Aggie Soccer Heads To WAC Tournament Thursday
Nov. 6, 2007
LOGAN, Utah -
WAC TOURNAMENT - Utah State's soccer team enters the Western Athletic Conference Tournament as the No. 4 seed and will play the opening day match against fifth-seeded San Jose State on Thursday, Nov. 8 at 12:30 p.m. at the BSU Soccer Complex in Boise, Idaho. Also playing on Thursday is third-seeded Fresno State facing sixth-seeded Nevada at 3 p.m.
No. 1 seed Hawai'i face the winner of the Utah State vs. San Jose State match at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9, while the No. 2 seed Boise State will face off against the Fresno State vs. Nevada winner at 3 p.m. on Friday.
Friday's winners advance to Sunday's championship match at 1 p.m. (MT).
WAC TV - The Western Athletic Conference, in conjunction with its Web site partner JumpTV Sports, has announced it will stream all of the matches of both the 2007 WAC Soccer Tournament. Viewers can sign up by visiting www.wac.tv.
UTAH STATE TOURNAMENT HISTORY - This is the third year in a row that Utah State has played in the postseason, falling 2-0 to Nevada in the second round of last year's WAC Tournament, as Nevada went on to win the WAC Championship, earning the conference's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. It was the second year in a row that Utah State has been eliminated by the eventual tournament champion. In 2005, the Aggies fell to Fresno State who went on to claim the title.
PROGRAM HISTORY WITH CONFERENCE AND OVERALL RECORD - Utah State tied its program-best conference win record with a 5-2 conference record which ties last season's five conference wins. The .714 conference winning percentage is the second-best in school history, as last season the Aggies posted a .750 winning percentage (5-0-2) in conference action.
QUOTING COACH CAIRNS
On the WAC Tournament - "I feel the best that I've felt in three years about going in to the conference tournament. I feel that way because I think the team feels really good about where we are. I think we have a good confidence about us but at the same time, we've really taken to heart that we've got to earn everything. We're looking at it as going in as an underdog because we haven't won a conference tournament game yet. We're looking forward to getting into that first hurdle and getting into that first tournament win and then we just keep plugging away game-by-game. We've got to focus on that first tournament game.
On San Jose and playing at Boise State - "They have a good tournament record and the last two years they've advanced out of that first round. I feel very comfortable playing at Boise's field. It's very similar to our field except the grass is even a little bit faster. But the size is about the same and I think it suits our style of play. We know the venue, we like the venue and that's another thing that give us some confidence. We know that we can play a good game on that type of surface.
RECORD BREAKING PERFORMANCE - Utah State's 10-1 defeat against Louisiana Tech on Saturday breaks numerous records in school history.
As a team the Aggies broke five school records both in a match and in a season. The 10 goals scored is the most goals scored in a match, topping the previous mark of nine set in 1999 against Wisconsin-Green Bay. USU tallied eight assists in the match breaking the previous mark of six assists, which was done twice in school history, once in 2002 against Southern Utah and again in 2003 against Nevada. Utah State also broke the points in a match with 28 points tallied in Saturday's match, surpassing the previous mark of 22 set in 1999 against Wisconsin-Green Bay.
Utah State now has 29 assists this season overall, topping the previous mark of 26 tallied in 2002. USU has also tallied 101 points this season, surpassing the 2002 season which had 100 points. The Aggies are currently at No. 3 with 36 goals scored this season, needing one to tie the current record of 37 set in 1999 and again in 2002.
ABOUT UTAH STATE - Utah State is 9-10 overall and 5-2 in conference action heading into the WAC Tournament. The Aggies 5-2 ledger in WAC action ties the program-best conference win mark, which was set last season.
Utah State beat Louisiana Tech, 10-1, on Saturday, for the Aggies' third straight victory. The 10 goals scored breaks the record for the most scored in a match, the eight assists and 28 points tallied sets a new record in each of those categories.
The win over Louisiana Tech gives Utah State a 3-0 mark vs. LTU all-time, as the Aggies have now beaten the Lady Techsters three straight years.
