Aug. 26, 2003
STARTING OFF THE SEASON ON THE RIGHT FOOT: With the new season kicking off this weekend, the Lobos are full of anticipation for their first win. New Mexico plans to pick up that win when they start the season on the road Friday night at Texas Tech.
"We need to work hard and not get frustrated when things don't go our way (in order to pull out the win)," head coach Kit Vela said. "And we need to recognize that we have a lot of young players on the field."
The 2003 Lobos are indeed a young team. Although there are 17 letterwinners returning from last year's team, only two are seniors and six are juniors. Combine that with the thirteen incoming freshman and there is a lot of inexperience on the field.
Those returning from last year will need to step up and lead the team on the field as Texas Tech looks for revenge. The Lobos lead the series 3-1-1 with their last win coming on Sept. 14, 2002. UNM defeated the Red Raiders 2-1 behind the goals of seniors Linda Melendres and Michelle Nowfel.
New Mexico then travels to Norman, Okla. to face the Sooners for the first time since 2000. The series is tied at one apiece with UNM's 5-3 win coming in 1997. OU will again be a tough win. The Sooners are ranked 10th in the central region according to the National Soccer Coaches Asociation of America/adidas Division I Preseason 2003 Season Rankings.
But it is a new season according to coach Vela. The Lobos have a clean slate just like everyone else and it doesn't matter what they did last year. With this mentality, the Sooners are just another team and with hard work, the Lobos can come away with the victory.
RED RAIDERS REVIEW: "The injury bug has really hit us hard," said head coach Felix Oskam after announcing the exhibition game against Midwestern State on Friday had been cancelled due to significant injuries suffered in preseason camp. "Our focus needs to be our first regular-season game against New Mexico and we are going to do our best to get our team healthy by that point."
Texas Tech should be led by seniors Catie Arsenault and Kerri Campbell. Last year for the Red Raiders, Arsenault and Campbell started 18 of 19 games and finished second and third, respectively, on the team in points scored. Arsenault scored three goals and one assist on 29 shots while Campbell scored one goal and two assists on 21 shots.
SCOUTING THE SOONERS: The University of Oklahoma women's soccer team starts off the year with great expectations. They are ranked 10th in the central region in the NSCAA/adidas Division I Preseason Rankings and expected to finish in sixth place in the extremely talented Big 12 Conference.
The Sooners, who return 19 letterwinners from last year's 11-8 team, were slotted behind Texas, Texas A&M, Nebraska, Missouri and Colorado. They are coached by fifth-year mentor Randy Evans, and will open their 2003 schedule at home against Arkansas before hosting the Lobos.
Senior forward Logan Womack, OU's career leader in goals and second-leading points producer, will headline a talented group of Sooners. Womack earned second-team All-Big 12 honors last season.
Oklahoma ended a successful preseason with a win over 2002 NCAA Tournament participant Ole Miss.The Sooners downed the Rebels 2-1 with goals coming from Womack and sophomore midfielder Kristin Vesely.