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Lobos Battle Rebels in Nationally Televised Match
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  10/28/2008
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Oct. 28, 2008

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.-- The University of New Mexico women's soccer team will end the regular season Friday, when it travels to Las Vegas, Nev., to take on the UNLV Rebels at 4:30 p.m. MDT. The Lobos (7-5-5 2-3-1 MWC) will have the eyes of the nation on them when they play the Rebels (11-5-2, 3-2-1 MWC) live on The Mountain Sports Network. This will be the third time in the last three years the Lobos have played on television and the first time since 2006.

The Lobos will once again look to secure a spot in the Mountain West Conference Tournament on Nov. 5-8. A win over the Rebels will secure a spot in the six-team tournament

HEAD COACH Kit Vela's WEEKLY ADDRESS

"UNLV is a very good team. They are very opportunistic and they do a very good job finding a way to win games. I think we match up very well with them. Our teams have two different styles but I think it will be a good match. I think either team can win and I think that this year we can pull it out at UNLV."

"We are a good team on the road and I think that we are playing really well right now. Just like every other team in the nation we are trying to find enough goals to win a game. We have always played well on the road and we are excited to play our final regular season match on Friday, at UNLV.

TRIP TO THE CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT ON THE LINE

Three teams are currently battling for the sixth and final spot in the MWC Tournament on Nov. 5-8. including New Mexico. The Lobos have seven points in the conference standings. San Diego State also has seven points and Wyoming is hanging on with six points. A win at UNLV would assure the Lobos a spot in the six-team tournament. A tie won't hurt but the Lobos would also need a loss from either Wyoming, who plays conference leader BYU (13-5-0, 6-0-0 MWC) on Saturday at 11 a.m. MDT or San Diego State (6-8-3, 2-3-1 MWC) who will play tied for third place TCU 12-3-2, 3-2-1 MWC) in San Diego on Friday at 4:00 MDT.

LOBOS TO PLAY ON TELEVISION FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2006

This Friday nights match against the UNLV Rebels will be televised on The Mtn. at 4:30 p.m. MDT. The Mtn, television network can be seen on Comcast channel 276, Direct TV channel 616 and Cable One channel 329 in Rio Rancho. This will be the first time the Lobos have been on television since 2006 when they faced 10th-ranked Utah in the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference Tournament. The Lobos lost a hard fought 2-1 decision to the nationally ranked Utes. The Lobos are 1-1 all-time in televised matches. New Mexico defeated San Diego State 2-0 in Albuquerque also in 2006 on The Mtn.

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

SERIES INFORMATION AGAINST UNLV

UNLV holds a 7-4 all-time series lead over New Mexico and are currently on a five match winning streak over the Lobos. The Lobos last victory over the Rebels came on Oct. 24, 2003, in a 1-0 win in Albuquerque. Last year the Rebels escaped Albuquerque, with a narrow 2-1 victory in overtime. The Lobos haven't won in Las Vegas since Oct. 13, 2002 when they brought home a 1-0 victory over the Rebels.

SCOUTING UNLV

UNLV is 11-5-2 on the season and is 3-2-1 in MWC play. The 2007 MWC regular season champions are lead by Ashleigh Shoughro who has 11 goals and five assists for 27 points which is the second most in the MWC. In goal for the Rebels is Alicia Lugo who is 11-3-1 on the season and has posted a 0.83 goals against average. The Rebels are 7-1-0 at home this season.

FIVE SENIORS WILL PLAY FINAL REGULAR SEASON GAME FOR NEW MEXICO

Seniors Shannon Adragna, Samantha Bevis, Hannah Hand, Kaci Paetz and Krista Peterson will don the Cherry and Silver for possibly the last time in their careers this Friday against UNLV. The five seniors were honored at, "Senior Night," on Oct. 24 in a 1-1 tie with San Diego State. All five seniors have shown leadership abilities on and off the field as well as hard work and dedication.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES

The Lobos have scored 29 goals so far this season with one match left to play in the regular season. In 2007, the Lobos found the back of the net 18 times. The 28 goals are the most the Lobos have scored in a single season since 2002 when they scored 37. The most goals scored in a single season is, 42 in 1996. The Lobos are also assisting each other better than in 2007. This season New Mexico has 27 assists compared to 16 in 2007. The Lobos 27 assists are the most since 1997 when the Lobos notched 51 assists.

