Women's Soccer Signs Five

Feb. 16, 2001

LOS ANGELES -- UCLA head coach Jillian Ellis announced the signing of five women's soccer players to letters of intent Friday. Included in the group are two high school All-Americans and one collegiate All-American, regarded by many as one of the top players in the country. All five will be eligible to compete in the upcoming 2001 season.

The five signees are, Kendal Billingsley (Mission Viejo, Calif. / Mission Viejo HS), Kelly Durbin (Los Angeles / Marymount HS), Amy Fazio (Alamo, Calif. / San Ramon HS), Sarah Lombardo (Long Beach, Calif. / Long Beach Poly HS) and Mary-Frances Monroe (East Northport, NY / Northport HS / UConn).

Monroe, a transfer from the University of Connecticut, was one of the top collegiate players in the country this past season, helping the Huskies reach the NCAA Quarterfinals, finishing with a 17-7-2 overall record. A Herman and M.A.C Trophy finalist, she ranked third on the team in scoring with 16 points on six goals and four assists as a midfielder. Prior to last season, she led the Huskies in scoring both as a freshman and a sophomore. In addition, she was a first-team All-Big East selection and was tabbed an NSCAA All-American for the third straight year. Monroe has played on both the Full U.S. Women's National Team and the Under-21 U.S. National Team.

'I've had the privilege of coaching Mary-Frances because of her involvement with the national team program,' said Ellis, who in addition to UCLA is also the U.S. Under-21 coach. 'I've always admired her as a player and I feel very fortunate that she has chosen to come to UCLA to finish out her eligibility.'

Regarded by many as the No. 1 goalkeeper in the nation this year, Lombardo enters UCLA with extensive experience at both the youth and national team levels. She is a former member of the Under-16 U.S. National Team and was named a 1999 NSCAA Youth All-American. She was named league defensive MVP at Long Beach Poly High School where she owns a 4.0 GPA and plays club soccer for the prestigious Southern California Blues.

Fazio, from Alamo, Calif., earned Parade All-America honors this season as a defender at San Ramon High School. She is a four-year member of California's Olympic Development Team and has traveled internationally as a member of the Under-16 Regional Team. She is a two-time adidas ESP participant and played in the adidas All-Star Game in 2000. Her club team, the Pleasanton Rage, is coached by former San Jose State coach Philippe Blin.

Billingsley, a midfielder from Mission Viejo, Calif., is a teammate of Lombardo on the Southern California Blues. She has been a member on both state and regional ODP teams since age 14. She is a first-team All-CIF performer and a member of the adidas ESP All-Star team. A 4.0 student and the leading scorer at Mission Viejo High School, Billingsley is also an outstanding track and field athlete, earning MVP honors on the cross-country squad.

Rounding out the class is Durbin, a forward out of Los Angeles. A three-time All-CIF performer at Marymount High School, she was named Sunshine League MVP last year after registering 100 points on 42 goals and 16 assists as a junior. She led her club team, the West Side Breakers, to the State Cup in 2000 and was named the Palisadian-Post's Athlete of the Year. Both of Durbin's parents attended UCLA and her father, Steve, was a three-year letterman on the Bruin football team in the 1960s.

'This year's class meets specific needs within our team,' said Ellis. 'This group of players has all played at a high level with either state, regional or national teams. In losing three starters, I'm extremely pleased with the level of players we are bringing in to fill their void. It's a smaller class than last year, but it's a quality group and I think these talented players will continue the UCLA tradition of excellence.'

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