June 23, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.-- University of New Mexico head women's soccer coach Kit Vela has announced Shannon Cross as her new assistant coach today. Cross comes to New Mexico by way of Southern Calif. where she was a member of the Ajax America semi-professional team. The Palos Verdes, native brings a wealth of soccer knowledge and list of accolades into to a program on the move.
"Shannon brings a wealth of knowledge and experience at the college level and the club level from Southern California," said Vela. "She played for an outstanding collegiate program at USC. Our relationship goes back a long way to when I coached her when she was 12 years old. Shannon knows what Lobo women's soccer is all about and what our philosophy is and I think it's a great match for both of us."
Cross was a four-year letterwinner for USC, where she was the 2001 and 2004 Forward of the Year for the Trojans. In 2001 Cross, led USC in goals and left ranked in the top-10 for career goals.
Cross earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from USC in 2005. She was named to the Pac-10 All-Academic Team honorable mention team from 2002-04 and received the David X. Marks Scholar Athlete Award in 2003 and 2004. As a senior Cross, received the Southern California Order of Troy Senior Recognition Award.
After college, Cross joined the semi-professional ranks and played with the same team that head coach Vela played with, Ajax-America in the Women's Premier Soccer League. Cross helped lead the team to a 2008 WPSL National Championship and led the league in goals scored. Cross was named 2008 All-WPSL second team and 2008 WPSL All-Pacific Second team.
Coach Vela and her family would also like to announce the birth of their son Cristiano Matteas Vela who was born on May 25, 2009.
"We are very excited to have another baby boy in the midst of all the girls we coach," said Vela. "I'm sure he'll be a little ladies man just like his big brother Paolo."