THE USUAL SUSPECTS

Sophomore Alexis Ball and senior Hannah Hand have grown accustomed to having their names show up on box scores. Ball the goal scorer and Hand the assist machine have hooked up for a total of six times in the last two years. The most recent occurrence was on Oct. 10 at Air Force when Ball took a cross from Hand and put away the game-winner in the 32nd minute of the match.

2008 RPI UPDATED

The Lobos are currently ranked 73rd in the country in the current RPI rankings released Oct. 21. This seasons schedule has been one of the toughest in school history. New Mexico has seen five teams ranked in top-50 in the RPI ranking, including No.4 UCLA, No. 16 BYU, No. 26 Wisconsin-Milwaukee and No. 29 San Diego. New Mexico has the third best RPI in the MWC behind BYU and TCU and Utah.

LOBOS SCORE MOST GOALS SINCE 2002 AGAINST CENTRAL ARKANSAS

New Mexico women's soccer lit up the scoredboard on Sept. 28 against the Central Arkansas Bears at the 4th Annual High Altitude Tournament. In route to a tournament championship with a 2-0 mark, the Lobos recorded a season-high seven goals and tied a NAU Lumberjack Stadium record for goals scored in a single match. True freshman Zaneta Wyne and sophomore Kate Wyrick each had two goals while redshirt freshman Jordan Craig, sophomores Alexis Ball and Rachel Fields each netted one goal a piece.

NEW MEXICO RANKED SECOND IN ATTENDENCE IN MWC

New Mexico is currently ranked second in the MWC for home attendance. The UNM Soccer Complex is averaging 1,253 fans in the Lobos' eight home matches. The biggest crowd of the season, 2,173 fans, saw the Lobos tie the San Diego State Aztecs 1-1 in overtime. In the Lobos eight home matches the crowds have been over 2,000 fans three times and over 1,000 five times.

FINDING FIRSTS

Seven of New Mexico's 10 goal scorers found the net for the first time in their young careers. True freshmen Jael Fanning, Jennifer Williams, Nicole Reed, Amanda Collins, Zaneta Wyne, redshirt freshman Jordan Craig and sophomore Rachel Fields each have ripped the ball into the back of the net. The first timers have accounted for 64 percent of New Mexico's scoring. Wyne and Williams each have four goals, which is tied for the team lead.

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 has a nose for the net, Ball is no different in the classroom. She received all-MWC Academic Honors. Ball has roamed the midfield this year and scored five goals and notched three assists. Ball has started every game to this point and moved in to third place all time at New Mexico with her sixth game-winning goal that she netted against Air Force on Oct. 10.

ASSIST QUEEN

Senior Hannah Hand is rapidly moving up the UNM all-time assist record for a career. Since coming on in 2005 Hand has 18 assists that ranks her second all-time at UNM. The senior from Los Angeles Calif., recorded her eighth assist of the season against Air Force on Oct. 10. Hand is now only five behind Laurie Hegedorn with 18 career assists and still has at least two games left in her career.

LAST MATCH

The Lobos battled San Diego State to a 1-1 double overtime draw on Oct. 24. at the UNM Soccer Complex in Albuquerque. Sophomore Alexis Ball took a throw-in from senior Krista Peterson on the far left flank and fired a shot on goal. The Aztec keeper couldn't climb the ladder as the ball sailed into the back of the net. The goal was Ball's fifth of the season. She is now the teams leading scorer with five goals and three assist for 13 total points.

COACH VELA NETS 50th CAREER VICTORY

New Mexico head women's soccer coach Kit Vela reached a milestone of 50 career wins against Drake on Friday, Sept. 5. The Lobos blanked the Bulldogs 1-0. Vela has become the only women's soccer coach at UNM to reach the 50 win mark. She has since picked up her 55th win against Wyoming by a score of 1-0. Vela's record at UNM is 55-68-25 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 17-24-10.

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.

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 0.89 mark since 2004. Adragna is currently in second place all-time at UNM in shutouts with 20, only five behind leader Kristen Winters. Her seven shutouts this season was good for fourth best in a single season and her eight wins last season ranks her fifth. Adragna is also fourth all-time in saves with 194.

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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