Aggies Meet Hawaii in WAC Tournament Thursday
Courtesy: New Mexico State University  
Release:  10/31/2011

This Week: The New Mexico State soccer team plays Hawai'i, Thursday, Nov. 3 at 3:30 p.m. in Fresno, Calif., in the first round of the WAC Tournament. The Aggies qualified for the tournament as the No. 6 seed and Hawai'i is the No. 3 seed.

Hawai'i: The Rainbow Wahine ended the regular season with a 5-11-1 record with a 4-2-1 WAC record. Hawai'i tied for third in the conference and earned the No. 3 seed after the tiebreakers. The Rainbow Wahine concluded the regular season with a 1-0 loss at NM State, Oct. 28, and a 1-0 overtime win at Louisiana Tech, Oct. 30. Senior defender Brittani Lum has a team-high five goals, and junior goalkeeper Kanani Taaca leads the defense with 81 saves, 1.89 goals against average and .711 save percentage.

Series Notes: The Aggies have a 2-0-1 lead in the all-time series following the 1-0 win in the regular season finale, Oct. 28 in Las Cruces. This season's meeting was the first that ended in regulation.

Previous Meeting: In the 2011 home finale, NM State defeated Hawai'i, 1-0, Oct. 28. The Aggies recorded their first shutout of 2011 WAC play in the win on senior night for forward Cassandra Branch. After a scoreless first half, the Aggies attacked quickly and moved the ball up the field on a free kick to junior forward Yolanda McMillion. She drew junior goalkeeper Kanani Taaca away from the net and found freshman midfielder Bree Luhrsen at the left corner of the box for the strike. The goal gave the Aggies a 1-0 lead in the 51st minute. The score was Luhrsen's third of the season and the fourth assist for McMillion.

Home Finale: Redshirt goalkeeper Jessica Schutter earned the Aggies' first shutout in WAC play since the 2009 season with a pair of saves in the 1-0 win over Hawai'i, Oct. 28. The victory helped the Aggies qualify for the conference tournament for the second time in the team's three-year history. Schutter anchored the defense that allowed only five shots.

WAC Tournament Tidbits: This is NM State's first appearance in the WAC Tournament under first-year head coach Blair Quinn. It is the Aggies' second showing in their three-year existence and the first trip since the 2009 season.

WAC Tournament History: The Aggies concluded their inaugural season in the 2009 WAC Tournament, Nov. 5, 2009, in Boise, Idaho. The No. 4 seed Nevada edged the No. 5 seed Aggies, 1-0, at Boas Complex. NM State finished its remarkable season with a 9-9-1 record.

Nevada took a quick 1-0 lead when midfielder Vanessa Mann scored on a ball that was defected off an Aggie in the first minute of the match. In the first half, NM State recorded eight shots with three shots on goal. Defender Nina Yanes led the Aggies with four shots including a great chance on a free kick that sailed high. Trailing at the break, the Aggies maintained the offensive pressure with the first shot on goal of the second half, when Yanes took a free kick in the 52nd minute. With 22:36 remaining in regulation, NM State tried to tie the match as forward Yolanda McMillion had a strike that grazed high off of goalkeeper Marie Cove's fingertips. Yanes led the Aggies with five shots, and goalkeeper Katie Graul had four saves.

To New Heights: The 2011 Aggies finished the regular season with a 9-7-3 record, which tied the school record with nine wins that was set in 2009.

Conference Comparison: In the WAC, the Aggies rank third in shots (275), goals (28), goals per game (1.47), goals against average (1.05), corner kicks (82) and goals allowed (21). NM State is also second in home attendance with an average of 698 fans.

Individually, sophomore midfielder Mary Kate Koziol is tied for third in game-winning goals (3). Freshman midfielder Katie Smith and junior forward Yolanda McMillion are tied for seventh in goals (5) and tied for ninth in goals per game (0.26). McMillion is eighth in shots per game (2.47) and seventh in points (14) and points per game (0.74). She is tied for eighth in shots (47) and assists per game (0.21) and tied for seventh in assists (4). Smith is 10th in shots (39).  

Sophomore goalkeeper Erin Wosick is third in the league in goals against average (1.10), fourth in save percentage (.798), shutouts (4) and shutouts per game (0.27). She ranks fifth in saves (67) and sixth in saves per game (4.47). Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Jessica Schutter is seventh in shutouts (2).

In WAC matches only, the Aggies are first in corner kicks (38) and third in shots (98). Individually, McMillion is tied for fifth in shots (19) and Smith is eighth (18). McMillion is tied for fifth in shots per game (2.71) and goals per game (0.29). Smith is eighth in shots per game (2.57). McMillion is tied for fifth in goals (2), tied for sixth in points (6) and assists (2), tied for seventh in points per game (0.86) and assists per game (0.29). Wosick is third in saves per game (5.60), sixth in saves (28), save percentage (.778) and goals against average (1.39). Schutter is fifth in shutouts (1) and ninth in saves (4).

Road Trip Recap: In the last road game of the regular season, the Aggies earned a 2-2 tie in double overtime at Fresno State, Oct 23. In the second half, NM State tied the game at 1-1 in the 73rd minute when the ball bounced off the Bulldogs and into the Aggie net for an own goal. The Aggies forced overtime with a goal in the 84th minute when freshman forward Layla Todd fired a shot for her third goal of the season to knot the match at 2-2. Defensively, sophomore goalkeeper Erin Wosick grabbed a season-high nine saves including two game-saving stops in the final minutes of the second overtime.

