USU Soccer Travels to Tulsa and No. 2 Oklahoma State This Week
Sept. 13, 2011
LOGAN, Utah - - KICKING OFF - After four-straight home matches, the Utah State women's soccer team will hit the road for its longest road trip of the season. USU begins the first of five matches on the road against Tulsa, on Friday, Sept. 16. The undefeated Aggies (8-0-0) will take on another undefeated team No. 2 Oklahoma State (9-0-0) on Sunday, Sept. 18. The Cowgirls are the highest ranked team that the Aggies have ever faced.
SERIES HISTORY vs. TULSA - This is the first meeting between the Aggies and the Golden. Before joining Conference-USA, Tulsa was a member of the Western Athletic Conference. Tulsa is the second Conference-USA team that USU has taken on this season, defeating Rice, 1-0, in Logan on Sept. 8.
The Golden Hurricane are 4-2-1 this season and have a two match unbeaten streak. Last time out, Tulsa defeated Northwestern State 2-0 in Natchitochces, La. The Golden Hurricane's only losses came against then-No. 7 Notre Dame and Western Michigan. Offensively, Tulsa is led by Stephanie Aitken who has three goals for six points this season. In goal, Katie Bykowski has played the bulk of the minutes for TU, allowing nine goals for a goals against average of 1.29.
SERIES HISTORY vs. OKLAHOMA STATE - Second-ranked Oklahoma State is the highest ranked team that the Aggies have ever faced. Prior to taking on the Cowgirls, the highest ranked team that USU has met was last season when BYU was ranked No. 8. The Aggies are also looking for their first ever win over a ranked opponent. The Aggies and the Cowgirls have met once before in 2009 in Logan. In that meeting, then-No. 20 Oklahoma State defeated Utah State 1-0.
The Cowgirls are a perfect 9-0-0 this season with wins against in-state rival Oklahoma and USC. Last week, OSU defeated San Diego 2-1 in Los Angeles. The high-potent OSU offense is led by three players in double-digits in points. Taylor Matthews leads the team with 11 points off of four goals and three assists. Krista Lopez is second with 10 points off of five goals. In goal, Rosa Medina has played the majority of the minutes for OSU. She has allowed only two goals in 545 minutes for a GAA of 0.33.
DARING DEFENSE - The blue and white backline has been marvelous this season. Utah State has allowed only four goals in eight matches. Senior goalkeeper Molli Merrill had a season-high eight saves in the Aggies' dramatic 1-0 double overtime win over Cal State Fullerton. Senior Summer Tillotson, junior Natalie Norris and sophomore Taryn Rose have been stellar in the USU backline this season. All three have played over 700 minutes this season.
GAMETRACKER - Fans can follow all the Aggie home games through the USU web site at www.UtahStateAggies.com via GameTracker, a free service, which updates play-by-play and statistics throughout the game.
CARDIAC KIDS - Utah State has been keeping its fans on its toes this season. In seven of USU's eight matches this season, the Aggies have captured one-goal victories. The Aggies won three-straight 1-0 matches, before exploding for six goals against Idaho State on Sept. 11. Senior forward Shantel Flanary has had four of the Aggies' game-winning goals. Sophomores Jennifer Flynn, Kendra Pemberton and Mari Miyashiro and junior Natalie Norris have the four other game-winning goals.
TOPS IN THE NCAA - The first set of NCAA statistics were released on Tuesday and Utah State is tied for the top spot in two categories. Shantel Flanary's four game-winning goals is tied for first with five others. USU's 8-0-0 record is also tied for first. There are a total of seven undefeated teams in Division I, including future Aggie opponent No. 2 Oklahoma State. As a team, USU is ninth in the nation in goals against average (0.49), while Flanary is eighth in total goals with eight.
RECORD BREAKERS - Sophomore midfielder Kendra Pemberton is nearing an allusive Utah State record. In only her second season as an Aggie, Pemberton already has 10 assists. She is one assist away from tying for fourth place with Amber Tracy (2000-03) who had 11 career assists. Shantel Flanary is tied for second on the all-time assist list with 12.
Flanary's three-goal spurt against Idaho State also helped her climb the Aggie record books. She is now tied for third all-time in goals scored with Brigid Turner with 32. She is only five away from tying Aggie-great Lauren Hansen who set the record last season with 37 goals scored. Flanary is now third all-time in career points scored with 76 just one point behind Jayme Gordy (1997-2002). She is only eight points behind Hansen's USU-record 84 points.
