UNLV Women’s Soccer gem Trinity Buchanan

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Trinity Buchanan defending the UCI attack. Buchanan and the Rebels defeated UCI 3-0. Photo by DJ Cabanlong.

Trinity Buchanan is UNLV Women’s Soccer No. 23. Buchanan plays as an attacking midfielder for the Rebels and is currently a freshman. Trinity began playing soccer at 8 years old for a club team.

“I think, actually, I wanted to play soccer because my cousins were. I was trying to follow suit with them just like family things,” Buchanan said.

Trinity Buchanan was awarded the 2022/2023 Gatorade Player of the Year award after a spectacular year with the Coronado Cougars.

“We won a state championship my junior year,” Buchanan said. “Then my senior year, we made it to the state championship. It was a team effort. When I won that award, it felt really good, and I couldn’t have done it without my team”

Buchanan played four years of high school soccer along with one year attributed to the COVID-19 lockdown. Buchanan has been a consistent player with the Cougars and has had many moments with them, including a successful record 60-4-7 and a 2021 NIAA Class 5A State Championship title.

“I played for four years, so freshman year, then I had the Covid year, and then we had a lot of success with that team,” Buchanan said.

Buchanan has multiple accolades with the Cougars, with individual and team awards. Some of Buchanan’s individual awards include the 2022/2023, 2023 Division 5A State Player of the Year award, First Team all-state honors twice, and the one she is most proud of, Nevada Gatorade Player of the Year award.

“I am pretty proud of [Gatorade Player of the Year] because I think I wouldn’t have gotten that without the years of playing soccer at club,” Buchanan said. “And I think it was the end of a good chapter and a good [start] to a new chapter.” 

After over four years in high school, Buchanan jumped to the college level. She was very glad to be able to be part of the UNLV team and continue her soccer career in college alongside her Heat assistant coach Jenny Ruiz-Williams, who is now the head coach of the UNLV Women’s Soccer team.

“I’ve known Jenny because she was my assistant coach [for the] Heat, so it was awesome to commit to this team because I wanted to be part of this program, part of the coaching staff and team,” Buchanan said. “I’m just really grateful to be a part of this team.”

Buchanan officially debuted for the Rebels on Aug. 17 against North Texas. 

“It was an exciting feeling,” Buchanan said. “I was a little nervous, but I think the progress I have seen [has made me] feel less nervous and more excited as each game goes on.”

In her third game with the Rebels, Buchanan was able to get her name on the scoresheet with a great goal against UC Riverside in the Rebels first win of the season when they dominated 3-0.

“It was an awesome feeling. One that I won’t forget because the celebration after the goal was, I think, what made it much more exciting for me,” Buchanan said.

As the full-time whistle blew at the Peter Johann Soccer Field against UC Riverside, a flood of emotions hit the Rebel team.

“That was awesome because I think that started the moment and I think our win Yesterday [against Weber State] really helped us progress,” Buchanan said.

The Rebels would once again play at its home ground this time against Idaho. The Rebels put on a stellar performance with great possession of the ball, rapid ball movement, quick counter-attack and great defensive game, seeming that the game would be in its favor. However at the unlucky 65th minute, an unfortunate bounce led to the Rebels losing 1-0, despite a UNLV total possession of shots, passes and retention of the ball.

“That was kind of not-a-good feeling because we did dominate that game,” Buchanan said. “We should have won that game, but it wasn’t like we got crushed or anything, we lost by one goal. I think we turned that around from yesterday [against Weber State].”

Despite the loss to Idaho, in combination with great performances in the Riverside and Idaho games, both Buchanan and teammate Hanne Breur received Mountain West awards of the week. Teammate Breur would go on to receive the Defensive Player of the Week award while Buchanan would receive the Freshman of the Week award. Buchanan had officially won an award before the beginning of the academic school year.

“That felt kind of awesome because I’ve had support and rallying from my team, so I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them,” Buchanan said.

When UNLV played Weber State, they were coming from the Idaho loss and needed an away win to bring back the moment. Buchanan came to the rescue with a fabulous brace to win 2-0 against Weber State for their first win as visitors.

“It felt awesome,” Buchanan said. “I feel really proud of myself for being able to get that brace and hopefully come more.”

This is Buchanan’s first year of college soccer, and it can be a huge leap from high school to college soccer.

“It’s big! It’s like a big difference,” Buchanan said. “I think you don’t really realize it until you’re like in the field playing and practicing. I’ve gotten used to it, so I am happy I have been able to adjust.”

Buchanan has currently scored three goals with the Rebels, one being against Riverside while the other two come from her brace against Weber State. Buchanan, however, does have a favorite of those three.

“I feel like the first goal because it was part of a first win, first everything for all of us, so that was like a team effort and I was proud of that.”

Buchanan may be a freshman player for the Rebels but that doesn’t stop her from dreaming big and having big goals for the Rebels this season.

“To win the Mountain West championship.”

Buchanan is an excellent player and she has so much to offer for the Rebels. We still have so much more to see from the super player. 

The Rebels start conference play on the road against Wyoming on Sept. 21 at 3 p.m. PST. The game will be available to watch on the Mountain West Network.

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