Sept. 10, 2003
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - UPCOMING GAMES: The New Mexico women's soccer team (0-2-1) comes home for the first time this season. The Lobos take on Northern Colorado (2-2) Friday at 6 p.m. and No. 16 Colorado (3-1), Sunday at noon.
"We are just excited to be at home," said head coach Kit Vela.
Neither game will be an easy win as Northern Colorado made an appearance in the Division II NCAA Tournament last year while Colorado is the 16th best team in the nation and the third ranked team in the Central Region according to the Sept. 8th NSCAA ranking. This is the first meeting between New Mexico and Colorado as well as Northern Colorado.
BEARS BRIEF: The 2003 season marks the first year of a four-year move to Division I for Northern Colorado's program. The Bears bring a host of newcomers into the program this season after graduating five seniors from last year's squad that was 13-5-1 overall and made an appearance in the Division II NCAA Tournament.
Northern Colorado is led by senior forward Jessica Brennan and freshman midfielder Mallorie Price on offense. Brennan, in three games played, has scored two goals on 11 shots. Price has played in all four games for the Bears and has score one goal on eight shots.
Also contributing to the Bears' success is senior goal keeper Shanna Swinehart. Swinehart has played all 360 minutes, giving up five goals on the season for a 1.25 goals-against-average. She has also made 28 saves on the year for a save percentage of .848.
Northern Colorado is on a two-game win streak after a trip to the Hoosier state turned out to be a complete sweep. The Bears got their first win of the season, 2-1, at Valparaiso Sept. 5. On Sunday, they downed St. Joseph's (Ind.), 2-0, getting goals form Brennan and freshman Laura Hassebroek.
BUFFALOES REVIEW: Following the Buffs' 3-0 blanking of then-ninth ranked Denver on Saturday, the Colorado soccer program finds itself nationally ranked for the first time in the program's eight-year history, coming in at 16th in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll released Monday.
"It's great," said third year head coach Bill Hempen."But the coaches' is just one of many polls, and ironically we're not receiving votes in the others. It's exciting to be thought of as the 16th ranked team in the country, but realistically, we're really one of the top 35."
"The reality is that it's early in the season and the polls change so much. Trying to maintain that ranking will be the issue," he said Saturday following the upset win.
Colorado finished the 2002 season 10-8-2, ending their season in the Big 12 Conference tournament to then nationally ranked (6th) Texas A&M.
This year, Colorado's surge has come from a trio of freshman and a pair of sophomores. Offensively, freshman midfielder Katie Griffin leads the team with two goals scored on eight shots. Sophomore midfielder Fran Munnelly, freshman midfielder/defender Jessica Ceresino and junior Jen Thais have each scored one goal and Munnelly and Ceresino also have an assist apiece.
Defensively, sophomore Jessica Keller has spent the majority of the time in the net but freshman Nikki Resnick has had some playing time as well. Keller is 2-0 in the goal, playing 183:36 minutes. She has made seven saves for a percentage of .875 while only giving up one goal for a goals-against-average of 0.49. Resnick is 0-1 in 90 minutes played. She allowed one goal for a GAA of 1.00 and made three saves for a .750 percentage.
In Colorado's last match, they beat MWC foe Wyoming, 2-1. The Buffaloes got goald from Maddy Minnis and Katie Griffin. Assists came from Kathryn Grandinetti and Orly Ripmaster.
The Buffaloes started to show their potential in the beginning of the season when they faced the then No. 2 nationally ranked Portland. Colorado fell 1-0 in overtime.