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Lobo Women's Soccer Travels West to 9th Annual Mountain Classic
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  09/01/2009
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Sept. 1, 2009

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.--The University of New Mexico women's soccer team will travel up to 7000 ft to take part in the 9th Annual Mountain Classic hosted by Northern Arizona, Sept. 4-6. The Lobos (3-0-0) will take on Oakland (1-1-0) Friday at 5 p.m. MT and Iowa (2-1-0) Sunday at 12 p.m. MT. The Lobos are winners of three straight and look to match the best start since 1997 at 4-0-0. The best start in school history was in the program's first year when the the Lobos went 5-0-0.

The Lobos will return home from a four match road trip to host the UNM Nike Classic next weekend. New Mexico will play Cal State Northridge Friday night at 7 p.m. MT and Tulsa Sunday at 1 p.m. MT.

HEAD COACH Kit Vela's WEEKLY ADDRESS

"We are very comfortable playing on Northern Arizona's field. Like Vegas, it's almost like a second home field to us. We like to go up to Flagstaff, it's a beautiful place and they host well."

"Iowa is a very good team out of the Big-10. They'll do very well this season and I'm sure they are already up to this point. We can't look at any team we face and say, `look what we did yesterday." Yesterday doesn't matter anymore. We are working hard on the things we need to fix and take that into Iowa's game on Friday."

"Oakland is a big strong team. They have always been a good team and they are picked to win their conference. They are very well coached. We've got our hands full this weeekend at Northern Arizona."

LIVE STATS

Both the Oakland and Iowa matches will be available through the LIVE STATS link on www.GoLobos.com.

WEATHER REPORT

The temperature will be nice and cool for the Lobos trip up to Flagstaff, Ariz., this weekend. Friday's high will reach 75 degrees with a 40 percent change of precipitation. Sunday will be more of the same with a high of 71 degrees and a 40 percent chance of precipitation. The weekend weather outlook calls for scattered thunderstorms during the day and partly cloudy in the evenings.

SERIES INFORMATION AGAINST IOWA

Friday's match will be the first ever meeting between the Hawkeyes and the Lobos. UNM will face five new opponents this season.

SCOUTING IOWA

Iowa is on a two match winning streak and is 2-1-0 on the season. The Hawkeyes picked up a pair of 2-0 victories over Montana and San Diego State this past weekend. Iowa's only loss was a 3-2 decision to No. 24 Missouri.

Iowa returns nine starters and 22 letterwinners from last season's squad who went 9-11-1.

The Hawkeyes are led offensively by Morgan Showalter who has scored three goals on the season. Showalter scored both gamewinners for the Hawkeyes in their past two victories. In goal for Iowa is Emily Moran. She has played every minute between the pipes for the Hawkeyes and only allowed three goals in three matches.

SERIES INFORMATION OAKLAND

The Lobos hold a 2-0 advantage over the Oakland Golden Grizzlies. The Lobos last faced the Golden Grizzlies on Sept. 2, 2006 in Las Vegas, Nev., and won 2-1. Oakland made the trip down to Albuquerque on Sept. 19, 2002 and lost 2-0.

SCOUTING OAKLAND

The Oakland Golden Grizzlies are 1-1-0 on the season and are coming off a 2-1 victory over St. Bonaventure at home on Aug. 30. The only loss of the season was a 3-0 decision at Michigan State. The Golden Grizzlies return seven starters and 13 letterwinners from the 2008 squad that went 9-9-2 on the season.

Oakland has been picked by the head coaches of the Summit League to win the conference title this season.

Leading the way for the Golden Grizzlies are Deanna Colarossi and Sarah Lynch who each have scored one goal on the season. Lynch netted the gamewinner against St. Bonaventure while Colarossi added some extra insurance on a 2-1 victory. In goal for Oakland is Whitney Sarkis who picked up the win against St. Bonaventure. She has allowed one goal in 90 minutes.

LAST MATCHES

On Friday, Aug. 28 the Lobos downed Cal State Bakersfield, 2-0 in the first match of the UNLV Nike Classic. Sophomore Jordan Craig put the finishing touches on an Alexis Ball through ball to net the gamewinner for the Lobos. With the assist Ball moved in to sole possesion of seventh place all-time for career points with 32.The goal was Craig's first of the season and second of her career.

Junior Rachel Fields added an insurance goal in the second half as she played the ball off her hip and into the goal over a pile of players in front of the net. The goal was Fields first of the season and second of her career.

On Sunday, Aug. 30 the Lobos opened the flood gates and dominated Illinois State 6-2. Sophomore Jennifer Williams recorded UNM's first hat trick since 1996 and tied a 12-year-old school record with eight total points against the Redbirds. Sophomores Nicole Reed and Zaneta Wyne and junior Kate Wyrick also notched their first goals of the season.

WILLIAMS EARNS MWC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

University of New Mexico sophomore Jennifer Williams was named Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Week as announced by the conference office. The award is the first of Williams' career and the first of the season for the Lobos.

Williams scored three goals in impressive fashion Sunday against the Redbirds and had two assists to tie a 12-year-old school record with eight total points. Laurie Hegedorn had four goals set the original record in Sept. 21, 1996. Coincidently that was the last time that a Lobo recorded a hat trick as well.

The Moreno Valley, Calif., native got the Lobos on the board in the seventh minute of the match. She was able to blow past the defense and collect a through ball from junior Rachel Fields. Williams blasted the ball with enough force to bounce off the Illinois State goalkeeper's hands and into the back of the net.

Williams shared the wealth as she sent a cross to the top of the box from the far left wing that hit a wide-open sophomore Nicole Reed who chipped the ball in from 18 yards out.

In the second half the Williams show continued. In the 52nd minute the 5'3" forward used every inch she had to get up and head a Jael Fanning cross back post for her second goal of the day.

Williams third goal was picture perfect as she dashed and darted her way from the far right wing through three defenders and put a left footed strike far back post for the hat trick. Her second and third goals were a mere 1:47 apart.

For a finale Williams drew up the defense and was able to find a streaking Zaneta Wyne for her second assist on the day.

GOAL PRODUCTION

This season the Lobos have found the back of the net 10 times. Seven different players have scored goals including, Jennifer Williams (3), Rachel Fields (1), Nicole Reed (1), Kate Wyrick (1), Jordan Craig (1), Zaneta Wyne (1) and Jess Quador (1). At this point last season the Lobos had only scored four goals in the first three matches.

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.

BALL CHASES THE RECORDS

Junior 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 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.

FIREPOWER RETURNS

The 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 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 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 COMPLEX

For 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.

Friday, September 05
1:00 PM - 
Women's Soccer
at Marquette
Sunday, September 07
10:30 AM - 
Women's Soccer
at Weber State
Friday, September 12
7:00 PM - 
Women's Soccer
vs. Loyola - Chicago
Sunday, September 14
11:00 AM - 
Women's Soccer
vs. Florida
Friday, September 19
5:00 PM - 
Women's Soccer
vs. New Mexico State
Friday, September 26
8:00 PM - 
Women's Soccer
at Fresno State
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