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Five Join Rebels For 2009

Feb. 14, 2009

LAS VEGAS - Five players have signed national letters of intent to play women's soccer for UNLV starting in the fall of 2009, head coach Katherine Mertz announced on Friday. UNLV signed a total of two players from the Las Vegas area, and one each from California, Utah and Arizona.

The first signee for the fall from San Diego, Calif., is 5-7 defender Caitlin Allen. She was named CIF MVP in 2008 as she helped Torrey Pines HS to its second straight undefeated season and CIF championship, and the team was ranked #1 in the nation during the 2008 season as well. Allen is also a member of the San Diego Surf team that has won three straight state championships, as well as three straight Surf Cup championships. She has been a member of the ODP program since 2004, and made the Region IV camp the past four years, including being a member of the Region IV Regional Pool in 2007, as well as helping her Cal South team to the ODP national Championship twice, including a second place finish in 2007. "Caitlin is true center back that has the potential to step into the line-up right away," said Mertz. "Her pace and tactical understanding of the game will be a great addition to our backline."

Next is Colette Yates of Kaysville, Utah. A 5-5 forward, she was a four year first-team all-state selection for Davis High, and named Northern Region MVP her freshman, junior and senior seasons. Yates scored 36 goals as a junior, which led the state and tied the state record as well. She helped her club team, Black Diamond, to eight straight Utah State cup conference championships, US Club Soccer Regional and National Champions in 2006, and to the US Club regional championship and third place at nationals in 2007. Yates was also a member of the Region IV ODP team in 2007. "I believe Colette will make an immediate impact to our team on the frontline, "said Mertz. "She is athletic with a great understanding of where the goal is and has a good ability to put the ball away."



The first Las Vegas recruit is Julie Owens, a 5-8 midfielder. A four-year starter for Centennial High, she helped the team to a undefeated season and the Southern Nevada State Championship in 2008 while earning her second straight all-Northwest Division Player honor. The team is currently undefeated with an 8-0-1 record this season, in which she has scored four goals and 19 assists. Owens is also a member of the Neusport FC team, six-time state champions who have also reached the US Club nationals in 2005 and 2006, and won Region F both years as well. She has been a three-year member of the Nevada State ODP program. "Julie is one of the best central midfielders coming out of Las Vegas," said Mertz. "She is strong in the air and will bring a good defensive presence to our midfield."

The fourth player, from Tucson, Ariz., is Aundrea Montoya. A 5-6 midfielder, she played for Salpointe Catholic High. As a member of the AZ Rush club team, she helped the squad reach the finals of the state tournament the past three years. Montoya has also been involved with both the Arizona ODP program and also participated in the Mexico Women's National Team Selection Program. "Our midfield will have great depth this year with the addition of Aundrea," said Mertz. "Her play-making abilities will help us breakdown the opponents' defenses. We expect her to bring a good knowledge and understanding of the position to our team."

Rounding out the signing class is Jennifer Lutjens of Las Vegas. A 5-9 midfielder for Cimarron Memorial, Lutjens is a four-year starter and is team captain for this year's squad. She is also a member of Players Soccer Club '91, state champions in 2008 and currently ranked No. 1 in Nevada. She had been on the Nevada State ODP Team the past four years as well. "Jennifer is a hard working and versatile player," said Mertz. "We are looking forward to working with her on and off the field. Her desire and passion for the game are great qualities to bring on to our team."

"Overall I am extremely happy with our 2009 recruits," said Mertz. "I believe we have players that will come in and make impact right away, which will only make us better. They are quality players on the field as well as being impressive off the field. I am looking forward to having them be a part of our Rebel soccer family."

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