The Napa Valley College womens soccer program started just two years ago with Brad Williams joining the Storm as head coach.

On Thursday, the Storms Stephanie Carrillo, a first-team All-Bay Valley Conference player both of her years, signed a national letter-of-intent with Northern State University, a small NCAA Division II school in Aberdeen, S.D.

Carrillo is a 2011 graduate of Rancho Cotate High School-Rohnert Park who was named second-team All-North Bay League for the Cougars. She enrolled at Napa Valley that fall and was a two-year starter, playing primarily as a defender, but also midfield and forward. She was also a team captain.

Stephanie has come a long way and developed tremendously as a player and person, said Williams. Her efforts on the field and in the classroom have paid off and we are very happy to see her transfer to a high quality program at Northern State.

She has been a great leader and captain for the team, and helped get our program off to a fantastic start. We are very proud of her and we know that her strength and determination will help her achieve what she has set out to do. The NVC Storm wishes her the best as she continues her academic studies and soccer career.

As a first-year team, Napa Valley went 10-4-8, taking third place in the Bay Valley and making the Northern California playoffs. Last year, the Storm was 6-10-3, placing third in the BVC.

With teammates and staff looking on, Carrillo signed documents in the athletic department conference room, making her transfer to Northern State as a scholarship athlete official. The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference consists of colleges from the midwest.

It takes hard work and discipline and the desire to get the job done, said Kevin Luckey, NVCs Dean of Physical Education and Athletics. For you, today is special. Thank you for being part of our program for two years. Thank you for coming here and getting us started. Well be looking at Northern State results next fall.

Northern State was 3-12-3 overall, 2-10-3 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference last year. The Wolves start the 2013 season with games against Washburn University on Sept. 7 and Northwest Missouri State on Sept. 13 in Maryville, MO.

Hopefully we can win some games and I can be a part of that, said Carrillo, 19, who has visited Northern State.

Carrillo played in all 41 of the Storm soccer matches over the past two seasons, leaving her with two more years of intercollegiate eligibility.

I chose Northern State because I knew it would be a challenge moving away from home and playing, but I am looking forward to it, Carrillo said.

Carrillo was selected to compete in the 2012 California Community College Athletic Association Sophomore Showcase, where she was noticed by several colleges across the country. She becomes the first womens soccer player to transfer from NVC.

This is a really big day for Napa Valley College womens soccer, said Williams. Congratulations, Stephanie, were really proud of you, and thank you for all of your efforts. Were looking forward to hearing about you and watching you play at Northern State.

Carrillo scored in the 49th minute four minutes into the second half on a through-ball pass from Brittany Cash in the Storms 1-0 Bay Valley Conference victory at home over Los Medanos-Pittsburg in October.

Carrillo was credited with the assist on a goal by Brittany Simmers as Napa Valley tied the College of Marin-Kentfield, 1-1, in November.

Carrillo scored both goals on assists from Ashley Pizzimenti in the first half in Linda as the Storm finished its season on a two-game win streak, beating Yuba in November, 2-0.

We do everything that we can to help prepare them and get them ready for this next step, said Williams.

But the players themselves have to actually do it. And Stephanies done everything that she needed to do, to get herself prepared and ready to transfer on. Obviously, were very proud of that.

Thats the whole goal for this program, since Day 1, is to transfer as many players as possible on to the four year (schools). I think its a tremendous opportunity for her.

I knew Stephanie could play at this level, absolutely. It was just a matter of whether she wanted to or not. She worked very hard in the classroom.

Carrillo is a top defender who reads the game well. She played four years of soccer at Rancho Cotate.

Shes tough as nails, Williams said.

I havent coached many players that are willing to run through other players. Despite spending a good amount of time on the ground, she actually does a lot with the ball, too. She can dribble through players pretty phenomenally and her speed is unmatched by a lot of our opponents. It makes her dominant in those areas and I think it was recognized through the Bay Valley Conference with her first-team selections both years.

Carrillo enjoyed the close family atmosphere in the NVC program. Many of her teammates were on hand for yesterdays signing ceremony.

This is going to be my school forever soccer right here is where it all began. Im really happy about that, she said. I would like to think that we did very well both years. It was like making a statement. We got the program started. Hopefully it keeps going on for a very long time.

All my teammates, of course, I couldnt have got done it without you guys. I appreciate you guys pushing me hard and getting me to the next level. You guys got me there. Im really thankful for that.

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