Offensively, the Aggies rank third in the WAC statistics in goals (36, 1.89 per game), fourth in assists (29 1.53 pg) and third in points (101, 5.32 pg). Defensively Utah State is third in both goals allowed (25, 1.32 pg) and goals against average (1.30), as well as tied for third in shutouts (6) and fifth in saves (72, 3.79 pg).
Freshman forward Lauren Hansen leads Utah State and is tied for fifth in the WAC with nine goals. With 18 points, Hansen leads the Aggies and ranks sixth in the league. Hansen tied the record for most goals scored in a match as she had a hat trick against Louisiana Tech on Saturday, for her first thre-goal match.
Hansen is tied for 10th in career goals with Chanel Weddle (2002-05) and is fifth for goals in a season. She is also tied for fifth with Charity Weston (2005) for points in a season and is fourth for points in a match. Hansen is the first player to score three goals in match since 2004.
Senior forward Dana Peart is second on the team with 13 points of five goals and three assists. Peart ranks seventh in the WAC in shots (46) and is tied for 10th in the league in points. Peart is tied for second in school history with 75 career matches played, fourth with 15 career goals and fifth with 37 career points.
Senior midfielder Abby Hunt and junior forward Candice Clark are tied for third on the team with 12 points. Hunt has five goals and two assists on the year, while Clark has four goals and four assists.
In all, seven players scored a goal in Saturday's match against Louisiana Tech, while five players added an assist and five players had at least two goals or two assists.
Eight other Aggies have scored goals this season, including junior midfielder Lacey Christenson, junior forward Kiersten Nilsson, junior defender Alyssa Lowry, sophomore midfielder Alysa Adams, sophomore forward Erin Salmon, sophomore defender Sydne Porter, sophomore midfielder Jessica Williams and freshman midfielder Heather Pond. A total of 12 players have scored a goal and 10 athletes have an added an assist while eight Aggies have at least one goal and one assist.
Between the pipes, junior goalkeeper Ali Griffin has tallied 65 saves on the year, including a season-high eight in the loss against Oregon on Sept. 14. Griffin has a 1.17 goals against average and a .765 save percentage along with six shutouts. Griffin is tied for second in the WAC in shutouts. She is also third in the league in gaa and save percentage and fourth in the league in saves.
CLOSE CONTESTS - The match against Hawai'i on Friday was USU' 12th one-goal difference match and the Aggie's fifth one-goal victory.
HOME SWEET HOME - Counting the exhibition match on Aug. 18, Utah State had nine home matches this season. Since moving to the Chuck and Gloria Bell Soccer Field in 2002, the Aggies have gone 25-17-9 at home. In the two years prior to their move to Bell Field, the Aggies were just 6-12 at home. They have gone 12-3-3 against conference opponents since bedding down at Bell Field.
LAST MATCH - Utah State's women's soccer team defeated Louisiana Tech, 10-1, on Saturday as the Aggies scored the most goals in a match in school history and tallied the most points as well. The Aggies improved to 9-10 overall and 5-2 in conference action, while Louisiana Tech fell to 2-14-1 overall and 0-6-1 in WAC action. (See page 6 for extended recap).
PEART POUNCES EARLY - Senior midfielder Dana Peart started off last season with an assist in the Aggies' 1-0 win against Idaho State in the season-opener and scored the game-winner in USU's 1-0 double overtime win against Weber State. In 2005, Peart scored the lone goal in the Aggies' 2-1 loss to Northern Colorado in an exhibition match and then went on to score the lone goal in each of Utah State's next three matches.
Peart has continued that hot start for the third straight season with the game-winning goal in USU's 1-0 win against Texas State and scoring the Aggies' lone goal in the 3-1 loss at Texas Christian. She netted her third goal of the season in Utah State's 4-3 win at Weber State along with adding an assist. Peart scored her second game-winning goal of the season in the 1-0 overtime win against Idaho State. Her fifth goal of the season came in the Aggies' 2-1 loss at Gonzaga. She is second on the team with 13 points (five goals, three assists).
