Aggie Women's Soccer Inks A Pair Of International Talents

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State women’s soccer head coach Michael Needham announced the addition of two international sensations to the inaugural roster, Thursday, March 26.

Barbados natives Gabriella Lopez and Alyssa Yard have both signed National Letters of Intent to attend NM State and compete for the Aggies beginning in the fall of 2009.

"We are fortunate to add these to two outstanding players to the 2009 roster," Needham said. "They both have strong athletic pedigrees due to their experience in the 2008 U20 World Cup Qualifying.

"They have the discipline, athletic ability, and soccer intelligence to contribute from day one and we look forward to welcoming them to Las Cruces in August."

Lopez, a standout multiple sport athlete was a dominating force in the Barbados High School Championships. The midfielder led the team to a stellar 10-1 record and to the league finals in 2008. Lopez was a member of the Barbados Football Association Women’s League U20 team and the Barbados U20 National Team that competed in World Cup qualifying. During the World Cup Qualifying, Lopez was a significant threat in both appearances and played a strong role in the 3-2 win over Anguilla. In addition, Lopez has competed for the Barbados National Tennis Team for six years (2002-08).

"Gabby is a hard working, fit and an athletic outside back," Needham said. "She has solid pace and her international playing experience will add a great deal to the exceptional group that we have coming in the fall."

Yard is a highly decorated defensive specialist from Barbados where she competed for the Barbados Football Association Women’s League U20 Team last season. Yard scored the first international goal for Barbados in the World Cup qualifier against Cuba and also led the team to a solid 3-2 win over Anguilla. Additionally, Yard led her club team to a pair of Barbados Football Association League Cups in 2007 and 2008, and was named to the Barbados all-star team for her strong performance. In 2007 Yard was named the league’s most outstanding defender and was also named as the Pro-Shottas Soccer School’s best defender.

"Alyssa is a solid, composed, technical, and fit center back," Needham said. "Her experience in U20 World Cup qualifying last year will be very valuable as she makes the move to college level."

With the addition of Lopez and Yard, NM State’s inaugural signing class totals 20 students-athletes.

NM State’s Signing Class as of March 26, 2009

Lauren Allen
5-9, Defender/Midfielder, Freshman
Osbourn Park High School, Manassas, Va.

Crystal Burns
5-5, Forward, Freshman
Shattuck St. Mary’s, Olathe, Kan.

Jazmin Cardoso
5-4, Forward, Freshman
Broadway High School, Harrisburg, Va.

Lauren Cope
5-2, Midfield/Forward, Freshman
La Mirada High School, La Mirada, Calif.

Baili Foutz
5-9, Center Midfielder, Junior
Mountain Pointe, Phoenix, Ariz.

Aisha Gutierrez
5-2, Left Fullback, Freshman
Franklin High School, El Paso, Texas

Kelly Heiman
5-6, Center Midfield, Freshman
The Colony High School, The Colony, Texas

Courtney Irwin
5-8, Defender, Freshman
Capital High School, Boise, Idaho

Gabriella Lopez
5-4, Defender, Freshman

Kassandra Martinez
5-8, Midfielder, Freshman
Burges High School, El Paso, Texas

Yolanda McMillian
5-7, Defender, Freshman
Alamogordo High School, Alamogordo, N.M.

Natalie Nichols
5-8, Forward, Redshirt-Sophomore
North Idaho College, Post Falls, Idaho

Elizabeth Nordin
5-8, Defender, Freshman
Huntington Beach High School, Huntington Beach, Calif.

Vanessa Novella
5-6, Midfielder, Freshman
Capistrano Valley High School, Mission Viejo, Calif.

Taylor Reyes
5-3, Midfielder, Freshman
Palo Verde High School, Las Vegas, Nev.

Jessica Schutter
5-8, Goal Keeper, Freshman
John F. Kennedy High School, La Palma, Calif.

Veronica Subu
5-2, Forward/Midfield, Freshman
Coronado High School, Henderson, Nev.

Vanessa Thomas
5-3, Forward, Freshman
Hanks High School, El Paso, Texas

Nina Yanes
5-5, Forward, Junior
Santiago Canyon College, Mission Viejo, Calif.

Alyssa Yard
5-5, Defender, Freshman