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Lobo Women's Soccer Hosts Wyoming And Air Force This Weekend
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  10/06/2009
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Oct. 6, 2009

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.--The University of New Mexico women's soccer team ends a five match home stand when it plays Wyoming, Thursday at 7 p.m. MT and Air Force Saturday at 5 p.m. MT. The Lobos (9-1-2, 1-0 MWC) have hit the nine win mark for the first time since 2002 and are only three wins away from head coach Kit Vela's highest win total of 12. Wyoming has won three straight matches and is 7-4-2 on the season and 1-0 in MWC play. The always tough Air Force Falcons are 2-9-1 on the season and 0-1 in MWC Play.

Saturday's match against Air Force is sponsored by Route 66 Casino Hotel. The first 250 fans will get a FREE "Go Lobo Loco" Route 66 Casino Hotel licence plate frame.

Tickets to Thursday and Saturday's matches will be $5 at the door. Fans can still purchase the Olympic Sports Pass for only $50. The Olympic Sports Pass grants fans entrance to Lobo women's and men's soccer, volleyball, swimming and diving, baseball and softball. For prices for the Olympic Sports pass please visit http://www.golobos.com/genrel/070108aae.html.

The Lobos will hit the road next week for two conference matches against No. 18 BYU on Thursday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. MT and Utah on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. MT. The match against BYU will be televised nationally on BYU-TV.

HEAD COACH Kit Vela's WEEKLY ADDRESS

"Every conference game is a big game. We are looking at Wyoming and not looking past them. They are a good team and they are hard to play against. It's only the second game in conference so every one is feeling good about themselves right now. We need to go after Wyoming like we've gone after every other team we have played this season."

"Every year Air Force is tough and hard to play against. They're cadets and that means they play hard. They are good soccer players. We have a great challenge in front of us in two very good teams."

LIVE STATS AND VIDEO

All Lobo women's soccer home matches will be streamed live through Lobo TV on www.GoLobos.com. Lobo women's soccer Sports Information Director Daniel Archuleta will provide play-by-play and former Lobo great Shannon Adragna will add color commentary. Live stats will be available through GameTracker on www.GoLobos.com for all women's soccer home matches.

WEATHER REPORT

Thursday's forecast will call for a 30 percent chance of precipitation with cloudy skies and a high of 70 degrees. Saturday's forecast will be sunny skies with a high of 72 degrees.

CORNELL EARNS MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

University of New Mexico redshirt freshman Kelli Cornell has been named Mountain West Conference Player of the Week as announced by the conference office today. The San Clemente, Calif., native was rewarded for her performance in a 1-0 victory over TCU on Oct. 3 in the Lobos MWC opener. The award is the second for Cornell and the fifth overall for New Mexico this season.

Cornell faced 17 shots and made three key saves. TCU came into the match averaging 2.18 goals per game and were held to nil by Cornell. The win puts Cornell in a tie for fourth place all-time at UNM for wins a single season and the shutout puts her in a tie for third place all-time for shutouts in a single season. Cornell leads the conference in goals allowed average (0.48), shutouts (8) and is ranked second in save percentage (.833).

IN THE NCAA RANKINGS

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

Sophomore Jennifer Williams is ranked No. 21 in the nation for her 1.92 points per game average. She is also ranked in a tie for 26th place for goals per game with a 0.75 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-10 in the nation. The San Clemente Calif., native is ranked 10th in the country for her 0.48 goals allowed average.

As a team, New Mexico ranks ninth in the nation with a 0.48 goals allowed average and is tied for eighth in the nation with a .667 shutout percentage.

IN THE NATIONAL RPI

The Lobos' 9-1-2 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 12 matches, the Moreno Valley, Calif., native has scored nine goals and dished out five assists for a total of 23 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 for game-winners in a career. Williams' 23 total points, gives her sole possession of fifth place all-time at UNM for points in a single season. Her 13 career goals gives Williams sole possession of sixth place all-time at UNM for goals in a career.

