Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - With the 2017 soccer season just six months away, New Mexico State women's soccer head coach Freddy Delgado announced the signing of nine players for the upcoming campaign.
"This may be the deepest and most well coached freshmen class we've had," Delgado said. "Each of these student-athletes comes from a high level of club soccer. They train and compete on a daily basis with and against some of the best players in the country. Because they come from some of the most competitive teams in the nation, I expect they will be a bit more advanced than the average freshmen class. I expect them to contribute from an early point in the year."
Four of the nine signees hail from California while three come from New Mexico and two from Arizona. Alyssa Greenblatt, Katie Martinez, Kara Montilla and Natalie Swanson are from the Golden State while Dmitri Fong, Tatiana "Tots" Limon, and Ashton Forrest are from the Land of Enchantment. Rounding out the group are Jody Hernandez and Rachel Wolters who joins their fellow signees from the Grand Canyon state.
"Every successful team needs special players and I believe we have more than a few in this year's signing class," said Delgado. "We've made great strides over the last two seasons with our current team. We are poised for a breakout season and our 2017 signing class will have a big role in our future success."
These nine newly minted Aggies will join the 11 new faces from the 2016 class that saw six earn starting caps at one point or another during the season.
5-10 | Goalkeeper
Albuquerque, N.M. | New Mexico
Before NM State (UNM): Did not see action for the Lobos.
High School: A four year letter winner at Cibola High School in Albuquerque, N.M., where she played goalkeeper… led the Coyotes to a New Mexico State 6A Championship in 2015… in her junior season, she recorded a 1.0 goals against average and allowed only 15 goals in 1,202 minutes…posted a 1.005 GAA in 2014-15, allowing 14 goals in 1,114 minutes of action in 2014…took Chibola High School to the state championship game her sophomore season…guided CHS to 57 wins during her four years…was also a four-year varsity player on the basketball team…finished her career on the hardwood 103-11 and guided the Coyotes to a state runner-up finish, earning female athlete of the year honors.
Personal: Daughter of Tommy and Rhonda Fong…has an older sister, Andrea…transferred from New Mexico…majoring in biology.
"Dmitri is gifted physically with strength, power and quickness. As a transfer, she brings with her a year of experience, leadership and maturity. She will challenge a solid goalkeeping core for playing time and adds her own unique personality to an excellent 2017 class."
5-7 | Defender
Rio Rancho, N.M. | Cleveland HS
High School: Helped guide Cleveland High School to three-straight 10-win seasons, including a sixth-place finish at the state championship tournament her senior year…was a three-year letter winner for CHS…earned second-team all-state and all-district honors after her first season on varsity as sophomore (2014)…followed up with first-team all-district honors her junior season…named 6A District Player of the Year, first-team all-state and first-team all-district in her final season with the Storm.
Personal: Daughter of Clint and Tenisa Forrest…has an older sister, Eryn, and a younger sister, Alexa…older sister Eryn is a cheerleader at UNM...majoring in physical therapy.
"Ashton will find time playing both in the midfield and in central defense. She does a good job of connecting passes and controlling the tempo of the game. Her poise, communication and leadership skills are evident throughout her club and high school career."
5-7 | Defender
Newbury Park, Calif. | Newbury Park HS
Real So Cal ECNL
High School: A four-year letter winner at Newbury Park High School in Thousand Oaks, Calif., where she played as a defender…led the Panthers to runner-up finishes in the Marmonte League her freshman and sophomore year…guided NPHS to the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section semifinals her first year with the Panthers…was also a semifinalist at the California State Championships...was named team captain her senior year…four-year principal scholar-athlete honoree.
Personal: Daughter of Mark and Jennifer Greenblatt...twin sisters, Hayley and Lindsay both attend Cal Poly Luis Obispo…father played volleyball at Chico State while grandpa played baseball at UCLA…majoring in elementary education.
"I enjoy and respect Alyssa's approach to the game. She is a fierce, disciplined competitor who enjoys the process of improving every day. She is a key contributor to one of the best club teams in the country and I think that experience will directly transfer to our program."
5-0 | Midfielder
Phoenix, Ariz. | Thunderbird HS
Excel Soccer Academy
High School: A three-year letter winner at Thunderbird High School at midfield…led the Chiefs to an 11-5-0 finish her sophomore year, scoring 10 goals and dished out five assists…recently guided THS to a 12-1-2 overall record and first-place finish in league play as a senior…finished her final season of prep soccer with a career-high 90 points (34g, 22a)...wrapped up her junior campaign with 25 points (8g, 9a).
Personal: Daughter of Absalon Hernandez and Merari Carreto…has two older siblings, Anthony and Kimberly, and two younger siblings, Absalon and Xitlaly…undecided on major.
"Jody is a special playmaker who has the ability to take over a game. Each time she touches the ball, she brings excitement. She is technically smooth and confident with the ability to beat you off the dribble or slice up defenses with the pass."
