This Week: The New Mexico State soccer team opens the 2012 season with two matches in the Holiday Inn Classic in Boise, Idaho. The Aggies meet tournament host Boise State, Friday, Aug. 17 at 6 p.m. and conclude the trip against Idaho State, Sunday, Aug. 19 at 11:30 a.m.
Boise State: The Broncos have 21 players returning including seven starters from the 2011 team that posted an 8-11-1 overall record. Boise State finished fifth in the Mountain West Conference standings following a 2-4-0 record.
Series Notes: The Aggies and Broncos are tied 1-1 in all-time meetings. NM State won the first meeting, 1-0, in overtime, Oct. 2, 2009 in Las Cruces. Boise State won the first contest in Boise, 6-0, Oct. 8, 2010.
Previous Meeting: NM State fell at Boise State in the second weekend of WAC play, 6-0, Oct. 8, 2010. Midfielder Mary Kate Koziol led the Aggies with three shots. Mikaela Bitner and Erin Wosick split time in goal with seven combined saves.
Idaho State: The Bengals had a 5-11-1 overall record and 2-5 Big Sky record in 2011. Idaho State returns 20 players and nine starters from a year ago.
Series Notes: Idaho State leads the all-time series 1-0-1. Last season, the Bengals and Aggies tied 1-1 after double overtime in Pocatello, Idaho, Sept. 16, 2011. In the first meeting, the Aggies fell to Idaho State, 2-1, in double overtime, Aug. 23, 2009 in Las Cruces.
Previous Meeting: In the first overtime match of the season, the Aggies recorded a 1-1 double overtime draw at Idaho State, Sept. 16, 2011. Forward Yolanda McMillion gave the Aggies a 1-0 lead in the 63rd minute of action. She took advantage of a one-on-one opportunity to knock it pass the keeper from 10 yards away. In the 67th minute, Idaho State tied the match at 1-1. McMillion and forward Cassandra Branch led NM State with two shots each. Defensively, goalkeeper Erin Wosick grabbed four saves.
White Defeats Crimson: At the Crimson and White scrimmage, Aug. 10, the White team won, 3-0. Senior forward Cassie De Leon scored in the eighth minute for the White squad. Sophomore forward Jennae Cambra gave the White team a 2-0 advantage at halftime following a goal in the 24th minute of action. In the second period, junior midfield Mary Kate Koziol tacked on the third and final goal.
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: After the season-opening weekend, the Aggies have a bye weekend before playing two matches in the UC Riverside Tournament, Aug. 31-Sept. 2.