. She has one sister, Kylie Nop (15).

She will not be alone even though she will be 1,703 miles from home. The Lady Lions, who went 6-11-1 in their final year as members of the Red River Athletic Conference, already have two strong veterans on the team from the Left Coast.

Amber Belisle (Roseville, Cal / Whitney HS) and Amy Lambdin (Stockton, Calif / Elliot Christian HS) will be juniors.

Lambdin led the team in goals with six and tied Noelle Pugliese (Lee’s Summit, Mo / Lee’s Summit North HS) in scoring points with 14. Belisle (bah-LIE-yul) was third in goals with four. She also served as the team’s primary backup goalie.

About SAGU Women's Soccer

SAGU will play an 18-game schedule this fall, eight of them on the home pitch. SAGU Sports Live will broadcast half of the home matches via HD livestream.

The Lady Lions open with two road games in Kansas before making their home debut on the first day of the fall semester. On Wednesday, September 4, they will play host to Johnson & Wales University (Denver) at 1:00pm.

SAGU will play their first season in the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) this year. Having produced 84 national champions, it is considered by many to be the best league in the NAIA.

Forty-five athletes have been named National Player of the Year, a further testament to the Sooner Athletic Conference. Eleven schools are members, including four from Texas.

Contact: Mark “Link” Warde, SAGU Sports Information Director, at or at 469-658-2847.

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