PORTALES, N.M. — Eastern New Mexico University women’s soccer coach Todd Padgett has announced the signing of Kellie Hogan (GK, 5-11, Woods Cross, Utah/Woods Cross HS) and Paola Loya (5-6, F, Albuquerque, N.M./Albuquerque HS) to National Letters of Intent to play for the Zias in the upcoming season. Also joining the lineup will be Amber Vega (MF/D, 5-5, El Paso, Texas/Eastwood HS), a transfer from New Mexico State. The trio joins a talented group of newcomers and returnees preparing for the 2011 season.
“We are so excited to welcome Kellie, Paola, and Amber into our Eastern New Mexico Zia family,” said Padgett. “They will complement the other fantastic additions we have made in the last few weeks and the gifted young ladies already training hard for the pivotal year next season. We have worked hard as a program to bring in the type of player who will make an initial difference and impact and each have the ability to compete for a top position within the program.”
Padgett pointed out that Kellie’s athletic build and frame are attributes rarely found in a goalkeeper. “Kellie is a tremendous athlete with a fantastic sense of the game,” stated Padgett. Hogan excelled in the classroom and is a 4-time member of the National Honor Society. She competes at a very high level in the Utah youth system and is the starting goalkeeper of the 5-time State Champion La Roca Futbol Club and 3-time member of Utah’s Olympic Developmental Program State pool team. Her efforts and abilities also earned a Letterman’s award in each of her 4 years at Woods Cross High School and All-State and All-District honors in her senior season. “Her athleticism, agility, and positioning are attributes uncommon in such a young goalkeeper,” added Padgett. “Her presence between the pipes is intimidating, and she has all the tools and makings of a national caliber goalkeeper.” Kellie’s athletic talents were also apparent for the Woods Cross High School basketball team earning letterman honors in her junior and senior seasons.
According to Padgett, Paola has the spirit of a true goal scorer. Her vision, fluidity, and ability to hit a ball make her an incredibly dangerous player in the offensive third; this is evident by the 23 goals she scored this season for Albuquerque High School earning first team
all-district honors. “Paola is a very talented player who will bring an offensive dynamic to the team generating greater chances and goals for us next year,” said Padgett. “She loves to take players on and understands penetrating runs exceptionally well. Paola’s ceiling is immense and will be a welcomed addition to the offensive side of the ball. Loya’s offensive prowess and flair will compliment and help ignite what will be a very dangerous attack.” Paola plans to major in physical education at ENMU.
Vega joins the Zias as a transfer from New Mexico State University and is originally from El Paso, Texas, and Eastwood High School. She was a three-time first team all-district selection as a freshman, sophomore and junior for the Troopers and a all-city performer her senior season. In 2008, she played for the Chihuahua State Team that finished fourth in the Mexican National Tournament, and she was invited to participate in National Training Camp for Mexican U20 team. Vega played for the El Paso Storm Club Team and was a member of the New Mexico Olympic Development Program Team. “Amber’s game is all about versatility and athleticism,” said Padgett. “She has the ability to play almost anywhere on the field and will be expected to defend at times as well as get involved in the attack. She loves to tackle and has the athletic tools and composure on the ball to cause trouble in the offensive third.”