The New Mexico State soccer team opens 2012 WAC play at home with two matches. The Aggies host Utah State, Friday, Sept. 28 at 3 p.m. and San Jose State, Sunday, Sept. 30 at 1 p.m., at the soccer complex.
The Navy-clad Aggies are 5-2-4 entering conference play following a 1-1 double overtime draw with Wyoming, Sept. 23, and 1-0 loss to No. 12 BYU, Sept. 20. Junior midfielder Jennifer Flynn has a team-high three goals. Senior goalkeeper Ashlyn Mulford leads the defense with a 0.65 goals against average, 45 saves and .882 save percentage.
Utah State has a 3-0-0 advantage in the all-time series. Last year, NM State fell in Logan, Utah, 2-0, Oct. 7, 2011.
In its second consecutive WAC road match, NM State fell to Utah State, 2-0, Oct. 7, 2011. The match was scoreless until Utah State broke the tie in the 37th minute with a goal off of a deflection. In the second half, the Navy-clad Aggies added another goal in the 59th minute of action.
San Jose State
The Spartans are 2-6-1 after falling at Northern Arizona, 1-0, Sept. 16, and UNLV, 5-1, Sept. 14. San Jose State begins WAC play at Denver, Sept. 28. Offensively, freshman forward Mikaella Meibock has a team-high four goals. Freshman goalkeeper Emily Pryor has played the majority of the minutes for the Spartans, and she posts a 1.63 goals against average, 25 saves and .714 save percentage.
San Jose State has a 2-0-1 lead in the all-time series after last season's heartbreaking loss for the Aggies. NM State suffered a 2-1 double overtime loss in the final seconds of the match in San Jose, Calif., Oct. 21, 2011.
For the third consecutive match, regulation wasn't enough time for the Aggies. At the end of double overtime, the Aggies fell to San Jose State, 2-1, Oct. 21, 2011. The match was scoreless in the first half. The Spartans scored first with a goal in the 56th minute. The Aggies responded in the 63rd minute, when forward Katelynn Tupponce scored her first conference goal to even the match at 1-1. Tupponce drilled the ball of off her left foot into the left post, after defender Vanessa Thomas fired a shot into the middle of the field after a corner kick. The game nearly ended in a tie but San Jose State capitalized on a penalty kick in the final second of double overtime, when forward/defender Kelsey Lord sank the free kick.
Aggies Fall at Texas Tech
In its final non-conference tune-up, NM State suffered a 5-0 loss at Texas Tech, Sept. 23. Senior midfielder Elise Nordin guided the Aggies with three shots on goal, while junior goalkeeper Mikaela Bitner had four saves in 90 minutes.
The Aggies are 1-2 in WAC opening matches, and each contest has been a one-goal game. The Aggies are 1-0 in conference openers held in Las Cruces. In the program's first season, NM State defeated Boise State, 1-0, in overtime, Oct. 2, 2009, in Las Cruces. In 2010, the Aggies lost at Nevada, 2-1 in double overtime, Oct, 1, and last year, NM State fell at Louisiana Tech, 1-0, Oct. 2.
Aggies Fall in Double Overtime
In another defensive strong hold, NM State fell to in-state rival New Mexico, 1-0, in the final minutes of double overtime, Sept. 16. The rivalry match was the second consecutive double overtime game and the fourth extra time contest for the Aggies in 2012. Junior goalkeeper Mikaela Bitner anchored the Aggie defense with a game-high eight saves. Senior defender Courtney Irwin, junior midfielder/defender Olivia Sierra and freshman defender Mikaela Bitner assisted with the defensive effort and played all 108 minutes.
Defensive Clash for Aggies at Montana
The Aggies played to a 0-0 double overtime draw at Montana, Sept. 14. It was the third extra time match of the season for the Aggies. The NM State defense was relentless with junior goalkeeper Mikaela Bitner grabbing a career-high 12 saves in her second shutout of the year. Senior defender Courtney Irwin and freshman defender Mikaela Haley helped the effort and played all 110 minutes along with Bitner.
Aggies Edged in I-10 Rivalry
In a fiercely contested I-10 rivalry match, NM State fell to UTEP, 2-1, Sept. 12. The Aggies controlled the tempo for the majority of the match and posted 12 shots in the contest. Sophomore forward Jennae Cambra, senior midfielder Elise Nordin and junior midfielder Daisy Hernandez each contributed to the offense with two shots. Defensively, NM State only allowed two shots in the first half, and junior goalkeeper Mikaela Bitner, who entered the game in the second half, grabbed a match-high five saves. Nordin scored her first career goal on a free kick in the mid-week match.
The Aggies recorded their first shutout of the year in the 1-0 win over Southern Utah, Sept. 2. The second shutout of the season occurred in the 0-0 double overtime draw at Montana, Sept. 21.
Aggies Stumble against Weber State
The Aggies faltered in the second match of the home opening weekend with a 4-1 loss to Weber State, Sept. 9. After an early Wildcat goal in the seventh minute, the Aggies kept applying pressure and knotted the contest at 1-1 in the 41st minute of action. On a free kick from 30 yards away, junior midfielder Mary Kate Koziol found sophomore forward Layla Todd in front of the net. Both the score and assist were second of the season for Todd and Koziol, respectively.
Aggies Fall in Overtime
In the home opener, the Aggies suffered a 1-0 loss to Sam Houston State in overtime, Sept. 7. At halftime, the Aggies and Bearkats were tied at 0-0. For the second time in three matches for the Aggies, the game was scoreless after 90 minutes of action. The Aggies' span of 254 consecutive minutes without allowing a goal was snapped in the loss.
Aggies Beat Southern Utah
NM State won its first game of the season with a 1-0 decision over Southern Utah in its second match of the UC Riverside Tournament in Riverside, Calif., Sept. 2. Sophomore forward Katelyn Smith scored her first career goal, and sophomore forward Layla Todd had her first assist of the season. Defensively, junior goalkeeper Mikaela Bitner collected the win with seven saves and the Aggies' first shutout of the year in her first action of the season.
Aggies Tie UC Riverside 1-1
In the first overtime match of the season, NM State tied UC Riverside, 1-1, in a double overtime contest, Aug. 31, in the first contest of the UC Riverside Tournament. Sophomore forward Layla Todd scored the first goal of the season. After trailing 1-0 at halftime, the Aggies evened the score at 1-1 in the 88th minute. Senior midfielder Elise Nordin and junior midfielder Mary Kate Koziol found Todd, who sank a shot from 17 yards away, to force overtime. The defenses dominated extra time, and junior goalkeeper Jessica Schutter recorded a personal-best seven saves.
Bitner Earns WAC Goalkeeper of the Week Honor
Junior goalkeeper Mikaela Bitner was named the WAC Goalkeeper of the Week for Aug. 27-Sept. 2. This is her first conference award of the season and the second of her career. Bitner recorded a shutout in a 1-0 win over Southern Utah, Sept. 2. She played all 90 minutes in the victory and recorded seven saves. After missing the 2011 season due to injury, Bitner returned for a win and a 0.00 goals against average.
The Aggies continue WAC play at Louisiana Tech, Sunday, Oct. 7 at noon in Ruston, La.