MADISON, WI (PRESS RELEASE) - The Wisconsin men's soccer program has added a local product to its roster for the 2009 season with the signing of Middleton, Wis., native Derek Pitts, first-year head coach Todd Yeagley announced Monday.
Pitts, a midfielder, graduated from Middleton High School in May and becomes the fifth newcomer to join the Badgers for 2009.
"We're excited to be able to bring Derek aboard," Yeagley said. "He is a strong and versatile athlete that we feel can provide depth for us in several positions."
In three years of varsity competition at Middleton, Pitts scored All-Big Eight Conference honors twice and served as a team captain. As a junior in 2007, he helped guide the Cardinals to a share of the league championship and a berth in the Division 1 state semifinals by tallying 11 goals.
Pitts, named to the Wisconsin State Journal All-Area first team in 2008, finished his prep career with 20 goals and a pair of assists and led Middleton to a combined 29-13-4 record in his final two campaigns.
On the club side, Pitts was a four-year captain for his Middleton Yahara Soccer Club teams, which advanced to the State Cup semifinals four-consecutive years. That included a State Cup championship in 2005.
Pitts also scored 21 goals and added 10 assists for MYSC in Midwest Regional League competition in 2008 and, most recently, helped the Madison United club win the 2009 Wisconsin Adult Soccer Association Major League championship in July.
In addition to three years of Wisconsin Olympic Development Program experience, Pitts also played nine games against local club teams in Argentina.
For 2009, Pitts joins freshman midfielder Kyle McCrudden (Wilmette, Ill.), freshman forward Ata Ozbay (Barrington, Ill.), freshman defender Daniel Koehn (Los Angeles, Calif.) and sophomore forward Ross Seagream (Dexter, Mich.), who transferred to UW from the University of Maine, as newcomers to the UW roster.
The Badgers open practice next Tuesday, Aug. 18, in preparation for exhibition matches against UW-Parkside (Aug. 24) and Akron (Aug. 29). Wisconsin opens the season Sept. 4 by hosting Virginia Tech in the Middleton Sports and Fitness Invitational at the McClimon Complex.
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Athletic Communications Assistant
University of Wisconsin