Women's Soccer Opens Season Against Texas And Arizona State
UPCOMING: The University of New Mexico gets set to play its opening match of the season Aug. 30 at 8.p.m. in Austin, Texas against the reigning Big 12 titleholder, Texas Longhorns. The last time the Lobos and Longhorns met was in 1994 when Texas defeated UNM by a score of 2-0. New Mexico holds a 3-4-2 record in season-openers, which includes last year’s 1-1 tie with Colgate on the road.
On Sept. 1, New Mexico will return to the UNM Sports Complex to play its first home game of the season at 5 p.m against regional power, Arizona State. The Lobos look to improve on last year’s 3-0 loss to ASU at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.
SCOUTING THE LONGHORNS AND SUN DEVILS: The Longhorns are coming off an impressive 2001 campaign that saw them receive their first ever NCAA tournament at-large bid. They put up a 14-6 overall record in 2001 and went 9-1 in conference play, which was good enough to place them first in the Big 12 regular season ranks. In the conference tournament championship, the Longhorns were unable to get past Texas A&M and lost by a 1-0 decision. Texas was later upset in the opening round of the NCAA tournament, losing a 2-1 nailbiter to SMU. This season UT was given a pre-season national top-25 ranking of eighth by Soccer Buzz Magazine which seats them first in the Central Region.
Texas returns 21 letterwinners and 11 starters to this year’s team. Top returners include All-Big 12 performers, Jessica Hopkins-Brost (Sr., D), Kati McBain (Jr., M), Kylee Wosnuk (Jr., F) and Kelly Wilson (So., F). Wilson, who is participating in the FIFA U-19 World Cup in Canada until early September, will not be at the Aug. 30 game against the Lobos. As a freshman last season, Wilson garnered numerous awards, including Big 12 Rookie of the Year, Soccer Buzz All-Freshman Team and most notably, NSCAA All-American, which is a first for any player in Longhorn soccer history. A leader in almost every category, Wilson set the school single-season record with 38 points on 13 goals and 12 assists.
The Sun Devils, return five starters and 12 letterwinners to their 2002 roster. ASU finished fifth in the Pac-10 in 2001, with a 4-4-1 record and was 10-8-1 overall. Returning to the squad are All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention selections, Patrice Feulner (Jr., F) and Stephanie Peel (So., F), as well as defensive standout and first team All-Pac-10 winner, Amy LePeilbet (Jr., D). Peel was second on the team last year in points (32) and goals (12), while LePeilbet led a defense that earned six shoutouts and allowed only 23 goals in 19 games, the fewest in school history. Arizona State has been given a pre-season ranking of fourth in the Pac-10(their highest ranking in program history) and 23rd in the nation by Soccer Buzz Magazine.
Arizona State’s freshman class is ranked fourth in the nation by both Soccer Buzz and Soccer America and includes two U-19 National Team players, three Parade All-Americans, three Gatorade State Players of the year and three Adidas State Players of the year. Among the highly touted newcomers is Brittany Cooper, New Mexico’s top prospect, from Eldorado High School in Albuquerque. Two of ASU’s top incoming freshman, Manya Makoski and Stephanie Ebner, will not be available for the Sept. 1 Sun Devil-Lobo game as they, like fellow national teammate Kelly Wilson of Texas, are competing at the U-19 World Cup.
LAST WEEK: The University of New Mexico women’s soccer team defeated the UNM Alumni decisively by a score of 3-0 on Sunday, Aug. 25. The Alumni, although short on players with only one sub, came out strong in the first half, firing a series of shots at UNM netminder Kristen Winters. New Mexico responded to the attack with a goal from junior Erchen Theys, assisted by sophomore LeAnne Hendren. Fellow junior Marte Dolva was able to convert for the Lobos’ second goal minutes later after beating one Alumni defender and keeper Shelly Hammock. The final UNM goal came late in the second half when freshman Nicole Pitcock lined up a shot from almost 30 yards out that caught Hammock off guard.
TEAM NOTES: •Twin freshmen will suit up in the cherry and silver this fall. Forwards, Alicia and Brigita Lacovara of Edgewood, N.M. (Moriarty HS) are the first twins to be a part of New Mexico soccer.
•2001 was the first time the Lobo women’s soccer team has beaten a nationally ranked team. UNM posted an impressive 1-0 win over No. 12 Kentucky on the road last September. Michelle Longmire scored the only goal of the game early in the second half off a long pass from Michelle Nowfel.
•For the second straight year, UNM has at least 25 players on its roster. This year’s team is composed of 28 players, including 11 newcomers. The Lobos return their leading point-getters from 2001, Erchen Theys (Jr., MF) and Coco D’Angelo (So., F), who both notched 8 points apiece.
•UNM women’s soccer will face the longest road trip in the history of the program this fall. The 10-game trip features non-conference games against 2001 NCAA tournament qualifers Oakland and Evansville at the Pro Rehab Aces Soccer Classic in Evansville, Indiana as well a match-up with the nationally ranked Auburn Tigers. The Lobos wind up their road trip in the west with games against conference rivals, San Diego State and UNLV.
PLAYER NOTES: •Three New Mexico women’s soccer players were chosen to compete at this summer’s U.S. Soccer Festival in Houston, Texas on the Region IV select team. Senior midfielder Michelle Longmire, sophomore goalkeeper Kristen Winters and sophomore midfielder LeAnne Hendren were selected after leading their New Mexico State team at the USASA National Cup Tournament in June.
•Marte Dolva, a junior forward from Geilo, Norway, returns to the women’s soccer team for the second year. A standout slalom competitor on the New Mexico ski team, Dolva won the 2002 national slalom title, as well as All-American honors in 2001 and 2002. On the soccer field, Dolva was a solid player for the Lobos, bringing size and strength to the game and tallying one goal on 15 shots.