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Lobo Women's Soccer Travels To The Lone Star State To Take On Rice And Texas
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  09/15/2009
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Sept. 15, 2009

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.-- The University of New Mexico women's soccer team takes a seven match unbeaten streak on the road to Texas and will take on the Rice Owls (2-4-1) Friday at 6 p.m. MT and the Texas Longhorns (3-3-0) Sunday at 12 p.m. MT. The Lobos (6-0-1) are off to their best start since 1993 and are one of only 20 undefeated teams in the nation and are the only team in the Mountain West Conference without a loss.

The Lobos will have two days rest next week before returning home to take on Northern Colorado Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. MT and Northern Arizona Friday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. MT. Both games can be seen on Lobo TV through www.GoLobos.com.

HEAD COACH Kit Vela's WEEKLY ADDRESS

"We are playing two good Texas teams this weekend. We have our work cut out for us but we always look forward to the challenge. Rice is a very hard working team. They are a lot like us in some degrees. They are tough nosed and will play hard the entire 90 minutes. They are a good test for us because they are very similar to some of our conference opponents."

"Texas is Texas. I don't care what their record is. I don't care who they've lost to or who they've beaten they are a very talented and tough team and at their place even more so. We've got our work cut out for us but we are excited. These kind of road trips will prepare us for when we have to go on the road to take on BYU and Utah."

LIVE STATS AND VIDEO

Fridays match against the Rice Owls will feature Gametracker through www.GoLobos.com. Sundays match from Austin will have FREE Video and Gametracker through www.GoLobos.com.

WEATHER REPORT

Friday's forecast calls for partly cloudy skies with a high of 86 degrees. Sunday will have a high of 86 degrees and will be partly cloudy.

BEST START SINCE 1993

New Mexico is currently 6-0-1 on the season which is the best in school history. In the programs first year 1993, the Lobos went 5-0-0 to start the season. This is also the best start in head coach Kit Vela's career. Vela has been 3-2-0 to start the season three times (2004, 2006 and 2007).

ELITE COMPANY

As of Sept. 13 only 20 Division I programs remain undefeated and New Mexico is one of them. The Lobos are the only team in the MWC that are undefeated.

Undefeated teams left: NEW MEXICO (6-0-1), Portland (7-0-0), Maryland (7-0-0), Louisiana Tech (7-0-0), Stanford (7-0-0), North Carolina (6-0-0), Boston College (6-0-0), South Carolina (6-0-0), Marshall (6-0-0), Mississippi State (6-0-0), Georgia (6-0-1), Villinova (6-0-1), Arkansas (5-0-1), Canisius (5-0-1), Michigan State (4-0-1), Samford (4-0-1), UC Davis (4-0-1) Iowa State (4-0-3), Dayton (3-0-4), Chattanooga (4-0-0).

CORNELL EARNS MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Kelli Cornell has been named the MWC Defensive Player of the Week as announced by the conference office Monday. Cornell is 6-0-1 on the season and currently holds a 0.28 goals allowed average. This is the first weekly award of her young career.

The San Clemente, Calif., native posted a 1-0-1 record this past weekend in a 2-0 win over Cal State Northridge Sept. 11 and a 0-0 double overtime draw with Tulsa Sept. 13. Cornell has six shutouts on the season and puts her in a tie for sixth place all-time at UNM for shutouts on a season. Her sixth win places her in eighth place all-time at UNM for wins in a season.

NATIONAL RECOGNITION

The University of New Mexico women's soccer team has caught the attention of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's Pacific Region. For the first time in school history the Lobos have earned a regional ranking and are currently ranked 10th in the poll released this Monday. New Mexico shares the 10th spot with Oregon State (5-1-0).

SERIES INFORMATION AGAINST RICE

Friday's match will be the first ever meeting between the Owls and the Lobos. UNM will face five new opponents this season and so far is 4-0.

SCOUTING RICE

Rice is currently 2-4-1 on the season. The Owls are coached by Chris Huston (North Carolina `92) who is in her 10th year as Rice's head coach. Huston has an overall record of 105-81-12 and is 85-63-10 while at Rice.

