This Week: The New Mexico State soccer team returns to action with two matches in the UC Riverside Tournament in Riverside, Calif. The Aggies face tournament host UC Riverside, Friday, Aug. 31 at 8 p.m. and then Southern Utah, Sunday, Sept. 2 at 11 a.m.
UC Riverside: The Highlanders are 2-2 this season after falling to Houston Baptist, 1-0, Aug. 24, and Santa Clara, 3-0, Aug. 26. Sophomore forward/midfielder Celina Valencia posts a team-high 10 shots with a goal scored. Defensively, senior goalkeeper Jessica White has a 1.41 goals against average with 19 saves and .760 save percentage.
Series Notes: Friday's meeting is the first in the series for the Aggies and Highlanders.
Southern Utah: The Thunderbirds have started the 2012 with a 0-2 record. Southern Utah suffered a 2-1 double overtime loss to UC Riverside, Aug. 19, and then fell at Utah, 4-0, Aug. 23. The Thunderbirds play UTEP, Friday, Aug. 31 at 5 p.m., prior to meeting the Aggies. Freshman forward Madison Wood scored Southern Utah's first goal of the season, and senior goalkeeper Charly Booth has recorded 19 saves, a 2.67 goals against average and .760 save percentage.
Series Notes: This is the first meeting between the Aggies and Thunderbirds.
Aggies Edged in Season Opener: NM State suffered a 1-0 loss at Boise State to open the 2012 season in the first match of the Holiday Inn Classic in Boise, Idaho, Aug. 17. At halftime, the match was tied at 0-0. Sophomore midfielder Katie Smith led the NM State offense with three shots. In the 67th minute, Boise State scored the lone goal of the match to take a 1-0 advantage.
Aggies Fall to Idaho State: NM State registered a 2-0 loss to Idaho State, Aug. 19, in its second match of the Holiday Inn Classic in Boise, Idaho. Sophomore midfielder Katie Smith and junior midfielder Mary Kate Koziol posted a game-high four shots for the Aggie offense. Senior midfielder Lauren Cope also contributed three shots. The Aggies had a 14-9 advantage in shots in the contest but couldn't convert. After a scoreless first half for the second consecutive match, Idaho State scored first in the 55th minute and then added another goal at the 63rd-minute mark.
Defensive Dominates: In the Aggies' first two matches of the 2012 season the Crimson and White defense was solid. NM State has not given up a first half goal this year.
Aggies Picked Eighth in Preseason WAC Poll: Despite winning a program-record 10 matches in 2011, the Aggies were picked eighth in the WAC Preseason poll. Denver was selected as the favorite to win the WAC title with six first-place votes and 62 total points Last year's WAC Tournament Champion Utah State was voted to finish second, receiving three first-place votes with a tally of 59 total points. Seattle was picked third with 47 points. San Jose State was picked fourth with 38 points, and Idaho was picked to finish in fifth place with 32 points. Texas State and UTSA finished in a tie for the sixth spot with 27 points each. The Aggies (19 points) and Louisiana Tech (13 points) were voted in the eighth and ninth spots, respectively.
Year in Review: The 2011 season was a very successful year for the Aggies. NM State posted the most wins in school history with a 10-8-3 overall record. The Aggies qualified for the WAC Tournament for the second time in program history as the No. 6 seed after a 2-3-2 conference record. NM State earned its first postseason win with a 2-1 upset of No. 3 seed Hawai'i in first round of the WAC Tournament.
Records Fall: Last season, the Aggies broke many school records including shots (match, 30, and season, 287), shutouts (7), goals against average (1.14) and longest win streak (6).
Individual Accolades: For the first time in program history, the Aggies had an academic all-district honoree in 2011. Senior midfielder Elise Nordin garnered second team CoSIDA/Capital One academic all-district seven honors. Senior forward Yolanda McMillion earned second team All-WAC honors in 2011 after leading the Aggies in goals (5), assists (5), points (15) and shots (49).
The Final Four: After winning their first postseason match in the WAC Tournament, the Aggies finished in the top four in the conference tournament after falling to tournament host Fresno State, 3-0. NM State had senior forward Yolanda McMillion and junior midfielder Daisy Hernandez earn WAC All-Tournament Team honors, another first for the program.
New Look in Las Cruces: In its fourth season, NM State has a new home. The Aggies are playing in the new soccer-only complex.
Class of 2013: This year's senior class is the Aggies' first four-year class. Six of the seven seniors started the program in the fall of 2009 including Lauren Cope, Vanessa Thomas, Yolanda McMillion, Cassie De Leon, Elise Nordin, Courtney Irwin, and Megan Hendler joined the Aggies as a sophomore.
Aggies Welcome Four Newcomers: NM State added four newcomers to the roster in 2012. Head coach Blair Quinn's first recruiting class includes defender Mikaela Haley, midfielder Tatiana Raygoza, forward Samantha Sandoval and midfielder/forward Miranda Valdez.
Haley, a Rio Rancho, N.M. native, directed Cleveland High School to the state semifinals and third-place district finish as a senior in 2011. Raygoza arrived from Baldwin Park, Calif., and she led the SoCal Blues club team to the Region IV Championship and a national title appearance in 2011. Sandoval joined the Aggies from Albuquerque and Volcano Vista High School following a state title in 2010. Valdez arrived in Las Cruces from Orange, Calif., after leading Orange Lutheran High School in goals (19) and assists (11).
Looking Ahead: The Aggies return home to host Sam Houston State, Friday, Sept. 7 at 4 p.m. in the home opener. NM State also hosts Weber State, Sunday, Sept. 9 at 1 p.m.