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Lobos Make Second Ever MWC Tournament Championship Game Appearance This Saturday
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  11/04/2005
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Nov. 4, 2005

LAS VEGAS - This Saturday, the fifth-seeded University of New Mexico women's soccer team will make its second ever Mountain West Conference Tournament championship game appearance as it gears up to take on No. 2 seed UNLV starting at 1 p.m. (MST) at Johann Memorial Field on the campus of UNLV. Watch the MWC Championship game live for FREE through the conference web site (www.themwc.com). Saturday's championship game will be streamed live starting at noon (MST), and will be replayed via tape delay nationally on CSTV Sunday, Nov. 6 at 8 p.m. (MST).

New Mexico (8-6-4) is the lowest seed ever to advance to the MWC Championship game. The Lobos were the No. 3 seed in the their championship appearance in 2002, a 5-1 loss to top-seeded BYU. Utah won the MWC Tournament as the No. 4 seed last year.

Both MWC tournament championship appearances (2002 & 2005) have come under fifth-year head coach Kit Vela. Under Vela, UNM is 5-4 in MWC Tournament play with four shutout victories.

UNLV's (12-6-3) appearance in the championship game will be the second for the Rebels. Their only trip to the finals came in 2001, when the tournament was also held in Las Vegas. BYU defeated UNLV, 2-1, in the final.

En route to the championship game, the Lobos defeated fourth-seeded Wyoming 1-0 in the first round and 22nd-ranked Utah 1-0 in the semifinals. Both of UNM's goals came from Albuquerque, N.M. products Alanna Abeyta (St. Pius X HS) and Terryn Granados (La Cueva HS). Abeyta, a junior defender, scored her second goal of the season in the second half against Wyoming off a free kick sent from Rio Rancho grad Bridgette Sanchez. Granados, a sophomore midfielder, scored her second goal of the season in the first two minutes of the match against Utah. Fellow sophomore midfielder Katelyn Ley (Marine, Minn.) had the assist with a throw-in to Granados.

UNLV defeated No. 7 seed TCU 3-0 in the first round and edged No. 6 seed San Diego State 2-1 in overtime in the semifinal match.

The match on Saturday will be the first time ever New Mexico and UNLV have met in the conference tournament. The all-time series between the two teams is even at 4-4. Earlier this season, UNLV defeated UNM 2-0 in Albuquerque.

NEW MEXICO QUICK HITS

-The fifth-seeded Lobos advance to MWC Championship game for the second time in program history (2002 & '05), both under fifth-year head coach Kit Vela.

-UNM also appeared in the 1995 Western Athletic Conference Championship game, falling to host San Diego State 2-1.

-New Mexico is the lowest seed ever to advance to the MWC Championship game. The Lobos were the No. 3 seed in their last Championship appearance in 2002, a 5-1 loss to top-seeded BYU. Utah won the MWC Tournament as the No. 4 seed last year.

-Under Vela, UNM is 5-4 in MWC Tournament play with 4 shutout victories. New Mexico was 1-5 its first 5 conference tournament appearances (1-3 WAC, 0-2 MWC) and failed to qualify for the 1998 WAC Tournament.

-New Mexico's 4-game winning streak is the longest under Kit Vela and the longest by any UNM team since the 1997 Lobos closed the regular season with 4-straight victories.

-The Lobos are 2-0-1 against top-25 teams this year with all games being played on the road or a neutral site. Prior to its win over No. 22 Utah tonight in Las Vegas, UNM tied No. 22 Arizona 1-1 on Sept. 18 in Tucson and defeated No. 6 BYU in Provo on Oct. 6

-The Lobos snapped a 3-game losing streak against Utah. Their last win over the Utes was a 1-0 shutout in semifinals of 2002 MWC Tourney.

-No. 22 Utah lost and was shutout for first time in 9 games (a 1-0 loss on Oct. 2 at Loyola Marymout).

-The Utes' had not lost to a MWC opponent in 11 games and had won 14 of their last 16 (1 loss, 1 tie) against MWC teams dating back to Oct. 14, 2004.

-Utah had won the last 2 MWC Tournament titles and 6-straight MWC Tournament games with its last loss coming against New Mexico in the 2002 semifinals.

-New Mexico has not allowed a goal in three games and has a scorless streak of 278 minutes, 45 seconds. Air Force was the last team to score on UNM, finding the back of the net with 8:45 left in the second half of the Lobos' 2-1 road win.

-The Lobos have allowed just 2 goals in their last 5 games (465 minutes).

-Since giving up a season-high 3 goals at Utah on Oct. 8, senior keeper Kristen Winters has allowed opponents to score only twice (excluding an own goal by UNM vs. SDSU) in her last 532:40 minutes (6 games) in goal

-Winters' goals against average is a mere 0.34 in her last 6 games.

-The Lobos have allowed opponents to take just 29 shots in their last 4 games (7.3 avg.).

-Utah fired 24 shots in its 3-0 first round win over Air Force, but could muster just 9 tonight against the UNM defense.

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