Soccer Travels to Northern Colorado and Wyoming
Courtesy: New Mexico State University  
Release:  09/21/2010


This Week: The New Mexico State soccer team finishes non-conference play with a pair of road matches. The Aggies meet Northern Colorado, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. in Greeley, Colo., and Wyoming, Sept. 26 at noon in Laramie, Wyo.


Last Week: In the final two non-conference home matches of the season, the Aggies defeated Alabama A&M, 8-0, and Lamar, 4-0. NM State tied the school record for goals in a match against Alabama A&M. Sophomore midfielder/forward Crystal Burns scored a match-high two goals. NM State recorded its second consecutive shutout, and freshman goalkeeper Erin Wosick posted her second career shutout. In the win over Lamar, the Aggies recorded their third consecutive shutout, and Burns scored a pair of goals in the second straight match.


Northern Colorado: The Bears have a 5-3-1 record after a 2-0 loss at Colorado College, Sept. 16. Ariel Cook is pacing the Northern Colorado offense with a team-high six goals and 30 shots. Between the post, Kirstin Salminen has 33 saves and a 1.10 goals against average.


Series Notes: This is the first meeting in program history between the two teams. The Bears are the third team from the Big Sky Conference the Aggies have faced this year including Montana and Northern Arizona.


Wyoming: The Cowgirls are currently 5-5 following a 1-0 loss at Drake, Sept. 19. Wyoming hosts Boise State, Sept. 24, before the meeting with the Aggies. The Cowgirls have a balanced attack with Jenny Johnson scoring a team-best three goals this season, while Courtney Merkle has 29 saves and a 1.47 goals against average.


Series Notes: Sunday’s match is the first contest between the two programs. The Aggies have played one other Mountain West Conference team, New Mexico.


Burn Notice: Sophomore forward/midfielder Crystal Burns was named Verizon WAC Offensive Player of the Week, for the week of Sept. 13-19. This is her first career honor, and she is the third Aggie to earn the recognition this season. Burns scored four goals and added three assists in a pair of wins for the Aggie soccer team over Alabama A&M, 8-0, Sept. 17, and Lamar, 4-0, Sept. 19. Against Alabama A&M, she scored two goals and added an assist, including her second game-winning goal of the season. It was her first-ever multiple-goal contest at NM State. In a 4-0 win over Lamar, Burns tallied two goals and two assists. She posted an impressive .833 shots on goal percentage in the final two non-conference matches of the season.


Protecting Home Turf: The Aggies are undefeated at home this season with a 5-0-2 record in seven home matches. Both overtime contests of the season have occurred at home with 1-1 ties in double overtime to Northern Arizona and Montana.


Into the Net: The Aggie offense has been fierce this season with 25 goals scored in just eight matches. In 2009, NM State only scored 23 goals in 19 matches. The Aggies have also scored eight goals in a match twice this season against Prairie View A&M and Alabama A&M.


It’s a No-No: The Aggie defense didn’t allow a goal in the final three non-conference home matches (North Dakota, Alabama A&M and Lamar). NM State held Alabama A&M to three shots, a season-best mark. The Aggies also held both Alabama A&M and Lamar to two shots on goal, a season-best showing.


Bitner Recognized: Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Mikaela Bitner was named the Verizon WAC Defensive Player of the Week, for the week of Sept. 6-12. This is her first career honor. Bitner anchored the Aggie defense to a 1-0 shutout victory over North Dakota, Sept. 10. She collected her first career shutout behind a season-high nine saves. Bitner also posted a 1.000 save percentage in 90 minutes of play.


Quick Strike: Sophomore forward/midfielder Crystal Burns led the Aggies to a 1-0 win over North Dakota, Sept. 10, in Las Cruces, with her first goal of the season in the eighth minute of action. The score was also her first career game-winning goal at NM State.


A Stifling Defense: The NM State defense has been strong in 2010. The Aggies have only allowed four goals in eight matches and haven’t allowed multiple goals in game. NM State posted a season-high nine saves against North Dakota, Sept. 10.


Clutch Performance: For the second time, sophomore forward Yolanda McMillion tied the match for the Aggies with a second half goal against Northern Arizona. She also tied the contest with Montana at 1-1. Additionally, McMillion has two game-winning goals this season.


Tough Under Pressure: Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Mikaela Bitner has been solid for the Aggies. In 580 minutes, she has a team-high 35 saves with a 0.62 goals against average and .897 save percentage.


Title Town: NM State claimed its second tournament title in two years following a pair of wins over Prairie View A&M, 8-0, and Jacksonville State, 2-1, in the inaugural Hotel Encanto Aggie Classic in Las Cruces. Sophomore forward Yolanda McMillion led the Aggies with the first hat trick in school history with three goals in the tournament finale against Prairie View A&M. NM State posted its first shutout of the season in freshman goalkeeper Erin Wosick’s first career start. The Aggies won its first match of the season with a 2-1 victory over Jacksonville State, and McMillion scored the game-winning goal in the 64th minute. 


McMillion Honored: Sophomore forward Yolanda McMillion was named the WAC Offensive Player of the Week, Aug. 30. This is the first career honor for McMillion. She led the Aggies to the Hotel Encanto Aggie Classic title with the first hat trick in school history. McMillion scored three goals in NM State’s 8-0 victory against Prairie View A&M, Aug. 29. She also scored the game-winning goal in a 2-1 victory over Jacksonville State, Aug. 27. For the week, McMillion posted a team-high four goals, two game-winning goals, and eight points with a .714 shots on goal percentage. She also became the first Aggie in school history to score multiple goals in a single match.