REACHING A MILESTONE - Head coach Heather Cairns recently passed the 80 win mark. She now has 83 wins at Utah State. Cairns is already the all-time winningest coach in USU history. She is 81-70-17 (.533) at Utah State.
STAYING IN THE WIN COLUMN - Utah State's eight-straight wins to start the season ties a school record for consecutive wins. In 2008, the Aggies won eight-straight matches en route to the finals of the WAC Tournament. USU is one win away from tying last seasons win total when the Aggies finished the season 9-7-5.
BY THE NUMBERS - The Aggies 2-1 win over Colorado College on Aug. 26 had some interesting anomalies. The Tigers had 13 corner kicks in the first half and ended the match with 17. USU was out-shot 21-2. The Aggies shooting percentage was perfect with two goals on two shots.
ON THE PITCH - Utah State will remain on the road to take on the always-tough Cougars of BYU on Sept. 22, followed by a match at former WAC-rival Boise State on Sept. 25. The Aggies will conclude the road trip, heading to Hawai`i in their WAC opener.
BIG WIN - Utah State's win against Utah on Sept. 2 was big for several reasons. It was the Aggie first win over the Utes since 1997. Also, it was only the second win against current Pac-12 win as the Aggies other two wins against Utah came when they were in other conferences. Utah State's other win against a Pac-12 team came against Arizona State in 1998.
Upcoming Promotions * Oct. 7 - HURD/Student Day vs. New Mexico State: The student group the HURD will take part in on-field activities.
* Oct. 9 - Alumni Day/Autograph Day vs. Louisiana Tech: Come get the autograph of your favorite Utah State soccer players as the team will be available to sign posters following the match against the Lady Techsters. Former Aggies will also be welcomed back for alumni day.
BEATING THE BIG SKY - Utah State is currently 3-0 against the Big Sky Conference this season with wins against Weber State, Northern Colorado and Portland State. The Aggies defeated the Wildcats at Rio Tinto Stadium, while defeating the Bears in Greeley, Colo. USU stopped the Vikings in Logan. Idaho State will be the fourth Big Sky Conference squad that USU has taken on this season.
FAMILIAR FACES - There are 13 letterwinners returning for Utah State this season along with eight starters. Among the starters are two of the top three scorers from last season in senior forward Shantel Flanary and sophomore midfielder Kendra Pemberton. Senior goalkeeper Molli Merrill also returns in the net for the Aggies.
The blue and white brings back four players who earned all-WAC honors in 2010 in seniors Shantel Flanary, Chandra Salmon-Christensen, Summer Tillotson and junior Natalie Norris. The Aggies also return 13 letterwinners and eight starters from last year's team that advanced to the WAC Tournament semifinals.
FLANARY NAMED WAC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK AGAIN - Utah State women's soccer player Shantel Flanary was named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week on Monday. This is the sixth career WAC Player of the Week honor for Flanary and her third this season.
Flanary, a senior forward from Highland, Utah (Lone Peak HS), scored a hat trick in only 38 minutes of action in USU's 6-1 win over Idaho State. The hat trick was the first of her career. She scored two goals in the first half and added a penalty kick in the second half. Flanary helped the Utah State soccer team improve to 8-0-0 with a pair of home wins last week. She had one shot in the Aggies' 1-0 win against regionally-ranked Rice.
SALMON-CHRISTENSEN NOMINATED FOR AWARD - Senior midfielder Chandra Salmon-Christensen was one of 60 NCAA® men's and women's soccer student-athletes who excel both on and off the field who were selected as candidates Wednesday for the 2011 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in collegiate soccer.
The senior is the only player from the Beehive State to be a candidate for the award. She is also the only player from the Western Athletic Conference to be honored. Salmon-Christensen is the first Aggie soccer player to be a candidate for the award since USU great Lindsey Smart in 2009.
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.
HEAD COACH Heather Cairns - In her ninth season at Utah State is Heather Cairns, who became the winningest coach in school history after recording her 27th career victory on Sept. 30, 2006, defeating Eastern Washington 1-0. In her eight seasons at the helm of the Aggies, Cairns has compiled a 83-70-17 (.538) record passing former head coach Stacy Enos (1996-2000) who went 26-59 (.306) in five seasons with the Aggies.
Heather Cairns has a 31-8-5 (.761) record in WAC matches, giving her the highest winning percentage among the eight league coaches in conference matches.
