New recruits hope to provide Aggies with scoring punch


AZTEC – Aztec's Alycea Aviles and Grace Olson will give New Mexico State's women's soccer program some much-needed firepower after both player signed a letter of intent with the NCAA Division I Aggies today.

New Mexico State, located in Las Cruces, scored just 42 goals in 2017, but it has landed a duo that combined for more 35 goals and 40 assists for the Lady Tigers in the fall.

"We come from a small town, but we have big competition. We just hope we can fit right in and can get (NMSU's) stats up," Aviles said. "Especially in the attacking third (up top), we just pass (the ball) really well together. So I think that we're going to be a great fit, help each other out a lot."

Olson was smart in setting up her chances and was a good distributor attacking the inside creases playing at Aztec. She said she can help NMSU set up those extra chances because of how well she recognizes where and when to strike.

"I kind of go by the (opposing) defense and read when they're running onto the ball," Olson said. "I'm also pretty good at finishing those balls (off cross passes). I think I can contribute in that way, too."

Olson said she wants to have more matches where she comes through with a timely goal or assist.

Aviles brought speed to Aztec's offense attacking from the wings and also provided nice cross passes for teammates.

"When I get the ball and there's the opportunity, I'll drive it down the line. I definitely feel like, in soccer, my adrenaline builds up. Once I get that ball, I just want to go all the way," Aviles said.

Aviles said she hopes to be even quicker with her decision making while on the attack, and she also hopes to be a bit quicker with her touch on the ball.

Although the speed of play will be different at the next level, the players said their familiarity with each other will help them transition to the college level.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.