Rice is led offensively by senior Erin Scott who has two goals, two assists and one game-winner on the season. In goal for Rice is junior Meghan Erkel who has played all seven matches for the Owls and has posted a record of 2-4-1. Erkel has given up eight goals in seven contests and has made 52 saves.

The Owls return 20 letterwinners with nine starters from last years squad.

SERIES INFORMATION TEXAS

The Lobos are 0-3 against the Longhorns of Texas. New Mexico last took on Texas on Sept. 7, 2006 and lost a heartbreaker 2-1 in overtime in Albuquerque. The Last time the Lobos were in Austin was Aug. 30, 2002 and the Longhorns walked away with a 4-0 victory.

SCOUTING TEXAS

Texas is currently 3-3-0 on the season. The Longhorns are coached by Chris Petrucelli who is in his 11th season of coaching Texas and has a 138-67-18 record. Petrucelli has and overall record of 312-89-28 over 19 years.

The Longhorns are led offensively by junior Niki Arlitt who has scored one goal and dished out three assists. In goal for Texas is true freshman Alexa Gaul. Gaul has played in three matches and has allowed three goals while posting a 2-1-0 record.

Texas returns 15 letterwinners with seven starters from last years squad.

LEADERS OF THE PACK

Sophomore Jennifer Williams and redshirt freshman Kelli Cornell currently lead the Mountain West Conference in several categories. Williams is the top gun in total points (15), goals (5), game-winners (4) and is ranked third in assists (3). Cornell leads the league in save percentage (.905) shutouts (6) and in goals allowed average (0.28).

LAST MATCHES

New Mexico went 1-0-1 on the weekend in the UNM Nike Classic. On Friday, Sept. 11 the Lobos defeated Cal State Northridge, 2-0 and made history for their best start ever at 6-0-0. Sophomore Jennifer Williams netted the game-winner in the sixth minute of the match. The goal was Williams' sixth of the season and 10th of her career. In the 68th minute true freshman Stephanie Rowe scored her first collegiate goal after being on the field for only eight minutes and eight seconds in her first collegiate contest.

Redshirt freshman Kelli Cornell posted her sixth win and third consecutive shutout for a total of five on the season. The win put Cornell in eighth place all-time at UNM for wins in a season.

On Sunday the Lobos battled Tulsa to a 0-0 double overtime draw. Junior Alexis Ball led the way for the Lobos taking seven shots with two on goal. Ball had a chance to put the game away in the second overtime period but was robbed by the Tulsa keeper. Cornell posted her sixth shutout of the season and puts her in a tie for sixth place all-time at UNM for shutouts in a season.

GOAL PRODUCTION

This season the Lobos have found the back of the net 15 times. Seven different players have scored goals including, Jennifer Williams (6), Nicole Reed (2), Zaneta Wyne (2), Rachel Fields (1), , Kate Wyrick (1), Jordan Craig (1) and Jess Quador (1). The Lobos have scored 15 goals and are outscoring their opponents 15-2.

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.

BALL CHASES THE RECORDS

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 game-winning goals. Ball is in seventh place all-time with 32 career points and is only six points from cracking the top-5.

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.

SENIORS SHINE

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.

FIREPOWER RETURNS

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.

WILLIAMS DOES IT AGAIN

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.

BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE

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.

UNM SOCCER COMPLEX

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.

Friday, September 26
8:00 PM - 
Women's Soccer
at Fresno State
Sunday, September 28
1:00 PM - 
Women's Soccer
at San Jose State
Friday, October 03
7:00 PM - 
Women's Soccer
vs. Air Force
Sunday, October 05
1:00 PM - 
Women's Soccer
vs. Colorado College
Friday, October 10
8:00 PM - 
Women's Soccer
at UNLV
Sunday, October 12
2:00 PM - 
Women's Soccer
at Nevada
Friday, October 17
7:00 PM - 
Women's Soccer
vs. Boise State
Sunday, October 19
1:00 PM - 
Women's Soccer
vs. Utah State
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