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UNM women’s soccer newcomers will know a lot about one another

If there is an underlying theme in the recruiting class of 2014, it’s probably speed. Or perhaps family. Or perhaps Albuquerque. Anyway you care to slice it, the Class of 2014 brought in by University of New Mexico women’s soccer head coach Kit Vela should help fill the loss of a talented senior class.

The new seven includes three from Albuquerque and four from California.

“They are an incredibly dynamic, hard-working group, and they are very passionate about the game itself,” said Vela. “They will fit right in with the young team we currently have.”

The three local signees are:

  • Albuquerque High defender Isabella Jimenez, a three-season member of the New Mexico Olympic Development Program (ODP) team;
  • Midfielder Claire Lynch of Volcano Vista, where she teamed up with current Lobos Ruth Bruciaga, Alyssa Coonrod and Olivia Ferrier; and
  • Eldorado defender Shelby Zellner, who helped the Eagles to the 2013 Class 5A state championship.

The three were teammates in club ball with New Mexico Rush 96.


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Likewise, the four Californians were teammates, either in high school or club ball. They are:

  • Ashley Ballantyne, a midfielder from Laguna Hills, Calif.;
  • Alexa Cabrales, a defender from Mission Viejo;
  • Cabrales’ Mission Viejo High teammate Danielle Scelsi, a midfielder; and
  • Midfielder-forward Casey Murphy, Ballantyne’s prep teammate from Mission Viejo’s Capistrano Valley High.