University of New Mexico women’s soccer signs 10 incoming recruits
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The University of New Mexico women’s soccer team has added 10 players to its 2021-22 roster.
All 10 signed national letters of intent (NLI) to join UNM for the 2021-22 season, including four that will represent their home state of New Mexico as the newest members of the Lobo squad.
Three members of the class hail from Albuquerque, one will represent Alamogordo, and three others come from our neighbors to the west in Arizona. The additional members of the signing class join the Lobos from Washington, Oregon and California.
Alli Davis | 5-8 | Goalkeeper | Bend, Ore.
Davis joins the Lobos from Bend, Ore. where she helped lead her Summit High School team to the 2017 5A State Championship and participated in the 2017 US Training Center Combine. Not only is she a standout on the field, but also in the classroom as she serves as a member of the National Honor Society with a 4.18 grade point average.
Additionally, Davis competed for Bend FC Timber and Portland Thorns DA. She helped her Bend FC Timber team to the 2016 Bend Premier Cup Championship and the 2017 President’s Cup Championship.
Coach Dyche on Davis: “Alli is incredibly dedicated to her craft, she has put an incredible amount of time and energy to being an elite goalkeeper. We are really excited to get her to UNM to start training with our team.”
Davis on Why She Chose New Mexico: “When comparing UNM to other schools, my decision was clear. The coaching staff at New Mexico is incredible and the environment that they have created for the team is unmatched. I can’t wait to get out there and start training.”
Gabi Franco | 5-4 | M | Mill Creek, Wash.
Franco comes to UNM from Mill Creek, Wash. where she competed for Henry M. Jackson High School. She helped lead her team to the WESCO Division Championships twice (2018, 2019) while also earning All-State Honorable Mention in 2019 and Second Team All-State recognition in 2018. She also competed for the Washington ODP team from 2015-19 as well as the Region 4 Team from 2017-19.
Coach Dyche on Franco: “Gabi is a player who can control the pace of the game. She is comfortable under pressure and it allows her to keep her composure. She has excellent vision and is a player that will compete immediately with our current roster.”
Franco on Why She Chose New Mexico: “I chose UNM because every time I was on the phone with a coach I was smiling ear to ear and laughing by the end of the call. they made me feel as though I was already on the team and a part of their family.”
Courtney Fernau | 5-9 | M | Phoenix, Ariz.
Fernau comes to Albuquerque from Phoenix, Ariz. where she competed for Perry High School. She has posted 11 assists and four goals, despite missing half of her sophomore season. In addition to competing for Perry, she has also played for Arizona Arsenal ECNL where she helped her teams to earning the Arizona State Finalist title in 2014-15 and 2015-16 before helping the squad to a pair of Arizona State Championships in 2016-17 and 2017-18.
She has also earned the “Hardest Worker at Arsenal Club” honor and has been recognized for having a 4.0 grade point average or higher throughout her high school career.
Coach Dyche on Fernau: “Courtney is a creative player who has the ability to make others around her better. She is very technical, has excellent vision, and a knack for creating goal scoring chances. She has a bright future at New Mexico.”
Fernau on Why She Chose New Mexico: “I chose UNM because the second I stepped on campus, it felt like home. From the unique culture built by the amazing coaches and team to the outstanding facilities across campus, everything about it makes me excited to spend four years there.”
Ellie Robinson | M | Tucson, Ariz.
Robinson also joins the Lobos from Arizona where she competed for Pucsh Ridge Christian Academy. She helped lead her squad to Catalina Foothills Semifinalist recognition in 2018 before helping the team to back-to-back Catalina Foothills State Finals in 2019 and 2020. The three-time All-Region First Team honoree also competed for FC Tucson Youth Soccer Club.
Coach Dyche on Robinson: “Ellie is a player who already embodies so many of our Lobo standards. She never stops working hard and consistently impacts every game she is involved in. We can’t wait to have her join our Lobo team.”
Robinson on Why She Chose New Mexico: “I chose The University of New Mexico for the amazing team environment and an opportunity to challenge myself on and off the field. I can’t wait to be a Lobo!”
Taya Townsell | 5-5 | D | Chino, Calif.
Townsell, a California native, comes to UNM from Ruben S. Ayala High School in Chino where she was named Most Valuable Player in 2017. In 2020, she received the “Bulldog Award” and has also earned scholar-athlete honors from 2017-20. In addition to competing at the high school level, Townsell also played for Arsenal FC and Rebels at the club level where she was named Player of the Year in 2019.
Coach Dyche on Townsell: “Taya has qualities that stand out instantly when you watch her play. She is a natural leader, a hard and talented defender, and has a competitiveness that is nonstop. She is going to impact Lobo Soccer on and off the field in incredible ways.”
Townsell on Why She Chose New Mexico: “My coach Rich Boon used to always say ‘When you’re around good people, good things happen’ and I believe that at UNM they push their students and athletes to become better people. I am not just going here to play soccer, it is so much more than that. I see myself growing here and I know that I will be held at a high standard on and off the field.”
Zaria Katesigwa | 5-2 | F | Albuquerque, N.M.
Katesigwa joins the Lobos from Albuquerque High School where she was named Second Team All-State, First Team All-District (twice) and was the leading goal scorer at AHS as a freshman. She was named Player to Watch her junior and senior years and has registered an astounding 57 goals and 21 assists to date. She also serves as the Black Student Union President and has lettered in soccer, basketball and track and field. At the club level, she has also competed for AUFC, Classic FC and Sting.
