Sept. 29, 2008
LOGAN, Utah -
ON THE PITCH-After going 1-1 for the second-straight week with a loss to Cal Poly (1-0) and a win on the road against Wyoming (2-1), Utah State soccer returns home for its final regular season non-conference match of the 2008 season. The Aggies take on instate rival BYU on Thursday, Oct. 2 at Chuck and Gloria Bell Soccer Field at 4 p.m. It is the only match of the week for the Aggies before starting their fourth season of Western Athletic Conference play. BYU fell to 6-5-0 this season after a loss to California. A late goal from senior forward Katie Larkin wasn't enough as BYU fell to Cal 2-1 on the road on Sept. 25 evening. After a scoreless first half Cal got on the board quickly with two goals scored within six minutes of each other. Both goals were scored by freshman defender Danielle Brunache. Larkin scored on a penalty kick during the 64th minute. It is the second time she has scored on a penalty kick this season. The Cougars were outshot by the Bears, 18-6. The Aggies are looking for their first ever win against BYU. The Cougars hold a 5-0 all-time series advantage. The two teams met for the first time in the Aggies' inaugural season in 1996 when the Cougars won by their biggest margin, 6-0. The Aggies scored their first goal against BYU last season in the series' closest match. BYU edged USU 2-1 in 2007 in Provo. In the five meetings, BYU has out-scored the Aggies, 16-1.
TWICE THE COUGARS-For the second time this season, the Aggie soccer and football teams will face the same schools in the same week. Earlier this season the Aggie soccer squad traveled to Salt Lake City to take on Utah on Sept. 12, while the football team hosted the Utes on Sept. 13. This week, soccer will host BYU on Thursday, Oct. 2, while the footballers will take on BYU in Logan in a Friday night affair on Oct. 3. This will happen one more time this season, when the Aggie soccer team hosts Nevada on Oct. 17. The USU football team will travel to Reno to take on the Wolf Pack on Oct. 18.
SPREADING THE WEALTH-The Aggies have had several players involved in scoring this season. Only four players have scored at least two goals, Lauren Hansen (4), Erin Salmon (3), Shantel Flanary (2) and Lindsey Smart (2). There are no Utah State players that have more than one assist, but eight different players have earned an assist.
FIRST LOSS-The Aggies suffered their first home loss of the season with the 3-0 loss to Long Beach State on Sept. 21. Utah State has one more non-conference home match against instate rival, BYU, before starting WAC play. The Aggies will play three conference home matches this season, against Idaho, Nevada and Fresno State. USU was 2-1 against those teams last season. With wins against the Vandals and the Wolf Pack and a loss to the Bulldogs. 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.
FAB FIVE-There are only five Aggies that have played in every match this season seniors Alyssa Lowry and Jessie Malaska, juniors Lindsey Smart and Sydne Porter and sophomore Stefani Shiozaki. There are only three players who have joined the 1,000 minute club, Smart, Porter and Lowry.
FIRST TIME-Freshman goalkeeper Molli Merrill made her first collegiate start against UTEP on Sept. 14. The Bountiful, Utah, native had played 90 minutes total prior to her start against the Miners. Merrill played the second half in both the Oregon and Oregon State matches. After allowing an early first-half goal, Merrill settled down not allowing a goal the rest of the match. Merrill has seven saves and an 0.50 goals against average.
MOVING UP THE CHARTS-Several Utah State players keep moving up the career charts. Sophomore forward Lauren Hansen is tied for sixth all time in points scored with 29. Hansen is also tied for fifth in goals scored with 14, while senior forward Candice Clark is tied for 10th with 10 goals scored. Junior defender Lindsey Smart is fourth in assists with nine. Senior goalkeeper Ali Griffin is also still first in shutouts with 18 after three shutouts this season.
GOT MY EYE ON YOU-Forward Erin Salmon is close to entering the Aggies all-time scoring lists. The junior has eight career goals and 20 career points. After scoring a goal in the Aggies' 2-1 win over Wyoming, Salmon inches closer to the top 10 in both goals scored and points. Senior Candice Clark is 10th in both goals scored (10) and points (25). Clark is tied for 10th with Emily Sutherland (1996-99).
AGGIE INFORMATION-Sophomore Lauren Hansen leads the team in points scored with nine off of four goals and one assist... Both junior transfer Andrea Seledee and freshman Summer Tillotson got their first assists against UTSA on Sept. 18... Freshman midfielder Chandra Salmon earned her first collegiate point with an assist in the win against UTEP... Senior forward Candice Clark returned from injury with her first goal of the season in the win against Northern Colorado... Freshman defender Summer Tillotson scored her first collegiate goal off a penalty kick in the Aggies' win over Wyoming on Sept. 28... Her brother was a member of the Utah State basketball team, while her dad played football for the Aggies... In the win against UNC, four different Aggies earned at least one point with Flanary, Clark and Lauren Hansen scoring goals and Flanary and Lindsey Smart adding assists.
NOW THEY REALLY MATTER-Utah State will begins its fourth season in the Western Athletic Conference on Oct. 10 against Idaho. The Aggies are 3-0 in WAC openers. This is the second-straight season that the Aggies have started WAC play with the Vandals. Last season, Utah State defeated Idaho, 4-0. In 2005 and 2006, the Aggies defeated Louisiana Tech to begin conference play. In 2005 Utah State won 2-1 in Logan, while the Aggies won 2-0 in 2006 in Ruston.