WAC BITS - The WAC will continue its regular-season play as a single round-robin format for a total of seven conference matches. The points system is as follows: each team will receive three points for a win and one point for a tie. The six teams with the most points at the end of the regular season will advance to the WAC Tournament which is being held Nov. 3-4 and 6, in Fresno, Calif.
AGGIES PICKED TO WIN WAC TITLE - For the third-straight season, the Utah State soccer team was picked first in the Western Athletic Conference preseason poll, selected by the conference's eight coaches and announced by the league office Monday. The Aggies tied for first with San Jose State, and the two teams shared the 2010 WAC regular season title. This season, the WAC has eight teams with the departure of Boise State. USU and San Jose State tied for first with 42 points with both teams earning three first-place votes.
Last season's WAC Tournament champion, Fresno State, received 38 points to place third, earning two first place votes. Idaho was picked fourth with 33 points, followed by Louisiana Tech with 20 points. Nevada was chosen sixth with 18 points with Hawai`i garnering 17 points. New Mexico State, in only its third season of play, was picked eighth with 11 points.
2011 Preseason All-WAC Team Chelsea Small, Jr., F, Idaho Kelsey Lord, Jr., F, San Jose State Kayla Santacruz, So., F, San Jose State Shantel Flanary, Sr., F, Utah State Jill Flockhart, Jr., MF, Idaho Lauren Sanchez, Sr., MF, San Jose State Chandra Salmon-Christensen, Sr., MF, Utah State Kendall VanDine, Sr., D, Fresno State Jessica Ingram, Sr., D, San Jose State Natalie Norris, Jr., D, Utah State Liz Boyden, Sr., GK, Idaho
Preseason Players of the Year Offensive: Chelsea Small, Jr., F, Idaho Defensive: Jessica Ingram, Sr., D, San Jose State
AROUND THE LEAGUE - Excluding last year's WAC representative Fresno State, WAC teams will play in 20 matches against teams that played in the NCAA Tournament last year. Six of the matches will played at WAC home sites.
Fresno State at Texas A&M, Aug. 19 Santa Clara at San Jose State, Aug. 19 Fresno State vs. UT-San Antonio, Aug. 21 Nevada vs. Penn State, Aug. 21 California at Hawai`i, Aug. 26 San Jose State vs. UC Irvine, Aug. 26 North Dakota State at Hawai`i, Aug. 27 Hawai`i at UC Irvine, Sept. 2 Sacramento State at Fresno State, Sept. 4 Hawai`i at Long Beach State, Sept. 4 Fresno State at UCLA, Sept. 11 Idaho vs. North Dakota State, Sept. 11 Louisiana Tech at Jackson State, Sept. 11 San Jose State at Sacramento State, Sept. 16 Utah State at Oklahoma State, Sept. 18 Idaho at Brigham Young, Sept. 20 Utah State at Brigham Young, Sept. 22 Sacramento State at Nevada, Sept. 23 New Mexico at New Mexico State, Sept. 25 Nevada at Santa Clara, Sept. 29
1 - This is the first time that Utah State has started a season with a perfect 8-0-0 record.
3A - When Utah State took on Weber State to open the season on Aug. 19, it was the third-straight season that the Aggies played a match at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. USU is 3-0 with two wins against in-state rivals Weber State and a win against Utah.
3B - In their first eight matches, the Aggies have played three teams from the Big Sky Conference in Weber State, Portland State and Northern Colorado. USU is 3-0-0 in those matches. This week, USU will take on Idaho State in Logan on Sept. 11.
4A -Utah State has four 1-0 shutouts this season against Weber State, Utah, Cal State Fullerton and Rice.
4B - States represented on the Utah State roster including the Beehive State of Utah along with Hawaii, Idaho and Illinois.
5 - The number of assists that sophomore midfielder Kendra Pemberton has had in her first eight matches of the season to lead USU.
9- Total number of wins that the Aggies registered in 2010, marking the fifth-straight season USU has won at least nine matches. The Aggies are now just one win away from matching last year's total.
16- Goals scored by the Aggies this season, while allowing only four.
24 - Players from the state of Utah on the roster.
31 - Head coach Heather Cairns' total number of WAC wins. She has a record of 31-8-5 (.761) to lead all current WAC coaches in winning percentage.
76 - Number of career points Flanary has in her three seasons at Utah State.
83 - Total career wins that head coach Heather Cairns has in her nine season at Utah State.
731 - The number of minutes that Natalie Norris has played this season. She is the only Aggie to not come out of a match this season.