Coach Dyche on Katesigwa: “Zaria is a local player who is going to fill the huge shoes of other New Mexicans who have lead our program in the past. She has a special way with people and inspires them to want to work with her. Zaria is already a special player, but has so much potential and we can wait to get her in a Lobo uniform.”
Katesigwa on Why She Chose New Mexico: “I chose UNM because it was close to home and it provides the best knowledge, skill and confidence I need to succeed.”
Shawna Williams | 5-6 | F | Alamogordo, N.M.
Williams comes to UNM from Alamogordo, N.M. where she helped lead Alamogordo High School to back-to-back district championships in 2016 and 2017. Williams is a three-time Player of the year, two-time All-State honoree, three-time Golden Boot winner, four-time First Team All-District honoree and a two-time Max Player of the Week. She has broken three records at Alamogordo High including most goals in a season with 51 and most goals in a career with 154. She ranks first in the state of New Mexico in goal scored and finished last season fourth in the nation in the same category.
In her career, she has amassed 154 goals and 38 assists for a total of 346 points. The four-year National Honor Society member has also been tabbed a Golden Scholar.
Coach Dyche on Williams: “Shawna is a native New Mexican who sent us video last year and we immediately wanted her to join our program. She is hard working, a very good athlete, and has unlimited potential for growth. She is going to be an exciting player to watch for our fans.”
Williams on Why She Chose New Mexico: “I chose New Mexico because I am a proud New Mexican and it has always been one of my dreams to play soccer representing my home state across my chest!”
Mackenzie Fotiades | 5-6 | D | Mesa, Ariz.
Fotiades joins the Lobos from Mesa, Ariz. where she competed for Red Mountain High School as well as Arizona Arsenal ECNL. She was a four-year captain and led her team to two State Championships while also being selected to participate in the US National training for two years. In just her junior year of high school, she scored 19 goals and registered 16 assists on the season.
Throughout her career, she has earned Mesa Public School District Athlete of the Month and First Team Regional honors while also picking up the “Hardest Worker” in her AZ Arsenal Club team twice. In addition to her outstanding marks on the pitch, she has also accumulated over a 4.0 grade point average, received the Stamp of Biliteracy and is on track to earn an Advanced Honors Diploma.
Coach Dyche on Fotiades: “Kenzie is a player we noticed recruiting and then came to our ID camp and was incredibly impressive. Her ability to find runners in the box with service is outstanding. She is a tenacious player who does what it takes to win and will thrive in the MW. She will be a fan-favorite with her hard work and grit.”
Fotiades on Why She Chose New Mexico: “I chose UNM because I know that I will find a family here. From the first time I visited, I knew that they had a team dynamic in which I wanted to be a part of. They play soccer with a rare passion and drive that I know can’t be found anywhere else. I am so excited and blessed to be a Lobo!”
Taryn Robles | 5-8 | D | Albuquerque, N.M.
Robles, an Albuquerque native, joins the Lobos from La Cueva High School where she helped her team to the New Mexico State Championship in 2017. She also helped the Bears to a pair of district championships in 2017 and 2019 as well as a State Runner-Up nod in 2018. The four-year varsity letterman is a two-time All-State Honorable Mention honoree a two-time First Team All-District selection and was also named to the All-Metro team in 2019. She has tallied seven goals and 10 assists as a defender throughout her career.
In addition to competing for La Cueva, Robles also played for Rio, Sting and UAFC where she helped her team to a pair of State Championships in 2017 and 2019. She also earned two academic letters while at La Cueva.
Coach Dyche on Robles: “Taryn already reminds me of some first team all-conference defenders that have left our program. She is very strong in the air, a special athlete, and brings leadership qualities that can’t be taught. Adding another really strong local player is something we pride our program on, and Taryn is ready to carry that torch.”
Robles on Why She Chose New Mexico: “I chose UNM because of its strong sense of community within the team and athletic department. A goal of mine has been to make my friends and family proud by playing for my hometown and being a Lobo.”
Willa Wiese | 5-7 | F | Albuquerque, N.M.
Wiese comes to the Lobos after competing at Albuquerque Academy where she helped her team to a pair of New Mexico State Championships in 2017 and 2018, followed by the State Runner-Up title in 2019. She also helped her squad to three straight District Championships in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Wiese has earned First Team All-State, First Team All-District as well as First Team All-Metro honors in her career and was also named to the Preseason All-America Watch List. She has accumulated 29 goals and 14 assists in 19 games and was named 2019 4A Top Goal Scorer and Point Earner.
At the club level, Wiese also competed for multiple teams and helped them to three state championships. She was also named to the ODP All-Tournament Team.
Coach Dyche on Wiese: “Willa is an Albuquerque native who has had some tough injuries, but has consistently shown the resilience to fight through. She is an incredible athlete who can impact the game with her speed and toughness. I feel strongly that Willa is going to be a player that grows every year and ends up being special here at UNM.”
Wiese on Why She Chose New Mexico: “I’ve always wanted to be a part of a team that pushes each other to compete at the highest level of collegiate soccer, with a coaching staff that believes in me and my ability as a player, and the UNM Women’s Soccer team embodies all of those attributes.”