CU Buffs Women’s Soccer
The Buffs missed the NCAA tournament after a late fade, so it seems fitting that the Colorado soccer team turned their attention to 2023 when head coach Danny Sanchez and his staff signed seven freshmen on Wednesday.
Jamie Campbell (Newbury Park, California), Kyla Celayta (Grand Junction, Colorado), Claire Curran (San Diego, California), Grace Thao (Irvine, California), Angelina Moschetti (Irvine, California), Hope Leyba (Phoenix, Arizona) and Faith Leyba (Phoenix, Arizona) all signed letters of intent and officially became Buffaloes.
“Since we lost seven talented seniors, it was important that we bring a class that can compete right away,” Sanchez said in a press release. “This incoming group can. They all come from super competitive club environments. They have all excelled at national level and have all the qualities to take our football program to the next level. We’re excited to bring her to Boulder this summer.”
Campbell is a 5ft 10 goaltender from Newbury Park, California. She earned three letters in soccer from Newbury Park High School and played at club level with LAFC So Cal Youth. Last season, she was First-Team All-Conference and Coaches’ MVP. She has a four-star rating from TopDrawerSoccer.com and is also ranked the #7 goaltender in the county by TDS. Campbell has had several USYNT training invitations and has attended numerous ODP camps.
“We believe Jamie has all the physical and mental qualities to be an Impact goaltender in the Pac-12,” Sanchez said. “She’s a great shot blocker and very confident in her distribution. Jamie is always looking for additional individual training alongside her work at LAFC So Cal ECNL. Their game has really grown over the past few years.”
Celayta is the only potential Colorado native in the incoming class. The 5-foot-11 defenseman comes to Boulder from Fruita Monument High School in Grand Junction. She will be a four-year-old letter winner and has also written letters in volleyball and track and field. Celayta is a two-time all-conference selection and a team captain. Fruita Monument has won the Southwest League Championship every season. Celayta played at Arizona Arsenal ECNL and was named 2019 EFA Athlete of the Year with Utah ODP. Her grandfather, Terry Dahlberg, played soccer and ran at the track for the Buffaloes.
“Kylah is a player who really stood out at one of our ID camps,” Sanchez said. “She was very supportive of traveling from Grand Junction to play with Arizona Arsenal ECNL. We like how their game has grown over the past few years. Kylah already has the physical qualities you look for in a Pac-12 centre-back.”
Curran is a 5-4 forward from San Diego, California. She will be a letterwinner at Cathedral Catholic High School for four years. As a junior, she scored 16 goals and led the CIF San Diego section with 14 assists. As a junior, she was First Team All-Western League and improved on her honors picks as a sophomore. She led the team to a 21-3-2 record last season and won the Western League. She has won national championships and has been a runner-up in many national and regional tournaments with San Diego Surf. Curran was invited to SoCal USYNT 2020 camp and was in the ODP player pool.
“Claire is lightning quick and she’s fantastic at dribbling,” said Sanchez. “She has an incredible work ethic and has been an influential player for San Diego Surf ECNL for years. Claire can play anywhere and can make her mark on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.”
Thao, a 5-3 midfielder, hails from Irvine, California. Thao scored six goals and shared ten assists last season. In three seasons, she has a total of 24 goals and 23 assists. She was All-CIF and Offensive Player of the Year last season and is a multiple All-Trinity League selection. Thao has played for West Coast Futbol Club while also winning USL Academy Cup MVP. She is a three-star recruit and is ranked 27th in the Southern California region by TDS.
“Grace is a super creative attacking player who can play up front or in an advanced midfield role,” Sanchez said. “She’s a fantastic ball forward who’s just as adept at scoring goals as she is at creating them. Grace plays her association soccer at West Coast GA, but also trains and plays in the UPSL. She’s looking for additional ways to train and get better that will really prepare her for Pac-12 football.”
Moschetti comes to Boulder from Irvine, Calif, and Santa Margarita Catholic High School. She helped SMC last season 11-5-2 and was named defensive MVP. Moschetti is a multiple Trinity League All-Conference selection and won the 2020 Conference championship. She is ranked a three-star player by TDS and the #37 player in the Southern California region. She played at the club with HB Koge Slammers and was 2021 Second Team ECNL All-Southwest Conference.
“Angelina is a prototypical left-back,” said Sanchez. “She works on both sides of the ball but really shines when she comes forward and supports the attack. Angelina plays for Slammers HB Koge ECNL who compete at the highest levels in the country. She has a great feel for the game and a left footed service that will really improve our ability to get forward from backcourt.”
Hope Leyba is a 5’10 forward from Phoenix. She attends Boulder Creek High School but has not played for BHS because she plays full-time in ECNL. Hope has played for Utah Royals FC-AZ ECNL and is the No. 2 in the Rocky Mountains and Southwest Region. Leyba is also the No. 12 forward in the nation by TDS.
“Hope is an absolute goalscorer,” said Sanchez. “Their competitiveness is off the charts. Hope is already physically ready to compete and excel in the Pac-12. She is an excellent ball striker with both feet, has tremendous power in the air and also likes to set up her teammates. In addition to her offensive strength, she also does an excellent job on the defensive side of the ball.”
Faith Leyba is a 5ft 10 defender. Like her sister, she attends Boulder Creek High School but has not played at the high school level. Faith was a 2022 First Team ECNL Southwest All-Conference and played for the Utah Royals FC-AZ. Faith is ranked #20 in the Rocky Mountains and Southwest region by TDS.
“Faith has all the qualities you look for in a Pac-12 centre-back,” Sanchez said. “She’s a no-nonsense 1v1 defender who pushes with purpose and shows great leadership to the players around her at the back. Faith dominates in the air and is a great striker from the back. In addition to her defensive work, Faith is very dangerous when it comes to set pieces.”
CU Buffs Men’s Golf
Brandon Knight, the 2022 California high school champion, signed a letter of intent Wednesday to join the Buffs.
Knight of Foothill High School in Pleasanton, California, won the CIF State Championship at San Gabriel Country Club with a 5-under par 66. He shot 33 on every nine and finished the tournament with seven birdies and only two bogeys. Down one as he headed for the last two holes, he birded No. 17 to pass his closest competitor who bogeyed; both ended on pars and he took the title.
Knight recorded several other top amateur performances over the past year, highlighted by a win in the FCG (Future Champions Golf) National Tour event in Franklin Canyon, where he shot 70-73-143. He placed second in the FCG at Nor Cal Bay View (73-77-150) and finished third in the FCG at Nor Cal Pleasanton (75-74-149).
In 2021, Knight won the FCG Callaway World Championship with a scorecard of 73-67-64-204 (12 under par) at Temecula, Calif. Creek Country Club.
He said he chose Colorado because he “loved the campus, the location and the practice facilities. Both coach (Roy) Edwards and (assistant) coach (Derek) Tolan are great coaches and I saw a lot of potential to improve my game over the next four years.”
Edwards added, “Brandon is one of the best junior golfers in the state of California. He had a really strong junior and high school career and just keeps getting better. We expect him to come straight away next fall and be a solid player.”