The New Mexico State soccer team concludes the regular season with a pair of WAC road matches. The Aggies meet Seattle, Friday, Oct. 26 at 4 p.m. in Seattle, Wash., and then Idaho, Sunday, Oct. 28 at 2 p.m. in Moscow, Idaho.
The Redhawks are 7-7-2 with a 2-2-2 WAC record. Sophomore forward Stephanie Verdoia leads the team with eight goals, and freshman goalkeeper Brianna Smallidge has a 1.14 goals against average, 54 saves and .740 save percentage.
Friday's match marks the first meeting between NM State and Seattle.
The Vandals are 5-12-1 overall and 2-3-1 in WAC play entering the final weekend of the regular season. Idaho hosts Denver, Friday, Oct. 26 before the meeting with the Aggies. Senior forward Chelsea Small has a team-high seven goals, and senior goalkeeper Liz Boyden directs the defense with 2.06 goals against average, 81 saves and .681 save percentage.
The series between the Aggies and Vandals is tied after three meetings with a 1-1-1 record. Last season, the teams played to a 1-1 draw after double overtime, Oct. 14, 2011 in Las Cruces.
In its second consecutive WAC overtime match, NM State posted a 1-1 draw against Idaho in double overtime, Oct. 14, 2011, in Las Cruces. The match was scoreless for 80 minutes until forward Chelsea Small converted a free kick from 20 yards away to give Idaho a 1-0 lead. The Aggies answered in the 86th minute, when forward Layla Todd drew both a Vandal defender and goalkeeper Caroline Towles away from the net. Todd found forward Yolanda McMillion for the tip in to knot the match at 1-1.
Aggies Edged on Senior Day 2-1
In the final home match of the 2012 season, NM State fell to UTSA, 2-1, Oct. 21 in Las Cruces. Freshman midfielder/forward Miranda Valdez scored her first career goal in the second half. The Roadrunners had a 2-0 lead at halftime following goals in the 24th and 43rd minute. NM State had scoring opportunities in the first half with each team taking eight shots. The Aggies ended the game with a season-high 15 shots, and Valdez posted a game-high four shots. In the second half, the Aggies cut UTSA's lead to 2-1, when Valdez found the back of the net after a pass from senior defender Vanessa Thomas.
Aggies Fall at Texas State
NM State returned to WAC play but fell at Texas State, 3-0, Oct. 19 in San Marcos, Texas. The Bobcats scored quickly and had a 1-0 lead in the first minute of the first half. Texas State added two goals in the 59th and 87th minute of action. The Aggie offense tallied eight shots in the game but failed to convert.
Unfortunately for the Aggies, NM State ends the season at Idaho, Oct. 28, despite the results. The Aggies did not qualify for the six-team WAC Tournament this season.
Aggies Win in Overtime 1-0
In the seventh overtime match of the season, the Aggies defeated CSU Bakersfield, 1-0, Oct. 14. Sophomore defender Alexys Brownell headed a ball into the net for her first career goal. Junior goalkeeper Jessica Schutter recorded the shutout, which was her first of the year and the fourth of the season for the Aggies.
Aggies Upended against Denver
NM State returned to Las Cruces but fell to Denver, 3-0 Oct. 12. The Aggies recorded eight shots in the contest.
Aggies Edged at Louisiana Tech
In the first road match of the 2012 WAC season, NM State suffered a 1-0 loss at Louisiana Tech, Oct. 7. The Aggie defense continued its strong play against the Lady Techsters and has only allowed two goals in three conference contests this year. In a tightly contested game, the Aggies and Lady Techsters combined for seven shots on goal, with sophomore forward Jennae Cambra leading the Crimson and White with a pair of shots on goal.
Aggies Open WAC Play with Draw
In the 2012 WAC opener, NM State played to a 0-0 double overtime tie with Utah State, Sept. 28 in Las Cruces. Junior goalkeeper Mikaela Bitner grabbed 11 saves and recorded her third shutout of the season. Senior midfielder Elise Nordin posted a team-high four shots for the Aggies. This was the first tie between NM State and Utah State in school history, and the Aggies opened conference play with a point.
Aggies Edged in Overtime
In its second consecutive overtime match to start WAC play, NM State fell to San Jose State, 1-0, Sept. 30 in Las Cruces. Senior forward Yolanda McMillion recorded a team-high two shots on goal, and junior goalkeeper Mikaela Bitner had four saves.
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.
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. The Aggies also posted a shutout, their third of the season, against Utah State in a 0-0 double overtime draw, Sept. 28. NM State had its four shutout of the year against CSU Bakersfield in the 1-0 overtime win, which was the first for junior goalkeeper Jessica Schutter.
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.