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Lobo Women's Soccer Hits The Road To Face No. 12 BYU and Utah
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  10/13/2009
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Oct. 13, 2009

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The University of New Mexico women's soccer team hits the road for two Mountain West Conference matches and will face No. 12 BYU, 7 p.m. MT, Thursday and Utah at 7 p.m. MT, Saturday. The Lobos will have a chance to showcase their abilities on the road in homes around the nation as they take on No. 12 BYU (11-2-2, 2-0-1 MWC) on BYU-TV. BYU-TV can be seen on Comcast channel 289, DIRECTV channel 374, on the Dish Network on channel 9397, and channel 392 on Cable One in Rio Rancho. BYU is undefeated in its last nine matches.

On Saturday the Lobos will head to Salt Lake City to take on Utah (6-7-2, 1-1-1).

The Lobos hit sunny California when they play San Diego State on Oct. 23 and dip out of conference play to take on Cal State Fullerton on Oct. 25.

HEAD COACH Kit Vela's WEEKLY ADDRESS

"We are going to face two very good teams. Annually they are at the top of our conference. BYU has very strong athletes They are at the top for a reason."

"I think it's great to play on national television. Our girls rise to the occasion no matter what it may be. We play hard every game. I think we are ready for BYU and I think that BYU is ready for us. It will be a heck of a match."

"Utah is a very good, athletic team. They are well coached and in a way they are like BYU. They are another tough Mountain West team. Anytime you have to play both these teams in the same week, it's going to be tough. We just have to hope we are focused and are the better team on those days."

WEATHER REPORT

Thursday's forecast in Provo calls for sunny skies and a high of 65 degrees with no chance of precipitation. Saturday's forecast in Salt Lake City calls for sunny skies with a high of 71 degrees.

LOBOS TO PLAY IN FRONT OF NATIONALLY TELEVISED AUDIENCE

Thursday's match up between No. 13 BYU and New Mexico will be televised nationwide on BYU-TV. The Lobos are 2-1 in televised matches. New Mexico defeated UNLV, 2-1 on Oct. 31, 2008 on The Mountain Television Network in the Lobos' last televised match.

IN THE NCAA RANKINGS

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

Sophomore Jennifer Williams is ranked No. 27 in the nation for her 1.71 points per game average. She also is ranked in a tie for 39th place for goals per game with a 0.64 average.

In only her first season in net for the Lobos, redshirt freshman Kelli Cornell is not only the top keeper in the MWC but top-15 in the nation. The San Clemente Calif., native is ranked 14th in the country for her 0.55 goals allowed average.

As a team New Mexico ranks 13th in the nation with a 0.55 goals-allowed average and is ranked 13th in the nation with a .643 shutout percentage.

IN THE NATIONAL RPI

The Lobos' 10-2-2 record has ushered them to their highest RPI in school history at 53. The Lobos previous highest ranking was 67 last season. New Mexico has the third highest RPI in the conference behind No. 18 BYU (35) and San Diego State (41). The Lobos face five teams in the top-100 including BYU, SDSU, Iowa (81), Texas (91) and UNLV (92).

WILLIAMS MOVING UP THE CAREER LADDER

Sophomore Jennifer Williams is off to a tremendous start. In 14 matches the Moreno Valley, Calif., native has scored nine goals and dished out six assists for a total of 24 points. Williams also is climbing the ranks of the UNM record book. The game-winner against TCU on Oct. 3 gave her sole possession of second place all-time at UNM for game-winners in a season. It was also Williams' seventh game-winner of her career and puts her in third place all-time at UNM. Williams' 24 total points this season, gives her sole possession of fifth place all-time. Her 13 career goals gives Williams sole possession of 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 1,523 fans through the turnstiles and has had 12,181 total fans come through the gates. The Lobos rank second behind BYU .

SERIES INFORMATION AGAINST BYU

The No. 12 BYU Cougars have a 11-4-2 series lead and have won two straight against the Lobos. The Lobos last defeated the Cougars on Oct. 6, 2005 1-0 in Provo. The Cougars were ranked No. 6 in the nation at the time. The Lobos are 1-1-1 in three attempts against a nationally ranked BYU team. Last season the Cougars defeated the Lobos 2-1 in Albuquerque on Oct. 18, 2008.