HANSEN'S HOT CAREER START - Freshman forward Lauren Hansen has made her mark in the record books after one season with the Aggies. Hansen scored three goals in the match against Louisiana Tech which ties for the most goals in match that was done in 2004 by Nicole (Feuz) Gooch at Idaho. She is also fifth for goals in a season (9) and is currently tied for 10th with Chanel (Blaquiere) Weddle (2002-05) for goals in a career. Hansen also is tied for fifth for points in a season with Charity Weston (2005) with 18 and is tied for fourth for points in match (6) done five other times with three Aggies, last by Nicole (Feuz) Gooch in 2004 against Idaho.
SEASON FIRSTS - The Aggies recorded their first back-to-back-to-back victories this season as they defeated Hawai'i, 3-2, on Oct. 26, beat San Jose State, 4-0, on Oct. 28 and defeated Louisiana Tech, 10-1, on Saturday... The home loss to Boise State on Oct. 14 snapped an 11-match unbeaten streak in conference action for the Aggies, as they had gone 8-0-3 since Oct. 21, 2005... Utah State is 7-1 when leading at the half and 8-3 when scoring first... USU recorded its third four goal match in its 4-0 win against San Jose State, as it is also the Aggies first time this season they tallied 12 points in a match... Utah State recorded four or more goals four times in a season for the first time in the program's 12-year history... USU scored 10 goals in a match for the first time as well as eight assists and 28 points in a match in program history against the Lady Techsters... Junior forward Kiersten Nilsson and sophomore midfielder Jessica Williams netted their first career goals in the match against Louisiana Tech... Freshman midfielder Heather Pond and junior midfielder Lacey Christenson scored their first goals on the season in the win against SJSU... Pond's goal was her first career goal as well... Sophomore defender Sydne Porter tallied her first career points on Oct. 12, as she recorded an assist in the win against Idaho and tallied the lone goal in the loss against Boise State... Freshman forward Lauren Hansen was the first Aggie to net two goals in one game, as she netted two of the four goals in the win at Idaho... Hansen scored her first career goal in the 4-3 win at Weber State on Sept. 12... Sophomore forward Erin Salmon tallied her first goal of the season and fourth of her career in the win at Idaho... Junior forward Candice Clark netted her first goal of the season and fourth career goal in the 2-1 loss at BYU on Oct. 4... Freshman midfielder Stefani Shiozaki recorded her first career point in a USU uniform at BYU, recording an assist... Junior defender Alyssa Lowry scored her first career goal on Sept. 27 in the 1-0 win against Montana... Senior midfielder Abby Hunt is the second player to net two goals in a match, as she scored two out of the three goals in the win against Hawai'i... Hansen is the first player to score three goals in match since 2004.
WAC PRESEASON POLL - Utah State was tabbed third in the Preseason WAC Coaches' Poll, as the Aggies garnered 34 points and two first-place votes. Senior midfielder Dana Peart and sophomore defender Lindsey Smart were named to the Preseason all-WAC Soccer Team, while Smart was also tabbed the WAC Preseason co-Defensive Player of the Year.
NOTE-ABLE - Defender Lindsey Smart was the only freshman to start all 20 matches for the Aggies in 2006.... So far this season, a total of seven players have seen action in all 19 matches with five Aggies starting all 19 contests.
19 of the 36 goals that Utah State has scored have come in the first half... USU has outscored its opponents 19-5 and outshot 123-105 in the first half, and have been outscored by the opposition, 19-16, in the second half but have outshot by a 129-108 difference... Overall, USU has outshot its opponents, 256-214... The Aggies have taken 86 corner kicks while the opponent has 59... USU has committed 182 fouls, while the opposition has been whistled for 159 fouls, with the Aggies being issued 13 yellow cards, while the opposition has been shown 10 yellow cards.
A GOOD FORTUNE COOKIE - Eleven of USU's 18 goals last season and nine of its 14 assists were scored by players returning in 2007.
STRENGTH AND EXPERIENCE IN NUMBERS - The Aggies have 22 returning letterwinners and nine starters from last season's squad that went 10-8-2 on the year, including 5-0-2 in WAC play. Cairns welcomes five newcomers to the ranks, the smallest freshman class under Cairns in her tenure.
