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The New Mexico State soccer team has signed eight athletes to National Letters of Intent. Defender Alexys Brownell, forward Jennae Cambra, midfielder Amber Harrington, defender/forward Taryn Lathrop, midfielder Bree Luhrsen, midfielder/forward Katie Smith, forward Layla Todd and forward/midfielder Katelynn Tupponce join the Aggies in fall 2011.
2011 NM State Soccer Signees
Player, Position, Height, Hometown, Previous School
Alexys Brownell, D, 5-10, Escondido, Calif., San Pasqual HS
Jennae Cambra, F, 5-2, Morgan Hill, Calif., Sobrato HS
Amber Harrington, MF, 5-6, Albuquerque, N.M., Sandia HS
Taryn Lathrop, D/F, 5-8, Simi Valley, Calif., Royal HS
Bree Luhrsen, MF, 5-9, Huntington Beach, Calif., Marina HS
Katie Smith, MF/F, 5-4, Albuquerque, N.M., Eldorado HS
Layla Todd, F, 5-4, Irwindale, Calif., Northview HS
Katelynn Tupponce, F/MF, 5-2, Phoenix, Ariz., Desert Vista HS
Brownell joins the Aggies from Escondido, Calif., and San Pasqual High School. As a junior, she guided the Eagles to a third-place finish in the Avocado League. In 2008-09, Brownell and San Pasqual were semifinalist in the California Interscholastic Federation. As a freshman, Brownell helped the Eagles to a runner-up league finish.
“Alexys will provide an excellent presence in the back for us,” interim head coach Cortney Sobrero said. “She is athletic, has excellent size and has the technical ability to start our attack from the back. She comes from an outstanding club and her experience in the ECNL will prove invaluable as she transitions into college soccer.”
Cambra arrives in Las Cruces from Morgan Hill, Calif., and Sobrato High School. She led the Bulldog offense with 25 goals as a junior and 19 goals as a freshman. Cambra has earned first team All-Mt. Hamilton Division honors, most valuable player accolades and the league scoring championship.
“Jennae is a goal scorer. She has the mentality to be very effective immediately. She has great pace and quickness and puts herself in dangerous places where her teammates can find her. We look forward to seeing some great goals from her.”
Harrington, an Albuquerque, N.M., native, led Sandia High School to a 17-2 record as a senior and Metro and district championships in 2009 and 2010. She was a two-time first team all-state and all-district selection for the Matadors. As a senior, Harrington scored four goals and recorded 12 assists, and she was named the all-district player of the year and ESPN honorable mention player of the week. In her sophomore campaign, Harrington directed Sandia to a state title.
“Amber is one of the toughest young soccer players I have ever seen. She competes every time she steps on the field. Her tenacity in the middle of the pack will add to the composition of our midfield. Most players become one dimensional when they bring the energy and passion that she brings, but she is able to be equally as effective on both sides of the ball. Her long distance shooting will add an exciting dimension to our attack.”
Lathrop joins the Crimson and White from Simi Valley, Calif., and Royal High School. As a junior, she guided the Highlanders to a varsity league championship. In 2009, Royal finished fourth in the league. Lathrop helped the Highlanders to a 12-0 record and freshman/sophomore league champions in 2008.
“She will bring great composure and pose to the game. I think she makes players around her very comfortable and relaxed in a game. She is a threat in the air, if she does not win the ball she is disturbing her opponent. I think she will be a great addition to our roster because her vision and soccer IQ will help us find success on the field. I see Taryn possibly being a role player and getting many assists as an Aggie.”
Huntington Beach, Calif., native, Luhrsen joins the Aggies after four seasons at Marina High School. In 2011, she was named team captain for the Vikings. Luhrsen was a two-time second team All-Sunset League selection. As a sophomore, she led Marina to the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section second round. In her freshman season, Luhrsen was named varsity rookie of the year and the Vikings finished third in the league and were CIFSS quarterfinalists.
“Bree is an extremely versatile soccer player,” Sobrero said. “She is excellent in the air and is a tremendous competitor. Her technical ability and competitive nature will allow her to be very successful at New Mexico State.”
Smith is the second New Mexican to sign with the Aggies in 2011. She is from Albuquerque and Eldorado High School. As a senior, Smith was a second team all-state honoree after leading the Lady Eagles to the state semifinals. In 2009, Smith and Eldorado won the 5A State Championship, and she was named player of the year and first team all-state. As a sophomore, Smith guided the Lady Eagles to the state title match, and they were three-time district champs.
“Katie is crafty and creative midfielder,” Sobrero said. “She has a great sense for the game and has the ability to break opponents down either off the dribble or with a well weighted pass. Katie is athletic, extremely technical and very unpredictable, which will make her a lot of fun to watch over the next several years.”
Todd joins the Aggies from Irwindale, Calif., and Northview High School. She was named the Valle Vista League Most Valuable Player as a junior and first team all-league selection as a sophomore and freshman. At the midpoint of her senior year, Todd has 113 career goals and 34 career assists. She led the Vikings to the first round of the CIF in 2008 and 2010. As a freshman, she set the single-season record for goals with 30 and then crushed that mark with 47 as a junior.
“Layla is another very athletic soccer player,” Sobrero said. “Other teams will need to respect her pace and that will open up opportunities for other players. She is selfish when she needs to be, but one of her best attributes is her willingness to share the ball and create for other people. She is a leader and has excelled in both soccer and track and field and will be a tremendous addition to this young soccer program.”
Tupponce arrives in Las Cruces from Phoenix, Ariz., and Desert Vista High School. She led the Thunder to the state semifinals in 2010 and an 18-6-1 record. In 2009, Tupponce guided Desert Vista to the state finals and 18-5-2 record.
“Katelynn is fun player to watch,” she said. “Her energy is unmatched. She is fearless and will run at the opposition all day long. She has a knack for scoring goals and will complement the other attacking players very well.”
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