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Fourth Seed New Mexico To Face Fifth Seed Wyoming in Mountain West Conference Tournament
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  11/02/2009
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Nov. 2, 2009

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M-- The fourth-seeded Lobo women's soccer team will take on fifth seed Wyoming in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Conference Tournament at 3 p.m. MT on Wednesday Nov. 4. The tournament is hosted by No. 8 rankded BYU in at South Field in Provo, Utah. The Lobos (12-4-3, 4-3-0 MWC) will look to avenge a Oct. 3, 2-1 loss to the Cowgirls (9-7-3, 3-3-1) in Albuquerque.

Awaiting the winner of the Lobos and Cowgirls is 2009 regular-season and defending tournament champions No. 8 BYU.

HEAD COACH Kit Vela's WEEKLY ADDRESS

"We are very excited to be playing in the tournament. I love this group of players. They are very excited about playing in the tournament. I don't think it matters who they are playing against. They are just excited to go and have a chance to play as a team again."

"Provo and Albuquerque, we have very similar atmospheres with great crowds and great attendance. The girls feel comfortable playing in Provo and hopefully we will get a better result this time."

"It will be a great game against Wyoming. The first time we played it was a great match. I think the girls learned from the first time we played them and I'm sure the girls won't forget that loss at home. We didn't do enough that day. I don't think that will be the case on Wednesday. I think it will be a great 90 minutes, both teams will fight and do well."

MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT

For the second straight year in a row, the Lobos are headed to the six-team MWC Tournament. The Lobos earned the fourth seed with a 4-3-0 MWC record. UNM is 5-6-2 all-time at the MWC Tournament. The Lobos have reached the semifinals four times (2002, `03, `05, `06) and made it to the championship match twice in 2002 and `08. The Lobos are 4-2-1 all-time in MWC quarterfinal match ups.

Record Against MWC Schools at the MWC Tournament:
Air Force: 1-1-0
BYU: 0-2-0
San Diego State: 0-1-1
TCU: never played
UNLV: 0-1-1
Utah: 2-1-0
Wyoming: 2-0-0

Top-seeded No. 8 BYU won its second straight regular season championship and posted a 6-0-1 record in conference play to earn a first round bye. The Cougars will take on the winner of New Mexico vs. Wyoming San Diego State also will get a first round bye as the No. 2 seed. The Aztecs went 5-0-2 in MWC play. Utah picked up the third seed and will play sixth-seeded TCU at noon MT on Wednesday Nov. 4. The fourth-seeded Lobos will take on fifth-seeded Wyoming in the second quarterfinal match up of the day.

MWC SEMIFINALS AND FINALS TO BE NATIONALLY TELEVISED

Thursday's semifinal matches will be televised live on the Mountain Sports Network. Saturday's Championship match also will be seen on the MTN but will be tape-delayed on Saturday at midnight.

LIVE STATS AND VIDEO

Wednesday's match will feature Live Stats and Live Video through www.GoLobos.com or Click HERE

WEATHER REPORT

This week's weather forecast calls for temperatures in the high 50's to low 60's with sunny skies. Championship Saturday will have mostly sunny skies with a high of 60 degrees.

CORNELL ADDS TO SCHOOL RECORD FOR SHUTOUTS IN A SEASON

Redshirt freshman Kelli Cornell has played beyond her years this season as the Lobos' No. 1 goalkeeper. The San Clemente, Calif., native has posted 12 shutouts in her rookie season and has set a new all-time mark at UNM. Cornell's 12 career shutouts also rank her fifth place all-time. Her 12 wins on the season are the third most in school history in a single season. Cornell's 12 career wins rank her sixth all-time at UNM.

FIELDS NETS SECOND GAME-WINNER OF THE SEASON

Junior Rachel Fields netted her second game-winner of the season in a 2-0 win over UNLV on Oct. 31. Fields put away a header off a cross from teammate Jael Fanning in the 50th minute to put the Lobos on top for good. Fields scored the game-winner in a 1-0 win against Air Force on Oct. 10.

EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS

For the second season in a row, the University of New Mexico women's soccer team have finished above the preseason polls prediction. The Lobos were picked to finish sixth this season and earned a fourth-place finish for the second year. The Lobos picked up four conference wins for the first time since joining the MWC. Last season the Lobos also were picked to finish sixth in the preseason poll and finished in a tie for fourth.

IN THE NCAA RANKINGS

The Lobos' main contributors on offense and defense have not only blazed a trail not only to the top of the conference ranking's, but have also netted national recognition as well.

Sophomore Jennifer Williams is ranked No. 50 in the nation for her 1.42 points-per-game average.

In her first season in net for the Lobos, redshirt freshman Kelli Cornell is ranked 42nd in the country for her 0.71 goals-allowed average.

As a team New Mexico is ranked 36th in the nation with a .712 shutout percentage.

IN THE NATIONAL RPI

As of Oct. 20 the Lobos' 11-3-2 record has placed them in the top-75 in the country with 72 RPI ranking. New Mexico has the third-highest RPI in the conference behind No. 11 BYU (27) and San Diego State (47). The Lobos face three teams in the top-100 including BYU, SDSU and Utah (91).