SERIES INFORMATION AGAINST WYOMING

New Mexico leads the all-time series against Wyoming 10-4-2 and is 3-0-1 in the last four matches. The Lobos defeated the Cowgirls last season in Laramie by a count of 1-0. The Cowgirls' last victory over the Lobos was a 1-0 double overtime decision on Oct. 21, 2005. New Mexico is 4-2-1 at the UNM Soccer Complex against Wyoming.

SCOUTING WYOMING

Wyoming is 7-4-2 on the season and 1-0 in MWC play and is riding a three match winning streak. Wyoming is undefeated on the road this season going 3-0-2. The Cowgirls are coached by second-year head coach Danny Sanchez, who is 15-14-3 in his time at Wyoming. Coach Sanchez has a 334-66-21 overall record that spans 16 years.

The Cowgirls are lead offensively by Emily Layton and Olivia Mohtadi, who each have three goals a piece. Emma Wilson has one goal and is ranked tied for second place with five assists. In goal for Wyoming is Courtney Merkle, who is 7-4-2 on the season with five shutouts. Merkle leads the MWC in save percentage (.865), saves (64), ranked second in shutouts (5) and is ranked third in goals against average (0.75).

Wyoming returns 12 letterwinners with six starters from last years squad.

SERIES INFORMATION AGAINST AIR FORCE

The Lobos have a 9-7 advantage over the Falcons including five straight since 2004. The Lobos won 1-0 in Colorado Springs last season. The last Falcon victory was a 2-0 decision in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Oct. 31, 2009. New Mexico is 4-3 at home against the Falcons.

SCOUTING AIR FORCE

Air Force is currently 2-9-1 on the season and 0-1 in MWC play. The Falcons last match was a 3-1 loss to Wyoming in Oct. 2. Air Force is coached by first year head coach Larry Friend.

The Falcons are led offensively by Stephanie Paterson, who has two goals and three assists for seven total points. In net for the Falcons will be Charity Blanton, who is 1-7-1 on the season and has posted a 2.11 goals allowed average.

Air Force returns 20 letterwinners with eight starters from last years squad.

MOUNTAIN WEST STATISTICS

New Mexico has the Horned Frogs in its cross hairs and trails TCU in goals and total points. New Mexico has scored 22 goals on the season to TCU's 24 and New Mexico's 67 total points ties the Horned Frogs for first place.

Sophomore Jennifer Williams rejoins the top of the MWC and is tied for first place with nine goals on the season. Williams is ranked first in points (23), and game-winners (5). She is ranked second in assists (5).

Red Shirt Freshman Kelli Cornell leads the league in shutouts (8) and in goals allowed average (0.48) and is currently ranked second in save percentage (.833)

LAST MATCH

The University of New Mexico defeated TCU 1-0 in the Mountain West Conference opener for both teams. New Mexico improved to 9-1-2 on the season and reached the nine-win mark for the first time since 2002. Sophomore Jennifer Williams took a beautifully placed back heel pass from junior Alexis Ball and put the Lobos up 1-0 in the 46th minute. The Lobos were able to hold on and preserve the shutout for Lobo goalkeeper Kelli Cornell. Cornell faced 17 shots and made three key saves. TCU came into the match averaging 2.18 goals per game.

TCU Match Notes:

  • Williams scored her ninth goal of the season and 13th of her career. Her 23 points on the season gives Williams sole possession of fifth place all-time at New Mexico for points in a season. Her 13th career goal puts her in a tie for fifth place all-time.

  • The game-winning goal was Williams' sixth of the season and seventh of her career. Williams now has sole possession of second place all-time at UNM for game winners in a season and passed current teammate, Ball, for third place.

  • Junior Alexis Ball dished out her second assist on the season that moved her into a tie for eighth place all-time at UNM with seven career assists.

  • Redshirt Freshman Kelli Cornell picked up her ninth win and eighth shutout of the season. The win puts Cornell in a tie for fourth place all-time at UNM for wins a single season and the shutout puts her in a tie for third place all-time for shutouts in a single season. Cornell made three saves on the night.

    GOAL PRODUCTION

    This season the Lobos have found the back of the net 22 times. Eleven different players have scored goals including, Jennifer Williams (9), Nicole Reed (2), Zaneta Wyne (3), Rachel Fields (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 22 goals and are outscoring their opponents 22-6.

    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 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.

    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 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 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.

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