Tatiana "Tots" Limon
5-3 | Forward
Albuquerque, N.M. | St. Pius X HS
High School: A highly-touted recruit out of St. Pius X High School, Limon led the Sartans to three-straight state championships (2013-15)…finished her prep career with 360 points, 147 goals and 66 assists – all school records – and owns the schools' single-season goals record with 45 her junior year…earned All-American status as a senior and all-region west team in 2015 and 2016...named NSCAA New Mexico Player of the Year back-to-back years (2015-16)…earned first-team all-state and first-team all-metro honors all four years…led St. Pius X to an 80-12-1 record during her four years…booted in 30 goals along with 17 assists as a freshman starter and improved her sophomore year with 36 goals and 24 assists…after a breakout junior season, Limon finished her prep career with 33 goals and 14 assists for the Sartans, who finished second in district action.
Personal: Daughter of Ernie and Yvonne Limon…has an older sister, Estrella, and older brother, Elias…father played football and mother played softball at New Mexico Highlands…uncle Jaime Limon ran track at New Mexico State while aunt Connie Limon played basketball for the Aggies and a member of the US Bank/NM State Hall of Fame…brother Elias currently runs track at Colorado School of the Mines…majoring in criminal justice.
"Tatiana is an amazing goal scorer, who continues to break records across the state. She has many of the natural tools of a great scorer: timing, vision, execution and poise. Off the field she is a sweet, quiet young woman, but on the field she has the killer instinct every great forward needs."
5-9 | Defender
Huntington Beach, Calif. | Huntington Beach HS
West Coast FC
High School: A four-year letter winner at Huntington Beach High School, Martinez has guided the Oilers to back-to-back Sunset League Championships with her senior season still in play…opened her freshman career by leading HBHS to a third-place finish in league action and earned most defensive player honors…was a Second-Team All-Sunset League honoree her sophomore and junior campaigns…named scholar-athlete all three years to date and was placed on all-academic team the last two season…also a member of the National Honor Society.
Personal: Daughter of Scott and Vicki Martinez…has a younger sister, Jacey…cousin played baseball at Redlands…undecided on major.
"Katie combines size, speed, power, technique and versatility. She will help us in a variety of roles. She has the height to win air balls and physical strength to battle the more physical teams, but she also has the skill and composure to play against the more technical teams."
5-4 | Defender/Midfielder
Carson, Calif. | Bishop Montgomery HS
High School: Four-year letter winner at Bishop Montgomery High School in City, Calif., where she played as a forward and midfielder…led the Knights to 11 and 13 wins her freshman and sophomore year, respectively…earned second-team all-league honors as a sophomore after leading BMHS to a third-place finish in the Del Rey League…named captain for her senior campaign playing both as a defender and midfielder…helped the Knights take home the Lady Pirate Cup Championship her freshman year as well…won the 2015 Surf Cup Gold Champions, 2012 USCS West Regional Championship and 2011 West Coast Classic Championship with her club team, Strikers ECNL…was also a finalist in several tournaments throughout her prep career, including the 2012 Club Soccer National Cup, 2012 USCS West Regional Championship and 2011 Copa Real Championship.
Personal: Daughter of Oscar and Geraldine Montilla…has a younger brother, Oscar….father played collegiate soccer in the Philippines…majoring in kinesiology.
"Kara is an outside defender with an incredible work rate to compliment an excellent set of physical tools. She is a vicious tackler and will be one of the fastest players on the team. The thing I appreciate most about Kara is her competitive nature and willingness to win."
5-5 | Forward
Huntington Beach, Calif. | Marina HS
West Coast FC
High School: Was a four-year letter winner at Marina High School in Huntington Beach, Calif….played forward her first two season before transitioning into the midfield…helped the Vikings earn back-to-back third-place finishes her first two seasons on the pitch…followed up with a fourth-place finish her junior campaign and recorded eight points (2g, 4a)…was named the team MVP as a freshman after racking up 21 points (6g, 9a) and captain her senior year…earned scholar-athlete distinction all four years.
Personal: Daughter of Charles and Danielle Swanson…has an older brother, Nicholas…father played collegiately at UC Santa Barbara while brother played golf for the Gauchos…uncle was a member of the UCLA men's soccer team…also had a cousin play soccer at Point Loma Nazarene while another played at SCC Community College...grandfather played football at Stanford.
"Natalie's attitude about the game is insightful, mature and inspirational. She does little things on and off the ball that make a big difference both individually and collectively. Her vision, hard work, soccer IQ and accountability are some of the qualities that make her a dynamic attacker."
5-9 | Defender
Chandler, Ariz. | Perry HS
High School: A four-year varsity letter winner at Perry High School in Chandler, Ariz., where she played defense…led her team to a state runner-up finish in the Arizona 6a division in 2015…followed up the performance at state with a quarter final finish in 2016 with her senior season to come…was named first team all-conference her sophomore and junior seasons.
Personal: Daughter of George and Samantha Wolter… has an older brother, George, and younger sister, Annie…brother plays football at Scottsdale Community College…mother played college softball at Arizona State…grandfather ran track at Western New Mexico.
"Rachel will contribute greatly both on the field and in the locker room with her infectious enthusiasm to win and compete. She is a dominant defender with size, power and strength. Her ability to excel in pressure situations is what makes Rachel a standout player and leader."