Records Fall: In the win over Prairie View A&M, the Aggies set five new records including goals (eight), points (23), assists (7), shots on goal (20) and corner kicks (18). The Aggies also posted their first shutout of the season.


High Powered Offense: The Aggie offense was dangerous in the Hotel Encanto Aggie Classic. NM State out-shot opponents, 57-15, in the two matches. The Aggies set a school record for shots in a match with 29 against Jacksonville State.


Senior Contributions: Senior midfielders Baili Foutz and Nina Yanes helped the Aggies to their second tournament crown. Foutz scored her first two career goals against Prairie View A&M. Yanes recorded her first three career assists also versus the Panthers.


A Timely Score: Freshman midfielder Mary Kate Koziol tied the match with Jacksonville State at 1-1 with her first career goal. She then followed that performance with a pair of assists against Prairie View A&M.


Scoring Machines: Prior to the Prairie View A&M contest, the Aggies didn’t have a player score more than a single goal in a match. But that changed with sophomore forward Yolanda McMillion’s hat trick and a pair of goals from senior midfielder Baili Foutz and redshirt sophomore defender Heather Goldberg. The appearance against Prairie View A&M was Goldberg’s first showing in the Crimson and White.


Youth Movement: Freshman midfielder Dani De La Vina became the second freshman to score for the Aggies this season. She recorded her first goal against Prairie View A&M.


Dazzling Debut: Freshman goalkeeper Erin Wosick recorded a shutout in her first career start against Prairie View A&M. She also collected three saves.


Extra Time: In the season opener against Montana, Aug. 22, the Aggies played their first overtime match of the year. The 1-1 double overtime draw was the first tie of the season and at home. The contest was also the first tie with a non-conference opponent in school history. In the second double overtime match of the season, NM State posted a 1-1 tie with Northern Arizona, Sept. 5. The Aggies evened the scored in the 64th minute when sophomore forward Crystal Burns found sophomore forward Yolanda McMillion.


Against the Competition: The Aggies rank first in the WAC in goals per game (3.12), assists (21), assists per game (2.62), goals allowed (0.50), goals against average (0.47), shutouts (4) and corner kicks (57). NM State is second in shots (152), points (71) and goals (25). The Aggies are No. 3 in saves (40).  


Individually, sophomore midfielder/forward Crystal Burns ranks first in points per game (2.00) and assists per game (0.75). She is tied for first in assists (6) and No. 2 in shots per game (3.75) and points (16). Burns ranks tied for third in shots (30), goals (5), goals per game (0.62) and game-winning goals (2).


Sophomore forward Yolanda McMillion is second in goals (6) and goals per game (0.75).  She ranks third in points per game (1.62) and tied for third in game-winning goals (2). McMillion is also fourth in points (13).


Senior midfielder Nina Yanes is tied for fifth in the WAC in assists (3) and sixth in assists per game (0.43), while freshman forward Dani De La Vina is tied for fifth in assists (3) and tied for seventh in assists per game (0.38). Freshman midfielder Mary Kate Koziol and sophomore midfielder/forward Lauren Cope are tied for 10th in assists (2).  


Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Mikaela Bitner ranks second in save percentage (.897), saves per game (5.83), goals against average (0.62) and shutouts per game (0.33). She is fourth in saves (35). Bitner and freshman goalkeeper Erin Wosick are tied for third in shutouts (2).


The Newest Aggies: NM State has added 13 newcomers to the roster in 2010. Freshmen midfielder/forward Dani De La Vina, midfielder/defender Olivia Sierra, midfielder Megan Thompson, forward/defender Kristen Powers, defender Amber Vega, midfielder Daisy Hernandez, midfielder Mary Kate Koziol, goalkeeper Erin Wosick, defender Mickey Giles, midfielder Marie Ipock, sophomore defender Megan Hendler, junior defender Ally Feels and forward Cassandra Branch.


A Season of Firsts: The Aggies accomplished many things in 2009. Sophomore forward/midfielder Crystal Burns scored the first goal in school history against Idaho State. She finished the year with four goals. The Aggies defeated Colorado State-Pueblo, 2-1, Sept. 4, for the first win for the program. NM State also won its first even WAC match with a 1-0 overtime victory over Boise State, Oct. 2.


Honors and Awards: The Aggies garnered many accolades in 2009. The team had two conference players of the week. Sophomore midfielder/forward Lauren Cope was NM State’s first WAC Offensive Player of the Week (Oct. 5) while Katie Graul was the first WAC Defensive Player of the Week (Oct. 12). Graul was also a first team All-WAC selection in 2009 while midfielder Jazmin Cardoso was a second team pick.


Home Slate: The Aggies have 12 home matches scheduled for 2010. NM State hosts UTEP, Montana, Northern Arizona, North Dakota, Alabama A&M and Lamar along with Jacksonville State and Prairie View A&M in the Hotel Encanto Aggie Classic. NM State also faces Utah State, Fresno State, San Jose State and Louisiana Tech in Aggie Memorial Stadium for the first time.


Looking Ahead: The Aggies open their second season in the WAC at Nevada, Oct. 1, and against Utah State, Oct. 3 in Las Cruces.

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