WAC PRESEASON POLL-For the second-straight season Utah State was tabbed third in the Preseason WAC Coaches' Poll, as the Aggies garnered 37 points. Junior defender Lindsey Smart was named to the Preseason all-WAC soccer team and was WAC Preseason co-Defensive Player of the Year also for the second consecutive year.
BABY AGGIES-The young Aggies are having an immediate impact this season. Freshman forward Shantel Flanary has led the way with two goals and an assist. Flanary assisted in the game-winning goal against Northern Colorado on Sept. 6. Midfielder Chandra Salmon has started 11 of 12 matches for USU this season. Newcomer Summer Tillotson has started seven for the Aggies in the back. Allie Maduell has played in 11 matches, while Brittney Boyack has played in seven of USU's 12 matches.
SLOW START-The WAC is off to a slow start this soccer season. Nevada is the only team remaining without a win with an 0-7-2 record. Louisiana Tech leads the way with a 7-2-1 record. There is one week left before conference play begins. The Aggies' WAC opponents have a 26-42-12 record so far this season. Things are looking up as six of the eight teams earned a win last week. Idaho and Nevda were the only teams to not got a victory.
FISHY SITUATION-Things are getting awfully fishy for the Aggies. Junior Erin Salmon scored the first goal of the season for Utah State off the dish from sophomore Heather Pond. To add to the underwater element, freshman midfielder Chandra Salmon has now started five of the Aggies first seven matches. Both Salmon's had a fin so to speak in the Aggies, 2-1, win over UTEP. Erin Salmon scored the game-winning goal for her second goal of the season. Chandra Salmon had her first collegiate assist with her pass to Lauren Hansen to tie the score 1-1. Erin Salmon proved once again to be one of the fastest in the pond by scoring her third goal of the season in the Aggies' win over Wyoming.
AROUND THE LEAGUE-Several Utah State players are among the leaders in the Western Athletic Conference statistics as of Sept. 29. Lauren Hansen is second in the WAC in shots with 27 just behind Boise State's Shannon Saxton who has 28. Hansen is also tied for fourth in the league in goals scored with four. Goalkeeper Ali Griffin is fourh in goals against average with 1.25. She is tied for first in the WAC in shutouts with three.
THE COACH-Entering her sixth 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 five plus seasons at the helm of the Aggies, Cairns has compiled a 48-52-10 (.481) record passing former head coach Stacy Enos (1996-2000) who went 26-59 (.306) in five seasons with the Aggies. Cairns' teams have also recorded a school record 36 shutouts in the last five seasons. USU recorded a total of just 16 shutouts in the six years prior to Cairns' appointment as head coach.
CLOSE CALLS-The Aggies may sport a 5-6-1 record this season, but Utah State has been in every single match. Four of the Aggies six losses have come by only one goal (L, 1-2 vs. Idaho State; L, 0-1 Oregon; L, 1-2 Oregon State; L, Cal Poly, 0-1).
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS-The Aggies are still in search of their first win on Friday. Utah State is 0-4 on the final day if the work week. USU has losses to Idaho State, Oregon, Utah and Cal Poly on Friday. All four losses were by one goal and were on the road. The Aggies hope things look up since they play four conference matches on Friday to end the season.
FRIENDLY CONFINES-Utah State clearly enjoys playing at the friendly confines of Chuck and Gloria Bell Soccer Field. This season, the Aggies are 4-1-1 playing at home. Of the 11 goals the Aggies have scored this year, six have come at home. In three of the four Aggie home matches, USU has scored at least two goals. The Aggies have four home matches remaining this season.
NOTHING BUT ZEROES-There have been eight shutouts in Utah State matches this season. Senior goalkeeper Ali Griffin has three shutouts this season, including the 0-0 tie against Texas State. In turn, the Aggies have been shut out five times: two at home (Texas State and Long Beach State) and three on the road (Oregon , Utah and Cal Poly).
WACTASTIC-Utah State will play 11 teams this season who are currently or have been members of the Western Athletic Conference. Utah, Wyoming and BYU were members of the WAC through 1998. UTEP was a WAC school through the 2004-05 school year. USU will also take on the seven WAC schools that sponsor women's soccer (Boise State, Fresno State, Hawai`i, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, Nevada and San Jose State). So far this season, the Aggies are 2-1 against former or current WAC teams with wins over UTEP and Wyoming and a loss to Utah.
WAC INFORMATION-The WAC will continue its regular-season play as a single round-robin format (plus a points system) for a total of seven conference matches. The points system allows each team to receive three points for a win and one point for a tie. The top six teams at the end of the regular season advance to the WAC Tournament which will be held Nov. 6-7, 9 in Reno, Nevada.
2-USU opponents on the 2008 schedule that played in last year's NCAA Tournament, including BYU and Hawai`i.
3-The number of goals that junior Erin Salmon has scored this season to match a career high.
4-The number of first-half goals the Aggies have scored this season compared to nine second-half goals.
6-Different states that players on the roster are from: California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Washington.
9-The number of brothers and sisters Aggie freshman Shantel Flanary has.
10-The number of freshmen the young Aggie team has on the roster this season.
19-Players from the state of Utah on the roster.
34-The total number of points that the Aggies have scored this season off of 13 goals and eight assists.
148- The number of shots that the Aggies have taken this season.
4,634-Career minutes Griffin has as goalkeeper to rank second on the career minutes list behind Megan Mills (2001-04) who logged 5,196 minutes.
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