Aug. 31, 2005
The University of New Mexico women's soccer team continues home play this weekend as it hosts the New Mexico Nike Classic, Sept. 2-4 at the UNM Soccer Complex. University of Alabama, Eastern Washington and Akron will participate in the tournament with the Lobos (0-0-1).
The Nike Classic will run on Friday, Sept. 2 and Sunday, Sept. 4 with two matches played each day. The first day will have Eastern Washington (0-2) and Akron (1-2-1) compete at 4 p.m., followed by a match between the Lobos and Alabama (1-0) at 7 p.m. On the second day, Alabama will face Akron at noon and New Mexico will play Eastern Washington in the final tournament game of the weekend at 3 p.m.
The Tide opened its season with a 4-1 victory over Tulane in New Orleans, La. Alabama was also scheduled to play North Dakota while in New Orleans, but the threat of Hurricane Katrina cancelled the match on Sunday.
Alabama's senior forward Libby Probst had the hat trick in Friday's game against Tulane, scoring all three goals within a 10:13 span in the second half.
Head coach Don Staley is in his 12th season with Alabama. In 2004, the Tide tallied a 10-11-0 record, 5-6 in the SEC.
New Mexico leads the all-time series against Alabama 1-0 after defeating the Tide in 2000 at Alabama. The Lobos won 1-0 after going though two overtimes.
Web site: www.rolltide.com
SCOUTING EASTERN WASHINGTON
The Eagles started their season last weekend with a pair of losses to Oregon and Oregon State. Eastern Washington was shutout in both games, with Oregon winning 1-0 and Oregon State 2-0.
EWU is coached by 6th year head coach George Hageage. In 2004, Hageage led the Eagles to their first ever Big Sky Conference regular season title. Eastern Washington finished the 2004 season with a 7-9-2 overall record, 4-1-1 in the Big Sky Conference.
Senior midfielder Beth Russell and sophomore forward Cyeeta Mott hope to boost Eastern Washington's scoring chances this season as they led the 2004 squad in goals scored with three.
This will be the first meeting between the Lobos and the Eagles.
Web site: www.goeags.com
In front of a vocal crowd of 1,223 last Friday night at the UNM Soccer Complex, the University of New Mexico women's soccer team battled through 110 minutes with the University of Montana for its season opener. The result after regulation and two overtimes was a scoreless tie which made the first game of the year a little anticlimactic, but head coach Kit Vela said she was pleased with some of the things the team produced out on the field.
Junior forward Kristine Sweat showed what she will be capable of this season as she took three shots and had one shot on goal against a Montana defense that used an offsides trap to get the ball back. Sophomore Katelyn Ley also had good looks at midfield with one shot on goal. Another sophomore midfielder that proved she still has a strong leg was Anna Neu. From 20 yards out, Neu rocketed a shot that deflected off the crossbar, inches away from finding the back of the net.
There were some newcomers that also gave an impressive performance in their first collegiate game. Freshman defender Samantha Bevis held her own in all 110 minutes while freshmen forwards Hannah Hand and Asha Richardson proved they have what it takes to be speedy goal scorers for New Mexico this season. In the second half, Richardson had an open look after beating out a Montana defender, but Montana's keeper Sarah Braseth was able to back pedal and get her hand up high enough to tip the shot back over the goal. Hand almost had the game-winning goal with four minutes left in the first overtime, but was nullified after a foul was called on the Lobos.
The goalkeeping of senior Kristen Winters was stronger than ever. Winters had three saves, including a huge grab at the 17 minute mark in the first half that could have pulled the Grizzlies to an early lead. The shutout counted as Winters' 18th career.
Overall, the Lobos looked quite different against a Montana team that in 2004 dominated New Mexico with a 3-1 score. The UNM squad looked strong and competitive. Most importantly, the Lobos played with determination which gave New Mexico fans something to cheer about in the first game of the year.
Eight players from the state of New Mexico are on this year's roster. A local player to watch this season is Rio Rancho High School grad Bridgette Sanchez. Sanchez is expected to see a lot of playing time as a starting forward for New Mexico. Vela saw great things from her during the spring season and would like Sanchez to be a leading scorer this year.
Sophomores Terryn Granados and Amber Wetsch hail from La Cueva High School. Granados has impressed Vela and the Lobo coaching staff so much with her amazing work ethic and strong dedication to the team that she will be a starting midfielder this season. Vela describes her as a local diamond and one of the hardest working players on the team.
As a defender, Wetsch brings an aggressive spark to the back field. Vela describers her as a bulldog defender. Her "never quit" attitude is just what the Lobos are looking for on defense as they hope to push forward more often this season.
Junior defender Alanna Abeyta from St. Pius X High School has continued to be a key player in New Mexico's defense. Last season, she started in all 17 games and it looks like this year she will take on a large role again after playing the full 110 minutes in the season opener against Montana last weekend.
Other local athletes not to leave out are junior forward Alicia Lacovara (Moriarty HS), sophomore defender Erica Freese (St. Pius X HS), and junior defender Samantha Sullivan (Eldorado HS). Freese is working through a knee injury at the start of this season, but Vela thinks she will be able to come on later this year to make a huge impact.
WINTERS SETTLES IN FOR ONE MORE SEASON
Senior goalkeeper Kristen Winters is in her sixth season with the Lobos after receiving a medical hardship extension from the NCAA last spring. Winters used her redshirt in 2000 after breaking her leg the summer before the 2000 season. In 2001, she was still dealing with injuries to her leg and was forced to miss most of the 2001 season. Winters did not get her actual start on the soccer team until 2002 where she had a landmark season as the starting goalkeeper. Winters was named 2002 Mountain West Conference Goal Keeper of the Year and since then has started in all 57 games played through 2004.
Winters earned her B.A. in Accounting from UNM in May 2004 and is currently pursuing her master's in Policy and Planning.
NEW MEXICO AT HOME
For the first time ever, the Lobos women's soccer team is playing at home in the first three weekends of the season.
Last year, the Lobos finished with a 3-3 home record. Their first two home games in 2004 resulted in wins over Portland State and Texas Tech.
Overall, New Mexico is 49-40-8 (.546) at home with head coach Kit Vela recording an overall 9-13-4 record at the UNM Soccer complex in her four years with New Mexico.
WEB SITE ADDITIONS
A new feature has been added to the UNM women's soccer web page at www.GoLobos.com. The Lobo Journals is an extra site where several UNM players will have their journals about their experiences during the 2005 season posted throughout the year to give an inside look at what it's like to be on the Lobo women's soccer team. The first two journals of the season have already been posted. Read up on Kristen Winters' and Terryn Granandos' thoughts on preseason and what they expect for 2005.