Keen Signs Two to NLIs for 2013

By Jared Verner published February 8, 2013

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - University of Colorado Colorado Springs Head Men's Soccer Coach Johnnie Keen is excited to announce the addition of two student-athletes who signed National Letters of Intent this week. J.R. Calhoun (Canyon Country, Calif.) and Derek Saunier (Las Flores, Calif.) both signed during the signing period that started on Wednesday.

"I am extremely excited about our early signings this year," Keen said. "Our coaching staff has worked very hard to identify student-athletes that will help this program reach the next level.  So far, we are very confident that the young men we have committed will thrive as UCCS Mountain Lions."

Calhoun is a four-year starter for Chaminade College Prep and was a First Team All-Mission League selection in 2011. He led the Eagles to their first playoff appearance in a decade. Calhoun finished his senior season with 11 goals and five assists in 16 games. As a part of the Los Angeles Premier Under-17 team, he was part of the NHB Cup championship team that competed in the Coast Soccer League.

"We first met J.R. at one of our 2012 soccer camps and he made an immediate impression on the coaching staff," Keen said. "J.R. possesses everything you want out of a central midfielder. He is extremely composed on the ball, which comes from his confidence and ability to use both feet equally. He is a strong student, a great personality and a natural leader.  We are excited to have him in black and gold this fall."

Saunier was a four-year captain at Tesoro High School at midfielder and led the Titans to the California Interscholastic Federation playoffs. He received the Coaches Player Award all four years and was named one of the Top Players to Watch in Orange County in his senior season. Saunier also started for the United Futbol Club B94 Black team and was a part of a United Cup championship team in 2011 and teams that finished in the finals for the NHB Cup, Far West Regional League and Nomads tournaments.

"We are excited that Derek has decided to join our team," Keen said. "He is another player that we originally identified through our summer camp. Derek is a smart and pacey defender with a real physical presence on the field.  He will add depth to an already solid defensive line."

The Mountain Lions finished the 2012 season in the RMAC semifinals after the first playoff victory since 1998. UCCS put together a five-game winning streak midway through the season, the longest winning streak since 2000, and hosted its first playoff game in program history.

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May 1, 2013Shaswar and Burrell Receive McLaughlin AwardUniversity of Colorado Colorado Springs senior student-athletes Mash Shaswar and Megan Burrell were honored as the recipients of the Thomas F. McLaughlin Award at the University's annual Awards Banquet tonight in Berger Hall.
February 11, 2013Searls Signs with UCCS Men's SoccerUniversity of Colorado Colorado Springs Head Men's Soccer Coach Johnnie Keen is excited to announce the signing of Cort Searls of Frisco, Texas, to a National Letter of Intent. Searls joins J. R. Calhoun and Derek Saunier as signees in the 2013 men's soccer class.
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