LAS CRUCES, N.M. – New Mexico State soccer’s newly appointed head coach Freddy Delgado announced the signing of five athletes on National Signing Day. The newest Aggies, Alexis Rienks, Shelby Thomas, Sara Walters, Alexis Miller and Micaela Milavec will be part of the 2014 roster for NM State.
“I’m very excited about this new group of Aggie soccer athletes. We add size, strength, speed and athleticism,” Delgado said. “Off the field, these are exceptional young women who are committed in the classroom and in their communities. They will mix in well with our current roster and I believe these student athletes have the talent, drive and competitive mentality we need to reach a new level of success at NM State.”
Rienks is defensive player for Lincoln Southwest High School in Omaha, Neb. She earned all-state Class A, all-conference and all-city honors during the 2013 season and helped the team to a district title. As a junior, she scored eight goals and had 15 assists. She helped the Silverhawks to a 13-6 record as a sophomore and junior along with conference and district titles.
“Alexis is a hard, working fierce competitor. She is talented and aggressive in her 1 on 1 defending,” Delgado said. “She will add depth to our outside backs and will allow our team to play a more aggressive attacking style.”
Thomas, a defender from Albuquerque, N.M., plays for Volcano Vista High School, where she led her team to a state title in 2010 and two state finals appearances in her sophomore and junior seasons. She has been recognized as one of the top 20 players in the state of New Mexico and a top-10 defender by NMPreps. She was named second team all-district and all-state honorable mention in 2012 and elevated her success with first team nods on the all-district and all-state teams last season.
“Shelby is a tall, strong, physical defender. She is a sure footed tackler and will consistently win air balls. She shows exceptional maturity and composure for a young player,” he said.
A Pueblo, Colo., native, Walters arrives in Las Cruces from Cheyenne High School where she is a forward and three-year letterwinner. She helped her 2011-12 team to a league championship with a 17-1 record. The team repeated its success with a 17-2-1 record in 2012-13, ending the year with a state title under the direction of Tomas Martinez. Walters scored 18 times during the 2012-13 season and was named team captain as a junior and senior.
“Sara is a powerful, physical forward who has a nose for the goal,” Delgado said. She shows the potential to score goals in big situations. Sara also plays with the competitive edge essential to the psyche of any great scorer or playmaker.”
Milavec is a midfielder and Las Cruces native who joins the Aggies after helping the Las Cruces High School Bulldogs to two district titles and a second place finish in her three years on the pitch. In her senior season, Milavec helped LCHS to a 13-7 record by scoring 21 goals and gathering 17 assists, both numbers put her among the top three in the state. She was named District Player of the Year in 2012 and 2103 and was a second team all-state selection as a senior.
“Micaela is a calm, stabilizing force in the midfield. One of her strongest assets is her ability to win possession and start the counter attack. She is a good passer of the ball and can deliver a simple pass to keep possession or find the penetrating pass that will lead to a goal,” he said.
A midfielder from Highlands Ranch, Colo., Miller joins the Crimson and White after spending three seasons with the Valor Christian High School Eagles. She aided in her team’s success with an 11-3-4 record in 2013, good enough to reach the semifinals round in the state tournament. The team also reached the semifinals in 2012 after finishing 11-5-3. She was the only sophomore to make the varsity team in 2012 and became the leading scorer with nine goals. She led the team once again as a junior with six goals and two assists, which led to her being named team captain in her senior season.
“Allie comes from one of the best programs in the country,” Delgado said. “She is a true central midfielder who can attack, defend and control the midfield. She brings a tactical awareness and gamesmanship that matches our upper classmen.”
Name Pos. Ht. Hometown (Previous School)
Alexis Rienks Defender 5-6 Omaha, Neb. (Lincoln Southwest HS)
Shelby Thomas Defender 5-10 Albuquerque, N.M. (Volcano Vista HS)
Sara Walters Forward 5-6 Pueblo, Colo. (Cheyenne Mountain HS)
Micaela Milavec Midfielder 5-5 Las Cruces, N.M. (Las Cruces HS)
Alexis Miller Midfielder 5-4 Highlands Ranch, Colo. (Valor Christian HS)