Pilot Women’s Soccer Announces Class of 2023

PORTLAND, Oregon – The Portland Pilots women’s soccer team has signed six new recruits from the Class of 2023: Aliyah Dockter, Xayla Black, Sophia Hills, Marlee Cavitt, Hailey Bagby and Nina Rhode.

“Our staff is incredibly excited to welcome the class of 2023 to UP,” said Portland head coach Michelle French. “While each member of the class will impact the program, culture and community in their own unique way, there is a common thread that unites them: They are all exceptional people, ambitious students and passionate about both the program and the process . Our program as a whole is ready to embrace them and can’t wait to see what they can achieve here at the University of Portland both on and off the field.”

Hailey Bagby – Defense Attorney – Pasadena, California.

The pilots are also adding another outside in Bagby, who hails from Pasadena, California. She spent several years with the SoCal Blues club team in Southern California. Bagby isn’t the only pilot to come out of this club, as newcomer Katana Norman also plays for the So Cal Blues Club.

Coach French to Bagby

“Hailey is a player that caught our eye as he played through injury while still playing at a very high level. A tough, physical and aggressive defender, Hailey has the technical ability to come forward. Like the rest of the class, Hailey is very excited to be a pilot and we can’t wait to work with her.”

Xayla Black – Forward – Henderson, Nev.

Black comes to Portland from Coronado High School. A true attacker, she led her 2021 Coronado High School team to two regional championships and a 5A state championship, earning individual recognition in the process. She was part of the regional ODP pool in 2018 and has played for several clubs including her current club Albio SC in Las Vegas.

Coach French on Black

“Xayla is a fast, confident and dangerous attacking player who has the potential to excite Pilot fans the moment she steps onto the field. We immediately noticed their willingness and desire to be aggressive with the ball at their feet. Xayla is also extremely passionate about the game and will be an incredible asset to our program.”

Marlee Cavitt – Defense Attorney – Sacramento, California.

Cavitt bolsters an already strong Pilot defense as a full-back from Sacramento, California. She was a two-time All-Metro selection and team MVP in soccer, and also earned All-Metro honors in track and field. She is a member of the ODP California roster as well as the ODP Far West Regional Team. Her mother, Melissa Cavitt, also played at the University of Portland from 1994 to 1997.

Coach French to Cavitt

“Marlee has been on our radar for quite some time and is just as excited to be a pilot as we welcome her to The Bluff. Her energy, her pace and her tirelessness work Effort will be an instant boost to the program. Marlee has an infectious personality and we look forward to being a part of her continued development.”

Aaliyh Dockter – Midfielder – Seattle, Washington.

Dockter, the sister of current Pilot midfielder Keeley Dockter, comes to the Pilots with an already impressive resume. She was part of a strong Holy Names Academy team that won the Metro League twice during her time there. She was named Team MVP and continued to be very inspirational in her senior year. She has also attended US Youth Soccer OPD West Region Camps and has played for Seattle United since 2010.

Coach French on Dockter

“Aliyah is a presence in the middle of the field that will help us compete physically – inside and outside the conference. She possesses a unique blend of size, technical ability, and awareness that is hard to find. We’ve been following Aliyah for a while now and are very excited to add another Dockter to the program.”

Sophia Hills – Goaltender – Boise, Idaho

Hills is a goaltender for the Pilots from Boise, Idaho. She has had a solid career at Boise High School, was named to the 5A SIC All-Conference First Team, and led her school to both a district championship and a state championship last year. At the regional level, Hills also played with regional team Rush Select from 2019-2020 and with the national team from 2020-21.

Coach French on hills

“Sophia is an incredible athlete with a tremendous ability to block shots. Our staff noticed early on how well she combined her skills in goal with a high level of understanding of the game, while also using her voice to communicate exceptionally well. Her compliment to Our already talented pool of goalkeepers will continue to make us more competitive as a program, both internally and against other teams.”

Nina Rhode – Forward/Midfielder – Corvallis, Ore.

Finally, Rhode is an Oregonian from Corvallis who is skilled in midfield and as a forward. From Mountainside High School, she was an All-Metro League First Team selection in both 2020 and 2021 and led the Mavericks to a second-place finish at the 6A State Championships in 2019. She has been part of both the Westside Timbers and the Portland Thorns since 2018 in various capacities, most recently for the Thorns Academy ECNL team. Her father, Linus Rhode, played football at the University of Portland and with the Vancouver White Caps.

Coach French in Rhodes

“Nina’s movement and ability to read the game sets her apart and attracted our staff throughout the recruitment process. She is exceptionally confident on the ball and able to create opportunities for herself and those around her. As employees, we always hope to keep top talent here in Portland, we’re delighted that Nina has chosen to stay close to home.”

The pilots have had one of their best seasons in almost 10 years. They finished the year 12-5-4 and entered the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2013. They also achieved their best win total and win percentage since the same year. Four players received All-WCC honors, with Shay Adams making up the first team, Bre Norris and Cally Togiai making up the second team, and Isabella Yakel making up the freshman team.

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