April 27, 2005
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The University of New Mexico women's soccer program has signed two more players to National Letters of Intent for the 2005 season, bringing the recruiting class to a total of five players. The two players are forward/midfielder Tabitha Bunch (Riverside, Calif./Arlington High School) and goalkeeper Kiani Wong (Honolulu, Hawai'i/Iolani High School). New Mexico signed forward Hannah Hand, midfielder Kaci Paetz and defender Krista Peterson to National Letters of Intent in February.
"We're very excited about this incoming class," said UNM head coach Kit Vela. "We've signed five talented players and we're going to have a strong group of walk-ons joining them later on to make it one of our all around best recruiting classes for UNM women's soccer."
Tabitha Bunch Forward/Midfielder 5-1 Riverside, Calif. (Arlington HS)
HIGH SCHOOL: Letterwinner at forward and center midfielder at Arlington High School...led the Lions in scoring in 2005, helping the team capture the Ivy League Championship title for the first time since 1991...helped team advance to the second round at the CIF Championships...earned Ivy League MVP honors as a senior...named to the 2005 all-area first team by the Press-Enterprise...named to the CIF Division II first team...2004 Press-Enterprise all-area honorable mention..two-time all-league first team honoree...member of the NHB Soccer Club, under head coach Raul Ruiz...played outside midfielder-striker, helping the team earn a second place finish in League Cup...prior to playing for NHB, played with the So Cal Blues Soccer Club, helping the team become State Cup Champions and Far West Regional Champions in 2000...earned Scholar Athlete honors senior year...has been among the top-10 in her class for two years...graduated from high school among the top-10 in a class comprised of 400 students.
Quoting Kit Vela:
"Tabitha is a bundle of energy. She's technically sound and a spitfire. She'll add great depth and energy to whatever role she ends up in."
Kiani Wong Goalkeeper 5-10 Honolulu, Hawai'i (Iolani HS)
HIGH SCHOOL: A four-year letterwinner at goalkeeper at Iolani High School...led the Raiders with 8 shutouts senior year, helping the team place third in the ILH (Interscholastic League of Honolulu) for the second consecutive year...named to the ILH second team junior year...named to the ILH first team senior year...earned all-state honorable mention as a senior...also lettered in basketball for 2 years...earned basketball ILH honorable mention sophomore year...member of the Honolulu Bulls Soccer Club, under head coach Phillip Neddo...played as goalkeeper for the Bulls, helping the team win the Hawai'i State Cup her sophomore year...will represent Hawai'i at the Far West Regional Tournament as a senior...talented writer who had a poem featured in high school's 2003 literary magazine and will have a short story published in 2005's edition...intends to major in Psychology at UNM...nickname is Kiani, actual first name (42 letters): Kiakahioheolamaikalaninomaikinoholoaha,aha,a.
Quoting Kit Vela:
"Kiani is a tremendous athlete who will vie for playing time at goalkeeper in the upcoming seasons. She will do very well in the competitive atmosphere the team has created. She has the potential to be as good as any goalkeeper in any other program."