The Kingsmen standout goalkeeper inks with OSU
Rex Putnam High School senior Bella Geist made it official on Feb. 5, signing a letter of intent to play soccer for Oregon State University.
I know I have to earn my spot and compete and show them Im ready for that level of play, said Geist, who verbally committed to OSU as a junior. But Im excited to see what I can do.
Her potential, as it has been in youth soccer, is what she decides to do with it..., said Angela Harrison, Geists goalie coach who has worked with her since age 12. But her coaches and the people she works with at Oregon State will give her every opportunity to earn it. They dont recruit a kid like Bella to sit on the bench. Shes a tremendous athlete. Shes very driven and yet humble....
Harrison noted that its a tremendous compliment to be recruited by OSU to play womens soccer.
Theyre in one of the top two conferences in the country, Harrison said. Theyve had the last two national champions, UCLA last year and Stanford the year before. Its a conference for the elite players in the country.
Bella is a fantastic goalkeeper, said Oregon State goalkeeping coach Michelle Boiland. Shes got height; shes strong, which is always an advantage when playing in-goal; and, on top of that, she has great technical ability and a tremendous competitive spirit.... Shes a team player who works really hard, and she doesnt like to lose. Its very exciting to have her join this goalkeeping crew.
Boiland says that Geist has the potential to challenge returning junior goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme for playing time as a freshman.
Sammy Jo is a great goalkeeper and shes got the advantage, because shes got the experience, Boiland said. But I can tell you right now theres going to be some serious competition. Weve got two highly skilled, highly competitive, very talented goalkeepers.
Boiland added, If theres one advantage Bella has over Sammy Jo its in her kicking game. Bella can crush the ball. She can drop-kick the ball past the half line.
But Boiland said that her returning keeper wont yield playing time to Geist without a fight.
Sammy Jo does not like to lose anything, Boiland said. Even the toss of a coin at the start of a game.
Geist has had a phenomenal run as Putnams starting goalie throughout her high school career, leading the Kingsmen to the Class 5A state quarterfinals the past three seasons.
Last fall Putnams girls soccer team tied for second place in the Northwest Oregon Conference and made the quarterfinals, despite graduating 11 seniors from 2012 and experiencing a run of injuries. Geist was instrumental in that success.
Geist has also excelled as the kicker for Putnams varsity football team for the past three seasons, splitting the uprights on 89-of-96 PAT attempts (93 percent) and on two of three field goals. Her 40-yard field goal as time ran out in regulation in a game with Wilsonville helped propel the Kingsmen to a 28-26 double overtime upset of the then fourth-ranked Wildcats.
Geist this fall was honored as the top goalkeeper in the state in Class 5A high school girls soccer. A three-time first-team all-conference selection, Geist was NWOC girls soccer player of the year in 2012 and again last fall.
She was also honored last fall as the NWOCs top PAT kicker, earning a spot on the first team of football all-stars.
Geist says she was surprised both by the all-state honor in soccer and the all-league honor in football.
There are so many great goalkeepers in Oregon doing ODP [Olympic Development] that I wasnt expecting to get it, Geist said.
Geist was named to ODP regional teams four times before becoming too old to be a part of the ODP program. Her club teams won Oregon Premier League State Cup championships in 2009, 2011 and 2012, and her club team [Crossfire Oregon 95 Blue] was a state finalist in 2013.
Geist said of the NWOC football honor: I was surprised my name even came up, let alone that I made first team. Id never done a field goal before this year. I think it was my field goal in the game with Wilsonville that put me out there in the coaches eyes.... Its nice that a girl kicker can get recognized not just because shes a girl kicker, but because of her talent.
A 3.97 student, Geists scholarship at OSU is a combination athletic/academic scholarship, for her achievements in the classroom as well on the athletic field.
Geist plans a pre-veterinary major.