Headlining the returners this season is senior midfielder Dana Peart, who was named to the Preseason all-WAC Soccer Team and earned second-team all-conference honors last year. Peart, was one of seven Aggies to start all 20 matches and was third on the team with eight points (three goals, one assist). She also tied for third in the WAC with three game-winning goals.
Also returning is sophomore defender Lindsey Smart, who was tabbed the WAC Preseason co-Defensive Player of the Year and was named the 2006 WAC Freshman of the Year. Smart became the first-ever Utah State player to receive a specific individual conference honor. Smart also earned second-team all-WAC honors last year as she ranked fourth on the team with five points, netting one goal and adding three assists.
CAIRNS WINNINGEST USU SOCCER COACH - In her fourth season, Heather Cairns became the winningest coach in USU soccer history by recording victory No. 27 on Sept. 30, 2006 and holds the school record for winningest coach by percentage. Cairns has compiled a 42-45-9 (.484) record in 96 matches, passing Stacey Enos who went 26-59 (.306) in five seasons (1996-2000) with the Aggies.
GRIFFIN CAREER GAA RECORD HOLDER - Junior netminder Ali Griffin topped the 1,000 minutes mark for her career in 2006, becoming eligible for USU's career lists and climbing to the top of the Aggies' career goals against average chart. Griffin presently has a 0.98 gaa for her career. Griffin is currently fourth on the career saves list with 153, topping Tracy Brady earlier this season, who tallied 110 saves from 2000-01.
GRIFFIN TIES CAREER SHUTOUT RECORD - Junior netminder Ali Griffin recorded her sixth shutout of the season, as the Aggies defeated San Jose State, 4-0, on Sunday. Griffin now has 14 career shutouts and tied the current record with former Utah State player Megan Mills (2001-04).
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS - TOURNAMENT FIELD
No. 5 SAN JOSE STATE - The Spartans concluded the regular season at 4-14-2 overall and 2-5 in league play on Sunday after falling to Boise State, 2-0.
Offensively, the Spartans are tied for sixth in the WAC statistics in goals (15, 0.75 per game), sixth in assists (13, 0.65 pg) and sixth in points (43, 2.15 pg). Defensively San Jose State is first in saves (124, 6.20 pg), and fourth in goals against average (1.40) as well as fifth in goals allowed (29, 1.45 pg) and is tied for sixth in shutouts (3).
Junior forward Jessica Scott leads San Jose State with six goals and one assist for 13 points on the season. Scott was named WAC Offensive Player of the Week for the week ending Oct. 8 after scoring two goals within three minutes to give SJSU the win against UC Irvine. Scott leads the league with 62 shots and is tied for eighth in the conference in goals.
In goal, redshirt-freshman Nina Butera has seen most of the action at goalkeeper, playing in 17 matches, making 97 saves while allowing 21 goals with a 1.22 gaa and a .822 save percentage and posting two shutouts. Butera is first in the WAC in saves and save percentage and is fourth in the league in gaa.
No. 1 HAWAI'I - The regular season champion Rainbow Wahine posted a 13-4-2 overall record and went 6-1-0 in conference action. After falling at Utah State, 3-2, on Oct. 26, UH won its last three matches, winning at Louisiana Tech, 5-0, on Oct. 28 and defeating Boise State, 5-0, and Idaho, 7-0, in Honolulu on Friday and Sunday, respectively.
Offensively, the Rainbow Wahine lead the WAC in goals (57, 3.00 per game), assists (54, 2.84 pg) and points (168, 8.84 pg). Defensively, UH leads the WAC in goals allowed (20, 1.05 pg), goals against average (1.03) and shutouts (10).
Sophomore forward Ambree Ako leads Hawai'i with 12 goals and eight assists for 32 points. Ako is second in the WAC in both goals and points and is tied for second in the WAC in assists.
Junior forward Taryn Fukuroku is second for Hawai'i with 12 goals and seven assists for 31 points. Fukuroku is third in the WAC in points and is tied for second in the league in goals.