WILLIAMS MOVING UP THE CAREER LADDER

Sophomore Jennifer Williams is off to a tremendous start. In 19 matches the Moreno Valley, Calif., native has scored 10 goals and dished out seven assists for a total of 27 points. Williams also is climbing the ranks of the UNM record book. The game-winner against Utah on Oct. 17 put her in a tie for first place all-time at UNM for game-winners in a season. The game-winner on Oct. 3 against TCU was Williams' seventh game-winner of her career and puts her in third place all-time at UNM. Williams' 27 total points this season, gives her sole possession of fifth place all-time. Her 14 career goals puts Williams in a tie for sixth place all-time.

NEW MEXICO RANKED SECOND IN ATTENDANCE

The UNM Soccer Complex is the second-hottest destination to watch women's soccer in the Mountain West Conference. New Mexico is averaging 1,508 fans through the turnstiles and has had 13,572 total fans come through the gates. The Lobos rank second behind BYU .

SERIES INFORMATION AGAINST WYOMING

New Mexico leads the all-time series with Wyoming with a 10-5-2 advantage. The Lobos are a perfect 2-0-0 against the Cowgirls in the MWC Tournament. UNM picked up a 1-0 win over Wyoming in the quarterfinals of the MWC Tournament on Nov. 2, 2005 in the teams' last meeting in the conference tournament. The Cowgirls knocked off the Lobos earlier this season, 2-1 in Albuquerque on Oct. 8

SCOUTING WYOMING

Wyoming is 9-7-3 on the season and is 3-3-1 in MWC play. The Cowgirls are coached by Danny Sanchez, who is 17-17-4 in two seasons with Wyoming. Sanchez has an overall record of 336-69-22 in his 15-year career.

The Cowgirls are led offensively by Carmen Blume, who has scored four goals and dished out three assists for 11 points.

In goal for the Cowgirls will be Courtney Merkle, who is 9-7-3 on the season with a 0.94 goals-allowed average. Merkle has the highest save-percentage in the MWC (.827) and is ranked second in saves with 91.

MOUNTAIN WEST STATISTICS

The Lobos are the fourth best offense in the Mountain West with 85 points scored. New Mexico also leads in assists with 29.

Sophomore Jennifer Williams is at the top of the MWC and is second with ten goals on the season. Williams is ranked second in points (27) and first in game-winners (7). She is ranked second in assists with 7.

Redshirt freshman Kelli Cornell leads the league in shutouts (12) and is second in goals-allowed average (0.71).

Sophomores Jael Fanning and Nicole Reed are ranked tied for fourth and seventh respectively in assists. Fanning has dished out six assists and Reed has added five.

LAST MATCH

The Lobos defeated the UNLV Rebels, 2-0 in the regular season finale at the UNM Soccer Complex. Junior Rachel Fields scored the game-winner for the Lobos 10 minutes into the second half. Sophomores Jael Fanning and Zaneta Wyne were credited with assists on the play. Wyne added an insurance goal just over eight minutes later to finish off the Rebels. Fanning picked up her second assist of the match on Wyne's goal. Redshirt freshman Kelli Cornell picked up her 12th win and shutout of the season. Cornell faced 12 shots and made two saves on the night.

UNLV Notes:

  • Fields scored her second game-winner and third goal of the season.
  • Wyne netted her fourth goal of the season and has scored four goals in consecutive seasons
  • Fanning picked up her fifth and sixth assists of the season and is now tied for sixth place all-time at UNM for assists in a season.
  • Cornell added to her own single-season school record for shutouts in a season with her 12th. With her 12th win, Cornell is tied for second place all-time at UNM for wins in a season.

    GOAL PRODUCTION

    This season the Lobos have found the back of the net 28 times. Twelve different players have scored goals including Jennifer Williams (10), Zaneta Wyne (4), Nicole Reed (2), Rachel Fields (3), Alexis Ball (1), Kate Wyrick (1), Sinead Fleming (1), Jael Fanning (1), Jordan Craig (1), Elizabeth Lambert (1), Shelbie Luna (1), Stephanie Rowe (1) and Jess Quador (1). The Lobos have scored 28 goals and are outscoring their opponents 28-14.

    A TRADITION OF WINNING

    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.

    LOBOS PICKED TO FINISH SIXTH IN MWC PRESEASON POLL

    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.

    SENIOR SEND OFF

    The University of New Mexico women's soccer team saw four seniors take part in their last home match's this past Saturday against UNLV. Megan Bodenheimer, Katie McKernan, Veronika Strnadova and Jess Quador laced up for the final time at the UNM Soccer Complex. Each of the departing seniors has been a valued asset on and off the field.

    WILLIAMS DOES IT AGAIN

    Sophomore Jennifer Williams has scored the Lobos' first goal of the season for the second season in a row. 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.

    BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE

    New Mexico welcomes 11 incoming freshmen to the squad this fall. Hailing from 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 freshmen 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 accomplishments.

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