Rebels Announce Spring Signing Class
Feb. 7, 2006
LAS VEGAS - Six players have signed national letters of intent to play women's soccer for UNLV starting in the fall of 2006, head coach Katherine Mertz announced on Tuesday.
Brianna Moore is the Rebels' first recruit, a native of Riverside, Calif., and a 5-6 midfielder at Notre Dame High. She was a four-time first team all-league selection for the Titans, and helped them to the CIF playoffs all four years. Moore also ran track her freshman and sophomore years. "Brianna brings in a great attacking mindset," said Mertz. "She has good vision on the field, and has the pace to get in behind the defenses."
Mack Neely, a 5-5 defender from Scottsdale, Ariz., has helped Horizon High to two straight state championships in 2003 and 2004 as a freshman and sophomore, and her freshman squad was ranked third in the nation. An honorable mention all-region selection as a freshman, Neely was named Region Player of the Year as both a sophomore and her senior year, and was second team all-state as a sophomore as well. "Mack is a strong leader in the back, and I am looking forward to having her defensive capabilities on the field for us next year," said Mertz.
Dani Morin is the first of two Rebel recruits from California, as she is a 5-4 defender from Saugus. A four-year starter for Saugus High, Morin was named both first team All-Foothill League and All-Santa Clarita Valley by the Daily News in 2004. "Dani's speed and awareness of the game will give us an attacking presence coming out of the back," said Mertz.
Niki Connolly, a native of Woodland Hills, Calif., has led El Camino Real to four straight league championships and three city titles as well, and they are currently the No. 1 seed for this year's playoffs beginning next week. A 5-5 forward, Connolly has been named all-league and all-city first team twice, and is currently leading the team in both scoring and assists during her senior season. "I am excited that Niki will be joining us next year," said Mertz. "She is a tenacious forward that finds the back of the net."
Taylor Fuentes, a 5-6 midfielder, signed with the Rebels out of Davie, Fla., and is currently playing for American Heritage High after two years at Western High. In the 2005 season, she helped lead American Heritage to a 30-1 record and to the district, regional, state, and national championship title. The 2005 Miami Herald Player of the Year and all-state first team as a junior, she has been an all-county selection all three years thus far, and holds the Broward County record for goals in a game with seven. "Taylor is a good distributor of the ball, and will bring an added physical presence in the midfield," said Mertz.
UNLV signed one local recruit, Jamie McCoy, a 5-7 midfielder for Cimarron-Memorial. She has been named to the Nevada State team four straight years, and selected to the Region IV Camp the last four years as well while playing for the NFC Tabagators '88 club team in Las Vegas. McCoy has been a Scholar Athlete at Cimarron-Memorial all four years, and was named to the All-Northwest Division Team in 2004 and 2005, and was an All-Sunset Region Team selection in 2004. "Jamie is a hardworking outside midfielder," said Mertz.
"I'm extremely pleased with our recruiting class," continued Mertz. "We graduated some good seniors, and I feel this class has some good talent that will help us on and off the field towards our goal of making it back to the NCAA playoffs."
UNLV made its' second-ever, and second straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 2005 after winning the Mountain West Conference Tournament with a 1-0 overtime win over New Mexico. The Rebels then fell at No. 15 Cal State Fullerton 1-0 in overtime in the NCAA first round, to finish the year with a school-record mark of 13-6-3,