The Aggies fell to San Jose State, 2-1, in double overtime, Oct. 21. The match was scoreless in the first half. Down 1-0, the Aggies responded in the 63rd minute when freshman forward Katelynn Tupponce scored her first conference goal to even the match at 1-1. Tupponce drilled the ball of off her left football into the left post after junior defender Vanessa Thomas fired a shot into the middle of the field after a corner kick.

Extra Time: The Aggies have played in five overtime matches in 2011 and post a 1-1-3 record. NM State has played in four consecutive overtime matches, which ties a school record. The first was at Idaho State, Sept. 16, and the match ended with a 1-1 tie in double overtime. The second overtime match resulted in a 2-1 win over Nevada, Oct. 9. This was the first overtime win of the year and first overtime match played in Las Cruces. The Aggies also played to a 1-1 draw in double overtime with Idaho, Oct. 14. NM State fell in double overtime at San Jose State, 2-1, Oct. 21 and tied at Fresno State, 2-2 in double overtime, Oct. 23. The Aggies have played in 18 overtime matches in program history and have a 4-7-7 record.

Conference Draw: In its second consecutive WAC overtime match, the Aggies posted a 1-1 draw against Idaho in double overtime, Oct. 14. The match was scoreless for 80 minutes until Idaho scored. The Aggies answered in the 86th minute when freshman forward Layla Todd drew both a Vandal defender and goalkeeper away from the net. Todd found junior forward Yolanda McMillion for the tip in to knot the match at 1-1. The score was McMillion's fifth of the season, which ties for the team high, and Todd recorded her second assist of the year.

Aggies Capture First WAC Win of 2011: The New Mexico State soccer team defeated Nevada, 2-1, for its first WAC victory of 2011 in its second overtime match of the season, Oct. 9. Junior forward Yolanda McMillion scored the game-winning goal in the Aggies' conference home opener. McMillion secured the Aggies' first-ever win over Nevada with her fourth score and second game winner of the season in the 97th minute. She scored on a corner kick from freshman midfielder Amber Harrington. Senior forward Cassandra Branch gave the Aggies a 1-0 lead in the 41st minute with a breakaway goal. Defensively, sophomore goalkeeper Erin Wosick earned her first WAC win of the season with three saves. In its second consecutive WAC road match, the Aggies fell to Utah State, 2-0, Oct. 7.

Land of Enchantment: This season, the Aggies are 7-1-1 in matches played in Las Cruces. That mark surpassed last season's win total at home of and is now the best in school history. This year's nine overall wins has matched the 2009 total win mark (nine) for a school record.

Goal Stoppers: In 2011, sophomore goalkeeper Erin Wosick has 67 saves. She set a new season-high mark with nine saves at Fresno State, Oct. 23. Wosick has 98 career saves, which ranks second on the NM State all-time list. 

McMillion Scores: Junior forward Yolanda McMillion scored her first goal of the season at Jacksonville State, Sept. 2. She owns the school record for career goals with 15. This season, McMillion is leading the Aggies with 47 shots and 24 on goal.

Aggies Rope Wolf Pack: NM State earned its first win in program history over Nevada with a 2-1 overtime victory, Oct. 9. This was the fourth meeting between the two programs. Nevada is the first opponent the Aggies have faced four times.

WAC Opener: NM State fell at Louisiana Tech, 1-0, in the 2011 WAC opener, Oct. 2. The Lady Techsters recorded the lone goal of the match in the 31st minute. The Aggies outshot Louisiana Tech 11-9 and 4-3 on shots on goal but couldn't convert despite a 7-1 advantage in shots in the second half. Freshman midfielder Katie Smith led NM State with a game-high three shots.

A Major Difference: The Aggie offense has a 275-218 shot differential in 2011. On the season, NM State is 8-2-1 when the Aggies out-shoot their opponents and 9-0-1 when they score the first goal of the match.

On the Edge: With an offense dominating the ball, the Aggies have an 82-53 advantage in corner kicks this season. NM State is now 8-2-1 on the season when it has more corner kicks.

Strikers: After 19 matches, the Aggies have improved their shots on goal percentage to .495, which compares to the opponents' .474 mark. NM State is also averaging 14.5 shots per game. The Aggies have also recorded 10 or more shots on goals four times this season.

Leading the Charge: At goalkeeper, sophomore Erin Wosick has four shutouts in 2011, a single-season Aggie record. She also has the school record for career shutouts with six. Redshirt sophomore Jessica Schutter has contributed two shutouts. The duo combined for one to increase the season total to seven.    

Non-Conference Play Ends: The Aggies concluded non-conference action with a 7-4-1 record including only one loss at home (5-1).

Defense Steps Up: The Aggies have seven shutouts in 2011, which is a new program record.

First Appearances: Junior midfielder Lauren Cope made her first appearance of the 2011 season at Idaho State. Cope returned from an injury that caused her to miss the first eight games of the year. 

Streak Snapped: The Aggies' unbeaten streak was snapped with a loss at Weber State, Sept. 18. NM State had won six consecutive matches, a program record, along with a tie to set the mark. Previously, the Aggies had a seven-match unbeaten streak in 2009 that included five straight wins, a tie followed by another win.

Hendler Collects: Junior defender Megan Hendler earned WAC Defensive Player of the Week honors after she guided the Aggies to a pair of shutouts. This is her first career award and the first for the Aggies in 2011. She led the Aggies to only allowing six shots on goal.

Schutter Helps Aggies to Fifth Shutout: In her first career start, redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Jessica Schutter didn't allow goal in 90 minutes of action against Arkansas-Little Rock. She grabbed four saves in her first career shutout and the program-record fifth of 2011.

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