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New Mexico Women's Soccer to Face Baylor
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  08/26/2008
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Aug. 26, 2008

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The New Mexico women's soccer team will host the Baylor Bears this Friday, Aug. 29 at 7 p.m. MST. at the UNM Soccer Complex. This will be the first meeting between the Lobos and Bears in women's soccer. The match will be the second of six consecutive home appearances for the Lobos.

The Lobos have found their offensive prowess and defensive aggressiveness and will look to notch their first win of the season.

HEAD COACH Kit Vela's WEEKLY ADDRESS

"They have a new coach at Baylor and I expect a lot of enthusiasm from their players. I expect to see an aggressive style since they are a Big 12 team and they will have good athletes. Since we have never seen them it's hard to know what type of product they are going to put on the field. We do know that they are going to bring a lot of energy."

"We are working on our team cohesiveness. The team is still trying to figure itself out to a certain degree. We are going to try and improve on the things that we are already improved on. The girls will get to know the system better. We have a lot of depth and these girls just need to keep playing together."

LIVE VIDEO AND STATS

Fridays match will be broadcast live through All-Access at www.golobos.com. Media Relations assistant Daniel Archuleta will provide play-by-play and former Lobo women's soccer player Asha Richardson will provide color analysis for the broadcast during all Lobo home matches.

Live stats will be kept through Gametracker, which is also available at www.golobos.com.

SERIES INFORMATION AGAINST BAYLOR

This will be the first time that the Lobos will meet the Baylor Bears in women's soccer.

The Lobos are 5-13-2 against the Big 12 conference. New Mexico faced then ranked No. 20 Oklahoma State and lost a heartbreaker, 2-1 in OT. The last Lobo victory against a Big 12 opponent was a 5-0 win over Texas Tech on Sept. 4, 2004.

TRACKING BAYLOR

The Baylor Bears are 0-1-0 on the season. The Bears were shutout 0-1 by UTEP on Friday, Aug. 22. UTEP scored in the 18th minute and held on for the win. Baylor returns 16 players from last seasons' roster and add 13 newcomers. The Bears will also have a new coach at the helm. Head coach Marci Jobson (SMU 98') takes over as the Bears head coach after three years of coaching at Northern Illinois.

The Bears finished with a 7-10-2 record with a 1-8-1 record in the Big 12. The Bears finished 10th in the Big 12.

HAND LEADS LOBOS OFFENSIVELY IN OPENING WEEKEND

Senior Hannah Hand received the Qwest Athlete of the Week and was nominated for the Mountain West Conference Offensive player of the week.

Hand scored a goal against Northern Arizona on Sunday, Aug. 24 and notched an assist against Denver on Friday, Aug 22 to lead the Lobos offensively in their first two games. Hand moved in to a tie for sixth place all-time at New Mexico for assists with 11.

Against Northern Arizona, the senior from Los Angeles, Calif., found the back of the net off a rebound and was able to use what little space the keeper gave her for the equalizer. Hands goal tied the match and helped the Lobos move to 0-1-1.

In Denver, Hand was able to use a burst of speed to beat the Pioneer defender down the right flank and sent a beautiful cross in the air that lead to a Jennifer Williams header for the lone Lobo goal of the match.

FORWARDS PROVIDE FIREWORKS

Leading the way offensively for the Lobos is senior Hannah Hand with one goal and one assist and freshman Jennifer Williams. Hand scored her first goal of the season against Northern Arizona on Aug. 24. She notched an assist on Aug. 22., against Denver.

Williams, a true freshman scored the first goal of her collegiate career against Denver off a Hannah Hand cross. Against Northern Arizona, Williams created offense from defense as she stole the ball from two Lumberjack defenders and crossed the ball to Alexis Ball. Ball took a shot that bounced off the keepers hands and was put in the back of the net by Hand.

YOUTH LEADERSHIP

The Lobos have youth and are not afraid to use it. Of the two games that the Lobos have played eight freshmen have set foot on the soccer field. Four freshmen have impressed head coach Kit Vela enough to earn themselves starting positions. Forward Jennifer Williams, midfielders Jael Fanning, Amanda Collins and Nicole Reed have started at least one game for the Lobos, while forward Jordan Craig, midfielder Zaneta Wyne and defenders Gianna Cauvoto and Courtney Carpenter have seen considerable playing time early in the season.

