Oct. 21, 2008
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.-- The University of New Mexico women's soccer team will host the San Diego State Aztecs on Friday at 5:30 p.m. MDT in a battle of two 2-3 Mountain West Conference teams. The Lobos (7-5-4, 2-3-0 MWC) will also be hosting "Think Pink Night." The match against the Aztecs is sponsored by UNM Hospitals to raise awareness for Breast Cancer and the UNM Cancer Center. The women's soccer team will wear pink jerseys and the first 2,000 fans entering the stadium will receive a pink "Howl Towel" or a pink water bottle, courtesy of UNM Cancer Center.
Friday night will also be, "Senior Night" at the UNM Soccer Complex. The match against the Aztecs will be the final home match for five seniors.
Friday's match will also be sponsored by Route 66 Casino Hotel and Comcast. The first 200 lucky fans will recieve Route 66 Casino Hotel Lobo hats.
HEAD COACH Kit Vela's WEEKLY ADDRESS"San Diego State is a very good team. This last weekend they had a handfull of goals in their matches and they will be a tough opponent on Friday night. This match is important. We are in the situation where we need to win one of the next two matches. Our conference is very competitive every team is in a run to see where we will all sort out in the conference tournament but every game is important and this Friday is no different."
"Our seniors have been the heart and sole of the team. They are part of the winning tradition and they bring great leadership. They have great presence on the field and they have mentored some of the younger players. The seniors did the job of creating the chemistry between the team and creating the atmosphere to put us in a position to play well."
TRIP TO THE CONFERENCE TOURMAMENT ON THE LINEOne of the final spots in the 2008 Mountain West Conference Women's Soccer Championship will be on the line when New Mexico welcomes San Diego State to Albuquerque Friday. Of the eight MWC teams only the top six according to the final regular-season standings will earn a trip to Las Vegas, Nev., for the MWC tournament. New Mexico is currently ranked fifth with a 2-3 conference record. Wyoming and Friday night's opponent SDSU also have 2-3 MWC records. Air Force has been eliminated post-season competition. A win on Friday would assure the Lobos a spot in post-season play.
LIVE VIDEO AND STATSThe Lobos' match against San Diego State will be broadcast live through All-Access at www.GoLobos.com. Media Relations assistant Daniel Archuleta will provide play-by-play and former Lobo women's soccer player Asha Richardson will provide analysis for the broadcast.
Live stats will be kept through Gametracker, which is also available at www.GoLobos.com.
SERIES INFORMATION AGAINST SAN DIEGO STATESan Diego State holds a 7-4-5 all-time series advantage over New Mexico. The Lobos are 1-0-3 against the Aztecs in the last four matches. The Lobos last played the Aztecs in Provo, Utah to a scoreless draw in double overtime. The match was moved because of wildfires that engulfed the greater San Diego area. The Last victory over SDSU was during the 2006 season when UNM won 2-0 in Albuquerque.
SCOUTING SAN DIEGO STATESan Diego State is 6-8-2 on the season and 2-3-0 in MWC play. The Aztecs are 1-6 on the road this season. The Aztecs are lead by Cat Walker who has eight goals and two assist for a total of 18 points. Walker is currently ranked third in the MWC in goals scored with eight. In goal for SDSU is Aubrey Southwick who has allowed 21 goals on the season and has a 1.63 goals allowed average. Coming off two conference wins, SDSU is trying to fight its' way into to the MWC conference tournament.
SENIOR SEND OFFThe University of New Mexico soccer team will see five seniors play their last matches at home in a Lobo jersey this Friday. Seniors Shannon Adragna Samantha Bevis, Hannah Hand, Kaci Paetz and Krista Peterson will be honored on, "Senior Night," at the UNM Soccer Complex. The seniors will be honored for all their hard work, dedication and for the way they represented the University of New Mexico on and off the field. The ceremonies will take place prior to the game.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKESThe Lobos have scored 28 goals so far this season with two matches left to play. 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 SUSPECTSSophomore 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 ANNOUNCEDThe Lobos are currently ranked 61st in the country in the current RPI rankings released Oct. 10. 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.11 UCLA, No. 24 TCU, No. 33 Wisconsin-Milwaukee, No. 44 Denver and No. 46 San Diego. The Lobos faced two more top-100 RPI ranked squads in No. 48 BYU on Oct. 18 and No. 96 San Diego State on Oct. 24. New Mexico has the third best RPI in the MWC behind TCU and BYU.
LEADERS OF THE PACKTwo true freshmen are currently tied for the team lead with four goals scored. Jennifer Williams and Zaneta Wyne have both put four balls in the back of the net for the Lobos along with sophomore Alexis Ball. With six matches left both are well on pace to pass fellow teammate sophomore Alexis Ball's 2007 total of six goals. Senior Hannah Hand currently leads the Lobos with seven assists. Ball and true freshman Roxie McFarland both have three assists, which is good for second on the team.
LOBOS SCORE MOST GOALS SINCE 2002 AGAINST CENTRAL ARKANSASNew 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 ATTENDANCE IN MWCNew Mexico is currently ranked second in the MWC for home attendance. The UNM Soccer Complex is averaging 1,485 fans in the Lobos' six home matches. The biggest crowd of the season saw the Lobos tie the 24th-ranked Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers 1-1 on Sept. 12. In the Lobos six home matches the crowds have been over 2,000 fans twice and over 1,000 four times.
FINDING FIRSTSSeven 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 SENSATIONAlexis 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 four goals and notched four 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 QUEENSenior 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 MWC leading 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 MATCHThe Lobos dropped a pair of MWC matches this weekend. On Oct. 16, the Lobos lost 1-0 to the Utah Utes. The Lobos defense held the Utes to only seven shots with two shots on goal. Leading the way for New Mexico offensively was senior Hannah Hand who had three shots with one shot on goal.
The Lobos then lost a 2-1 match with confernece leader BYU. The Lobos scored the first goal that BYU has allowed in five matches. Freshman Amanda Collins put away an Alexis Ball cross for her second goal of the season.
COACH VELA NETS 50th CAREER VICTORYNew 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 55-68-24 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 17-24-9.
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.