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Nine Sign With Rebels For 2010

Feb. 4, 2010

LAS VEGAS - Nine players have signed national letters of intent to play women's soccer for UNLV starting in the fall of 2010, head coach Kat Mertz announced on Thursday. UNLV signed a total of three players from the Las Vegas area, two from Utah, and one each from Arizona, Hawaii, Kansas and Texas.

The first recruit is Nicole Cipriano, a 5-7 goalie from Dallas, Texas. Cipriano has been a member of two Mexico national youth teams, having played in the CONCACAF tournament with the U-17 squad in 2008 and the U-20 team in 2010 in Guatemala, where she helped her team qualify for the U-20 Women's World Cup. Currently she is a member of the Dallas Sting and led them to the 2007 USYS National championships, as well as several other tournament titles, including the 2007 USYS Region III championship, the 2006 Surf Cup, and the 2007 State Cup. She played her senior season on the Duncanville High School soccer team and helped them to a district championship. Cipriano also spent one season each on the cross country (2007) and softball (2008) teams.

The next goalkeeper is Kelli McCracken, a 5-9 native of Litchfield Park, Ariz. McCracken has been a member of the '92 ODP Region IV pool for the past three years, and has played goalie for Banat SC in Phoenix since 2003. McCracken was a four-year starter for Millennium High School, for who she was a two-time first team all-region selection.

From Las Vegas is 5-8 goalkeeper Kylie Wassell. She is a member of the '93 ODP Region IV pool, and has been the goalkeeper for Neusport '94 in Las Vegas since 2007. In 2008 she helped her club team to a state cup championship. She was the starting keeper for the Bonanza High Bengals as a senior and led them to the division playoffs, while picking up All-Southwest League, All-Sunset Region, and All-Southern Nevada honors. Wassell was also the team captain and team MVP her senior year.

Coming from Honolulu, Hawaii is 5-1 midfielder Courtney Botelho. She was a member of the 2009 '92 ODP Region IV team, and plays for the HSC Bulls club team, four-time state cup champs and 2008 Surf Cup champions. Currently in the middle of her senior season at Kamehameha Schools, Botelho helped her school to three straight conference championships, two state championships, and a state runner-up finish. She has earned first team all-state honors, state all-tournament team honors twice, and was an honorable mention all-state player as a freshman.



The next two recruits are teammates at Alta High School in Sandy, Utah, and helped the Hawks to four straight state championships, as well as a No. 2 national ranking in 2006. First up is Jackie Tillotson, a 5-9 defender and three-time second team all-state selection, while Lexy Webber is a 5-6 defender and was an all-region selection as well as team captain in 2009. Both players are also members of the Avalanche Soccer Club, which won the Surf Cup in 2007 and 2009, and was state cup champions in 2006 and 2009.

Jenn Wolfe is a 5-7 forward from Olathe, Kansas, and has been a four-year letterwinner for the Eagles' soccer and basketball teams. She earned All-Sunflower League, All-Olathe, and All-Metro honors for the soccer squad, while also being named the school's Breakthrough Athlete of the Year. Wolfe plays for BV Stars Mallorea in Overland Park, and has helped them to two regional finals and six state championships in her seven years on the team.

Rounding out the class are a pair of Las Vegas Premier teammates. Jahmela Williams is a 5-3 forward who is currently a member of LV Premier, and is a member of the '92 ODP Region IV team. She has played the past two years for Rancho High School and has been the team's Offensive MVP the past two years, as well as first team All-Las Vegas after helping the team to two first place division finishes and to two Nevada state semifinals.

Amanda Kaufman is a 5-8 midfielder, and in her first two years at Bishop Gorman High School helped the team to a first place division finish as a freshman and conference championship her sophomore season. She has played for both Rebels Select and FC Las Vegas, helping the later to two straight state titles.

"I am extremely excited for our 2010 recruiting class," said Mertz. "We have a lot of depth across the board, especially in the goalkeeper position. We are looking forward to the fall when I believe these recruits will make an immediate impact to our team."

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