SCOUTING BYU

BYU is currently 11-2-2 on the season and in second place in the MWC with a 2-0-1 record. The Cougars are coached by 2008 MWC Coach of the Year, Jennifer Rockwood (BYU `89) who is 239-72-23 in 14 years at BYU. The Cougars are the defending MWC regular season and tournament champions. BYU was the lone MWC representative in the NCAA Women's College Cup and made it to the second round before falling to USC, 3-2 on penalties.

BYU is lead offensively by Carlee Payne, who is tied for the most goals in the MWC (9) with Lobo sophomore Jennifer Williams. Payne also leads the Cougars in assists with five and has netted three game-winners.

In goal for the Cougars is McKinzie Olson who is 6-1-2 on the season. Olson ranks second in the MWC in goals- allowed average (0.69) and second in shutouts with six. The Cougars also have 2008 MWC Defensive Player of the Year Andrea Willis on the backline.

The Cougars return 19 letterwinners and six starters from last year's squad.

SERIES INFORMATION AGAINST UTAH

New Mexico trails in the all-time series against Utah 10-4-2 and has not won since a 1-0 MWC semifinal showdown on Nov. 3, 2005. Last season the Utes defeated the Lobos 1-0 on Oct. 16, 2008.

SCOUTING UTAH

Utah is 6-7-2 on the season and in fourth place in MWC with a 1-1-1 record. The Utes are coached by Rich Manning (Santa Clara `86), who is 101-45-8 in seven years as Utah's head coach. The Utes finished second in the conference last season with a 5-2 record.

The Utes are led offensively by Kelly Isleib who has scored five goals and dished out three assists for a total of 13 points. Isleib is ranked fouth in the conference in points (13), goals (5) and ninth in assists with three.

In goal for the Utes is Hannah Turpen, who is 6-6-2 on the season with four shutouts.. Turpen has allowed 17 goals on the season and is giving up an average of 1.25 goals per match.

The Utes return 14 letterwinners and nine starters from last year's squad.

MOUNTAIN WEST STATISTICS

The Lobos are now the top offense in the Mountain West with 73 total points scored. New Mexico also leads in assists with 25.

Sophomore Jennifer Williams is at the top of the MWC and is tied for first place with nine goals on the season. Williams is ranked first in points (24), and game-winners (6). She is tied second in assists (6).

Red shirt freshman Kelli Cornell leads the league in shutouts (9) and in goals allowed average (0.55) and is currently ranked third in save percentage (.833)

LAST MATCHES

The Lobos went 1-1 last week, suffering a 2-1 loss to Wyoming on Oct. 8. Junior Alexis Ball put the Lobos on top 1-0 after netting her first goal of the season. Sophomores Nicole Reed and Jennifer Williams were creditied with assists on the play. The Lobos allowed two goals in seven minutes in the 72nd and 79th minutes of the match.

On Saturday, Oct. 10 the Lobos got back into the win column 1-0 over Air Force. Junior Rachel Fields put away her own rebound and beat the Air Force keeper for her second goal of the season and third of her career. Redshirt freshman Kelli Cornell picked up her 10th win and ninth shutout of the season.

Wyoming Notes:

  • Ball scored her first goal of the season and the 14th of her career. The goal moves her into a tie for fourth place all-time at UNM for goals in a career.

    Air Force Notes:

  • Fields scored her third goal and second game-winner of her career.

  • Cornell moved into a tie for third place all-time at UNM for wins in a single season with 10. Her nine shutouts place her in a tie for second place all-time for shutouts in a single season.

    GOAL PRODUCTION

    This season the Lobos have found the back of the net 24 times. Twelve different players have scored goals including Jennifer Williams (9), Nicole Reed (2), Zaneta Wyne (3), Rachel Fields (2), Alexis Ball (1), Kate Wyrick (1), Jael Fanning (1), Jordan Craig (1), Elizabeth Lambert (1), Shelbie Luna (1), Stephanie Rowe (1) and Jess Quador (1). The Lobos have scored 24 goals and are outscoring their opponents 24-8.

    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.

    SENIORS SHINE

    Two seniors will wear the Cherry and Silver for the final time. 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.

    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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