Sept. 8, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The University of New Mexico women's soccer team is set to host the UNM Nike Classic this weekend at the UNM Soccer Complex. New Mexico welcomes Cal State Northridge, Tulsa and Kent State to the Land of Enchantment. The Lobos (5-0-0) will take on Cal State Northridge (3-3-0) Friday at 7 p.m. and Tulsa (2-1-0) Sunday at 1 p.m. Kent State will face Tulsa Friday at 4:00 p.m. and Cal State Northridge Sunday at 10:30 a.m. All games will be played in the UNM Soccer Complex.
The Lobos are off to their best start since joining the Mountain West Conference in 1999 and are the only undefeated team in the league.
Youth tickets are only $2 in celebration of Youth Soccer Month. Single game tickets for Lobo women's soccer are $5 for adults. UNM faculty/staff and students get in free with Lobo ID.
HEAD COACH Kit Vela's WEEKLY ADDRESS"We are excited to be back home and play in front of our home crowd. We have two great opponents coming in. We are going to work as hard as we have been all season and give our crowd two exciting matches. We are playing well right now. We've got good moments and we have moments when we need to continue to get better. We show our youth at time but we also show our talent at times. We just need to remember where we come from and what got us here and that is hard work and continuing to clean up the details."
"Northridge is very good. We know a lot of their players because they are Southern California kids. They are well coached. They've got good players and they will work hard against us. It is a very good match up for us."
"Tulsa is has done very well. They are under the direction of a new coach. They are a team that is on the rise. Tulsa is another great program and another great test for us."
LIVE STATS AND VIDEOAll 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. All neutral games for the UNM Nike Classic will be streamed through Lobot TV and will also feature Gametracker.
WEATHER REPORTFriday's forecast calls for partly cloudy skies with a possibility of isolated thunderstorms and a high of 83 degrees. Sunday should be a picture perfect day for soccer with sunny skies and a high of 86 degrees.
STARTING STRONGNew Mexico is currently 5-0-0 on the season which is the best record for a Kit Vela team since joining the Mountain West Conference in 1999. Vela has been 3-2-0 to start the season three times (2004, 2006 and 2007). In the programs first year, 1993 the Lobos went 5-0-0 to start the season. The Lobos have a chance this weekend to have the best start since the programs inception.
WILLIAMS EARNS SECOND STRAIGHT MWC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARDSophomore Jennifer Williams has earned her second straight Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Week award as announced by the conference office today. The Moreno Valley, Calif. native had the assist on the gamewinning goal in a 1-0 victory over Iowa on Sept. 4. Williams scored the gamewinner against Oakland on Sept. 6 to lead the way in a 2-0 victory.
Williams is the first Lobo women's soccer player to win back-to-back MWC Player of the Week awards and only the second to win two in one season.
SERIES INFORMATION AGAINST CAL STATE NORTHRIDGEFriday's match will be the first ever meeting between the Matadors and the Lobos. UNM will face five new opponents this season and so far is 3-0.
SCOUTING CAL STATE NORTHRIDGEThe Matadors are currently 3-3-0 on the season and are coached by Keith West (CSUN `03) who has a career record of 23-28-5. CSUN last saw action against Vermont and picked up a 1-0 victory at home. The Matadors are 1-2-0 on the road this season. The Matadors are currently ranked ninth in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's West Region poll.
CSUN is led offensively by Farryn Townley who has scored three goals on the season with one gamewinner. In goal for the Matadors is Lead Elliot who has played in five matches and has posted a 2-3-0 record with one shutout. Elliot has allowed nine goals and has a 1.50 goals allowed average.
Northridge returns six starters and 14 letterwinners from last years squad.
SERIES INFORMATION TULSAThe Lobos hold a 3-1 advantage over the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. New Mexico faced Tulsa on Sept. 2, 2007 in Tulsa and came away with a 2-0 victory. Tulsa's only win in the series came on Oct. 18, 1998 when the Golden Hurricane earned a 3-0 victory in Albuquerque.
SCOUTING TULSATulsa is currently 2-1-1 on the season and is on a two match unbeaten streak. The Golden Hurricane is coached by Kyle Cussen (Southern Nazarene `94) who is in his second year at Tulsa. Cussen is 120-84-19 over an 11-year period.
Tulsa is led offensively by Jennifer Kacergis who has scored two goals and notched one assist. In goal for the Golden Hurricane is Katie Bykowski who has played every minute of all four matches and has posted a 2-1-1 record with one shutout. Bykowski has allowed four goals and has a 0.95 goals allowed average.
Tulsa returns nine starters and 20 letterwinners from last years team.
LEADERS OF THE PACKSophomore Jennifer Williams and redshirt freshman Kelli Cornell currently lead the Mountain West Conference in several categories. Williams is the top gun in total points (13), goals (5), gamewinners (3) and is ranked second in assists (3). Cornell leads the league in save percentage (.900) shutouts (4) and is ranked second in goals allowed average (0.40).
LAST MATCHESNew Mexico picked up a pair of wins on the road this past weekend. On Friday, Sept. 4 the Lobos defeated Iowa, 1-0 at the 9th Annual Mountain Classic hosted by Northern Arizona. Sophomore Nicole Reed put in a header off sophomore Jennifer Williams' corner kick for the gamewinner. The goal was Reed's second of the season and fifth of her career. Redshirt freshman Kelli Cornell earned her fourth straight win and third shutout of the season. Cornell faced 12 shots in the match including 10 in the second half alone but stood tall and did not yield a single goal.
On Sunday, Sept. 6 New Mexico defeated Oakland, 2-0. Williams turned on senior Jess Quador's throw-in and blasted a shot from 30-yards out that cleared the reach of the Oakland keeper and found the far post and the back of the net for the gamewinner. The goal was a career high fifth of the season and the ninth of Williams' career. Quador notched her first assist in a Lobo uniform.
In the second half Zaneta Wyne put away junior Elizabeth Lambert's free kick, near post and put the Lobos on top, 2-0. The goal was Wyne's second on the season and sixth of her career. Lambert notched her first assist of the season and second of her career. Cornell posted her fifth win and the fourth shutout of the season. She currently has a 0.40 goals allowed average.
GOAL PRODUCTIONThis season the Lobos have found the back of the net 13 times. Seven different players have scored goals including, Jennifer Williams (5), Nicole Reed (2), Zaneta Wyne (2), Rachel Fields (1), , Kate Wyrick (1), Jordan Craig (1) and Jess Quador (1). At this point last season the Lobos had only scored four goals in the first three matches.
Through five matches last season the Lobos scored eight goals and outscored their opponents 8-7. This season the Lobos have scored 13 goals and are outscoring their opponents 13-2.
A TRADITION OF WINNINGHead 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 RECORDSJunior 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 gamewinning 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 POLLThe 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 SHINETwo 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 RETURNSThe 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 AGAINFor 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 FUTURENew 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 COMPLEXFor 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.