COACH VELA ENTERS EIGHTH SEASON AS LOBOS HEAD COACH

New Mexico head women's soccer coach Kit Vela is in her eighth year as the Lobos skipper. Vela's record at UNM is 48-64-21 and has included three straight eight-win seasons. Vela has taken her team to the MWC tournament six out of seven years and have advanced to the MWC Championship game twice in 2002 and 2005. Vela has an overall MWC record of 15-21-9.

During her tenure at UNM, Vela has made remarkable strides in a short period. In 2005, Vela's squad was 2-0-1 against nationally-ranked opponents. Perhaps the biggest win of the season came when the Lobos defeated sixth ranked BYU in Provo 1-0. The Lobos would go on to defeat No. 22 Utah in the MWC tournament. In 2001, Vela's first year, the Lobos had their best conference finish with a mark of 3-2-1.

Vela's first victory came in dramatic fashion as the Lobos took down No. 12 Kentucky 1-0 on Sept. 30, 2001.

SOPHOMORE SENSATION

Alexis Ball had a dream freshman season as she lead the Lobo offense with six goals and one assist and is the only all-MWC selection from last year. Ball scored the game winning goal in four games last season which ranks her in a six way tie for sixth place all-time at UNM. Ball was also the MWC player of the week on Oct. 1, 2007 as well as the Soccer Buzz Elite Team of the Week on Oct, 2 2007. While she had a nose for the net, Ball was no different in the classroom. She received all-MWC Academic Honors. Ball will roam the midfield this year and has already scored a goal and notched an assist in an exhibition against New Mexico Highlands.

ASSIST QUEEN

Senior Hannah Hand will be back and is rapidly moving up the UNM all-time assist for a career. Since coming on in 2005 Hand has 11 assists with a team leading seven last season. Hand is 12 behind all-time leader Laurie Hegedorn. Hand could be a major weapon for the Lobo offense this season.

LAST MATCH

New Mexico had a busy weekend, playing two matches in three days. The first match was Friday, Aug. 22, in a 3-1 loss at Denver. The Lobos were outshot 12-9 but were the aggressors much of the match. Down 2-0 New Mexico pulled within one off a header by freshman Jennifer Williams. Hannah Hand provided the assist. Just as the Lobos were mounting their comeback, senior goalkeeper Shannon Adragna made a brilliant save that bounced off a Lobo defender for an own goal to give the Pioneers the 3-1 victory.

On Sunday, Aug. 24, the Lobos battled Northern Arizona to a 1-1 tie. The Lobos dominated in every offensive stat including shots (35-7), shots on goal (10-2) and corner kicks (8-3), yet only netted one goal. Senior Hannah Hand picked up the goal off an Alexis Ball rebound for the equalizer goal.

LOBOS SELECT CAPTAINS FOR 2008 SEASON

The New Mexico women's soccer team has selected four senior players as captains. Goalkeeper Shannon Adragna, defenders Samantha Bevis, Kaci Paetz and Krista Peterson were selected by their teammates for ability to lead on the field and how to represent the Lobos and the University off of it. The four captains will lead the Lobos in to the 2008 season with energy and excitement.

KEEPING HISTORY

Senior goalkeeper Shannon Adragna is on track to leave UNM as the best to play her position. Adragna is currently ranked in the top-five in eight UNM single season and career school records. The product of Albuquerque's Sandia High School, Adragna is ranked first in goals against average with a 1.22 mark since 2004. She is also ranked third all-time at UNM in shutouts with 13 and fifth all-time in saves with 121. Her seven shutouts last season was good for fourth best in a single season and her eight wins ranks her fifth.

FRESHMEN A PLENTY

New Mexico welcomes 15 new freshmen to the University in their pursuit of higher learning. The newcomers will don the Cherry and Silver in pursuit of playing time and a collegiate career. The freshmen come from far and wide to play soccer for head coach Kit Vela, with six from right in New Mexico and as far as Adelaide, Australia. Five come from the Calif. while Ariz., Utah, and Texas each have one current lobo on the roster for the Lobos.
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