UNLV women’s soccer program adds six class of 2023 recruits
LAS VEGAS – The UNLV women’s soccer program signed six new Rebels for Fall 2023, head coach Jenny Ruiz-Williams announced.
The class includes three California signees – Kam Jalayer, Cassie Villanueva and Ryan Woodards – a Las Vegas local in Trinity Buchanan, Elizabeth Bautista from Hawaii and a Texas native in Amaya Haley.
“These girls are a really good complement to our team,” said Ruiz-Williams. “I think with them, we really recruited the whole package here. On and off the field, in the classroom and in their communities, they are just wonderful, outstanding individuals. All six of them have an extremely high level of grit, which is what being a Rebel is all about.”
Elizabeth Bautista, Midfielder/Foward/Defender, Kahului, HI
Bautista, a native of Kahului, Hawaii, will start her senior season this fall at Maui High School. As a freshman in 2019, she was named the squad’s offensive player and rookie of the year after scoring 10 goals to go along with four assists. Bautista has also played club soccer for Valley Isle Soccer Academy (8 years), ECNL teams Davis Legacy (2018-20) and MVLA (2017), Leahi Soccer Club, Westcoast Soccer Club and Hawaii’s State ODP team. A highly versatile player, she has the ability to play everywhere on the field and is a great athlete. Bautista plans on majoring in communications at UNLV.
Trinity Buchanan, Midfielder, Henderson, NV
Buchanan, the only Las Vegas-area native in this year’s signing class, attends Coronado High School in Henderson. During her prep career, she has helped lead the Cougars to a 60-4-7 record and the 2021 NIAA Class 5A State Championship. In four seasons at Coronado, Buchanan has scored 32 goals, tallied 32 assists and earned Southern Nevada All-Conference First Team honors at the midfielder position. With her club team, Heat FC, she made it to the ECNL Conference Finals in 2019 and was invited to the ECNL National Selection game in 2021. Buchanan is an extremely technical player. She is undecided on a major.
Amaya Haley, Defender, Plano, TX
Haley is just the second Texas native signed by Ruiz-Williams. Hailing from Plano, Texas, she was named to the all-district team for the 2021-22 season as a standout defender at Plano West High School. Haley has played club soccer for the Dallas Sting in the ECNL. She’s an athletic, strong and mobile player who will go to the ground and is good in the air.
Kam Jalayer, Forward/Midfielder, Lake Elsinore, CA
Jalayer is a forward/midfielder from Temescal Canyon High School in Lake Elsinore, California. During her prep career, she has been a First Team All-Ivy League selection twice and helped lead the Titans to a trip to the CIF state quarterfinals. A left-footed player, she is extremely technical and can pass balls into the seam. Jalayer plans on majoring in business at UNLV.
Cassie Villanueva, Forward, La Mirada, CA
Villanueva will begin her senior season this fall at La Mirada High School in La Mirada, California. A 2021-22 San Gabriel Valley All-Area Team selection, she has helped the Matadores finish undefeated in Suburban League play each of the past two seasons. As a sophomore, Villanueva played a key role in guiding La Mirada to the 2021 CIF Southern Section title and a trip to the CIF Southern California Division II state playoffs. Additionally, Villanueva has participated in camps for both the U.S. and Mexican U-17 National Teams. She is a hungry goal-scorer with speed.
Ryan Woodards, Defender, Rancho Mission Viejo, CA
Woodards, a native of Rancho Mission Viejo, California, rounds out the list of signees from the Golden State. A standout at the center and outside back positions, she has played prep soccer at Jserra Catholic High School. Additionally, Woodards has spent 10 years playing high-level club soccer for Slammers FC HB Køge in the ECNL, where she won a national championship in 2021. She is a lockdown defender capable of playing in a three- or four-back system. Woodards is undecided on a major.