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Women's Soccer: Eight players sign to join Lobos

Heather Dyche’s first full recruiting effort netted eight new players to the New Mexico women’s soccer team, UNM announced on Wednesday.

During National Signing Day, the Lobos added players at every position: three forward, two defenders, two goalkeepers and a midfielder to replace seven graduating seniors, all from various positions.

Dyche, in a statement, expressed her excitement for the 2016 recruiting class.

“We think they will come in and push our current players for starting positions. Additionally, they are players coming in with great grades and we think they'll continue to increase the positive team culture that we have her," she said. 

Two players will remain in-state: Hannah Kelley at forward and Jessie Hix at midfield.

Hix has family lineage at UNM with her father Jason playing for the men’s team in the early '90s. She joined the Eldorado High School team to a state championship in 2013 and a runner-up finish in 2015, according to UNM’s release.

Kelley amassed 103 career goals to become the leading scorer at Farmington High School in the Four Corners area, receiving all-state honors from eight-grade through senior year with three straight district player of the year awards, UNM’s release stated.

Jillian Olguin of Santiago High School in Corona, California and Gwen Maly of El Toro High School in Lake Forest, California, will join Kelley as incoming forwards. Olguin was also a state title winner, the release stated.

At defender UNM brings in Avadney Osbourne from Tucson High Magnet School in Arizona and Elizabeth Sozio from a club team in Woodbridge, Virginia, called Prince William Courage. Sozio’s club won the Virginia National Premier League last year, according to the release.

The two incoming goalkeepers are Emily Griffith from Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colorado – who’s club team ranks seventh nationally in the ECNL Championship team – and Emily Johnson from Lyons Township High School in LaGrange, Illinois. Johnson's club won the Midwest Regional League Championship in 2015, the release stated.

“I think every kid on our current roster is going to be pushed," Dyche said in the statement. “The players coming in are very high caliber players. I don't think anyone should be comfortable. Our goal every year is for our freshman to start, we want to recruit kids that increase the level of your team. We feel like these players have the ability to come in and challenge for that.”

J.R. Oppenheim is the assistant sports editor for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers men’s basketball and women’s soccer. Contact him at or on Twitter @JROppenheim.

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