Lobo Women's Soccer Hits the Road to UNLV Nike Classic
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  08/26/2009
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Aug. 26, 2009

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.--The University of New Mexico women's soccer team will hit the road to the UNLV Nike Classic in Las Vegas, Nev., Aug. 28-30. The Lobos (1-0-0) will battle Cal State Bakersfield (2-0-0) Friday, Aug. 28 at 5:30 p.m. MT and Illinois State (0-1-0) Sunday, Aug. 30 at 11:30 p.m. MT.

Friday's match will pit two undefeated squads against each other. The Lobos will take on a much improved Cal State Bakersfield who is 2-0-0 on the season and knocked off No. 13 San Diego, 2-1, on Sunday, Aug. 23.

The Lobos will stay on the road next weekend as they travel up to 7,000 ft to take part in the 9th Annual Mountain Classic hosted by Northern Arizona. New Mexico will take on Oakland Sept. 4 at 5 p.m. MT and Iowa Sunday at noon.


"We are happy to be going to Vegas. Cal State Bakersfield is a tough team. We knew that when we scheduled them. All of their players are good and they have a great coaching staff. We knew it would be a tough game we just didn't anticipate them getting past San Diego. That should inspire the girls to play well. "

"Illinois State was picked to win their conference. They are a good team. They played a top-20 team last weekend and I'm sure they walked away from that with some learning tools."

"Both teams should make for two great games in Las Vegas at UNLV Stadium."


Both the Cal State Bakersfield and Illinois State matches will be available through Gametracker on www.GoLobos.com.


Temperatures will reach the 100s when the Lobos travel to sunny Las Vegas, Nev. Friday will be partly cloudy with a high of 107 degrees. Sunday will be mostly sunny with a high of 102 degrees.


Friday's match will be the first ever meeting between Cal State Bakersfield and the Lobos.


The Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunner are 2-0-0 on the season and have picked up wins against UC Riverside, 1-0, on Aug. 21 and upset No. 13 San Diego, 2-1 on Aug. 23. The Roadrunners are led offensively by three players each with one goal. Sam Pena, Kassi Masey and Racquel Gervas have each found the back of the net for the Roadrunners. In net for CSUB is Kym Gause who has allowed only one goal in 180 minutes of action for a goals allowed average of 0.50.


Friday's match will be the first ever meeting between Illinois State and New Mexico.

The Illinois State Redbirds are 0-1-0 on the season falling to No. 17 Illinois, 4-0 on Friday, Aug. 21. Jessica Carlson led the way for the Redbirds firing off three shots with two on goal. The Redbirds leading goalkeeper is Sasha Reiber who saw every minute of action against Illinois State. Reiber allowed four goals and made five saves in 90 minutes. The Redbirds were picked to win the Missouri Valley Conference by the leagues head coaches. In 2008 the Redbirds were the MVC regular season co-champions. Illinois State welcomes back 20 returning letterwinners with 10 returning starters.


For the second season in a row sophomore Jennifer Williams has scored the Lobos first goal of the season. Williams took a ball from fellow sophomore Nicole Reed and used her speed to fly past the Idaho State backline. After forcing the ISU keeper off her line Williams put the ball in between the keeper and the near post for the score in the 12th minute.

Last season Williams, as a true freshman, took a cross from senior Hannah Hand and headed top shelf for the Lobos first goal of the 2008 season and the first of her very bright career.


The Lobos return more than 75 percent of their total points scored from last season. Leading the way for the Lobos is junior Alexis Ball, who scored seven goals and notched four assists last season for 18 total points. Sophomores Jennifer Williams and Zaneta Wyne were second on the team with four goals apiece.


New Mexico downed Idaho State, 2-0 in the season opener on Friday, Aug. 21 at the UNM Soccer Complex. Sophomore Jennifer Williams found the back of the net for the Lobos in the 12th minute of the match. This is the second season in a row that Williams has scored the Lobos first goal of the season. Sophomore Nicole Reed was credited with the assist.

Senior Jess Quador found the back of the net for the first time as a Lobo in the 88th minute after she put away her own rebound and put the Lobos on top, 2-0.

Four true freshmen saw action against ISU. Chandler Guetz, Lauren Irwin, Shelbie Luna and Rachel Montoya got their first tastes of Division I play.

Sophomore Gianna Cavuoto made her first career start for the Lobos.

Redshirt Freshman Kelli Cornell started the first match of her career and came away with her first career victory and first career shutout.


Head coach Kit Vela is entering her ninth year at the helm of the women's soccer program. Since coming on in 2001 Vela has led the Lobos to the MWC Tournament seven out of eight years and has reached the championship match twice. In 2001 Vela was awarded the MWC Coach of the Year award.

Vela's squads have earned four consecutive winning seasons and are a force to be reckoned with in the MWC. Last season Vela earned her 50th career victory in a 1-0 decision over Drake on Sept. 5. Her first victory came in dramatic fashion as the Lobos stunned then No. 12 Kentucky in Lexington, Ky. on Sept. 30, 2001.


Junior Alexis Ball has led the Lobos in scoring over the past two seasons in. Her 13 career goals ties her for fifth all-time at New Mexico and is only five away from third place. Ball has proven to have gold in her strikes as well. She is ranks third all-time with six gamewinning goals. Ball is also tied for seventh all-time with 31 career points and is only seven points from cracking the top-5.


The University of New Mexico women's soccer team was picked to finish sixth this season by the conference head coaches. The Lobos were picked to finish sixth last year and ended the season in a tie for fourth place with UNLV. The top six teams at the end of the season get invited to the conference tournament which will be hosted by BYU in Provo, Utah.


Two seniors will wear the Cherry and Silver for the final time this season. Jess Quador and Veronika Strnadova are the two lone seniors on the Lobo roster. Quador came to UNM as a transfer from Colorado last season. She has become one of the on-field leaders on the backline and of the entire team.

Strnadova has shown the heart of a lion. She has faced adversity in the form of an knee injury before the 2008 season. After a successful surgery, Strnadova was able to make a full recovery and is at 100 percent for her senior season.


New Mexico welcome's 11 incoming freshmen to the squad this fall. Hailing Southern California are goalkeeper Sydney George, defenders Sinead Fleming and Lauren Irwin, and midfielders Shelbie Luna and Channing Perea. From the Land of Enchantment are midfielders Kelly Angerosa, Ashley Espinoza and Rachel Montoya. From Colorado are midfielders Chandler Guetz and Stephanie Rowe. Out of Utah is utility player Melanie Ward.

The strong group of freshman all have the talent to see immediate playing time in coach Vela's system. Each new Lobo brings a wealth of soccer knowledge and prior acomplishments.


For the 14th season the Lobo women's soccer team will take the pitch at the UNM Soccer Complex. The home field for the Lobos seats 6,200 fans and is equipped with endline bleachers and a Daktronics scoreboard.

The Lobos will play nine matches at the UNM Soccer Complex. On Sept. 11-13, New Mexico will host the Nike Classic and face off against Cal State Northridge on Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. MT and Tulsa on Sept. 13 at 1 p.m. MT. New Mexico will play seven of its nine home matches under the lights.

Monday, August 17
7:00 PM - 
Women's Soccer
vs. Fort Lewis (exhibition)
Friday, August 21
5:00 PM - 
Women's Soccer
at USC vs. Texas Tech
7:30 PM - 
Women's Soccer
vs. Florida State
Sunday, August 23
10:30 AM - 
Women's Soccer
at USC vs. Florida State
1:00 PM - 
Women's Soccer
vs. Texas Tech
Wednesday, August 26
6:00 PM - 
Women's Soccer
at New Mexico State