CHEYENNE – Style of play was a big factor in Alexis Hobbs and Annie Rolf’s college choices.
Not only did the sophomore midfielders want a school that fit their talents, they wanted a school that played a style similar to what Laramie County Community College coach Jim Gardner employs.
Hobbs said she thinks she found it in NCAA Division II Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi, while Rolf cited those reasons for signing with Division II University of Western Florida in Pensacola, Florida.
“The coaches seem like they have really good ideas for where they want to take the program, and it’s really competitive,” said Hobbs, who is studying business and finance. “The facilities are nice, the coaches are nice, and they have a fun squad. I’m really excited to get going there.
“They have changed the way the team plays and are emphasizing the possession side of the game. I have always grown up in a possession-type club, and that’s the game I love playing.”
The Statesmen were 8-9-1 this past season. They won just five matches in 2017.
Hobbs – who hails from Kent, England – scored four goals and dished out five assists in 36 career matches at LCCC, helping the Golden Eagles reach the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament both seasons.
“Alexis is more of a defensive mid and attacking mid,” Gardner said. “I think that’s what they’re bringing her in for. Her skills are different than (Rolf’s). Annie is more about dribbling and attacking; Alexis is about distributing and attacking.”
Rolf – who is from West Sussex, England – took her recruiting visit to West Florida in late January, and was impressed by the lofty expectations the Argonauts have.
“They’re a lot like here, where they want to chase the national championship every year,” said Rolf, who will study coaching at West Florida. “They’re very similar to the style of play here. Their coach is similar to Gardner. He wants us to play diagonal balls, play fast and be clinical.
“I really enjoy that style of play, and feel like I fit in well.”
West Florida went 20-1 this past season. The lone loss came in the NCAA tournament.
Rolf was a two-year starter for LCCC, scoring 19 goals and assisting on 12 others. She earned All-Region IX honors this past season.
“Annie is one of the better players in the country,” Gardner said. “She came from a high level in England, and she is going to another high-level program.”