Junior goalkeeper Kori Lu has made 45 saves while yielding 14 goals and posting a 0.99 gaa and a .763 save percentage, while recording three shutouts. Lu is second in the conference in gaa, fourth in save percentage and eighth in saves.
No. 2 BOISE STATE - The Broncos finished regular-season action at 9-6-3 overall and went 5-1-1 in the WAC to tie for second with Fresno State. Boise State won the coin toss to get the No. 2 seed. A win against Hawai'i would've left BSU in contention for first place but the Broncos fell, 5-0, at Honolulu. on Friday. Boise State finished the season with a 2-0 shutout against San Jose State on Sunday.
BSU is second in the WAC in goals (40, 2.22 per game), assists (34, 1.89 pg) and points (14, 6.33 pg). The Broncos are also sixth in goals allowed (33, 1.83 pg), as well as sixth in both goals against average (1.77) and saves (71, 3.94 pg).
Boise State is led by freshman forward Shannon Saxton, who has 39 points on the season with 17 goals and five assists. Saxton leads the WAC in points and goals.
Junior netminder Jennifer Burns has made 60 saves while allowing 21 goals and has a 1.50 GAA. Burns has notched four shutouts on the season. Burns is fourth in shutouts in the WAC, fifth in goals against average and sixth in saves.
No. 3 FRESNO STATE - The Bulldogs finished 11-6-1 overall and went 5-1-1 in conference action to tie for second with Boise State. FS won its last two road conference matches, beating Idaho, 3-0, on Oct. 28 in Moscow and winning at Nevada, 3-1, on Sunday.
Fresno State is third in the WAC in assists (31, 1.72 per game), as well as fourth in both points (93, 5.17 pg) and goals (31, 1.72 pg). Defensively, FS is second in goals allowed (22, 1.22 pg), goals against average (1.20) and shutouts (9).
The Bulldogs are led by junior forward Nicole Gutierrez, who has 10 goals and five assists for 25 points. Gutierrez is fourth in the league in goals and points.
Kaity Revel, a freshman goalkeeper, has yielded 14 goals in 18 matches, making 63 saves, while posting a 0.83 gaa and .818 save percentage as well as notching eight shutouts. Revel is first in the league in gaa and shutouts, as well as second in save percentage and fifth in saves.
No. 6 NEVADA - The defending WAC Tournament champion and preseason favorite Wolf Pack went 6-10-1 overall and 2-5-0 in WAC action, falling in their last two matches at Boise State, 3-2, on Oct. 28 and Fresno State, 3-1, on Sunday.
In the WAC stats, Nevada ranks fifth in goals (28, 1.65 pg), assists (23, 1.35 pg) and points (79, 4.65). Defensively, the Wolf Pack are fourth in goals allowed (27, 2.59 pg), fifth in gaa (1.57), tied for sixth in shutouts (3) and eighth in saves (53, 3.12 pg).
Junior forward Karen Zmirak leads Nevada with 15 points off five goals and five assists. Zmirak ranks tied for sixth in the league in assists.
Freshman goalkeeper Marie Cove has spent the majority of time in the net for the Wolf Pack, posting 48 saves while yielding 24 goals, for a 1.51 gaa and .667 save percentage. Cove ranks tied for fifth in the WAC in shutouts, sixth in gaa, as well as seventh in both saves and save percentage.
WAC BITS - Boise State was the only unbeaten team in conference action going into the final weekend before they fell at Hawai'i, 5-0, on Friday... Utah State gave Hawai'i its only conference loss, while Boise State and Fresno State both fell to Hawai'i and BSU and FS both defeated Utah State... Fresno State is currently on a five-match win streak, while Utah State and Hawai'i are on three-match win streaks... Hawai'i remains the lone team unbeaten at home in the league, sporting an 11-0-1 mark... A total of 16 matches have gone into overtime, with WAC teams posting a 2-5-7 non-conference mark... Utah State's OT win against Idaho State means that the Aggies have one of the league's two OT wins, while Hawai'i has the other one... Hawai'i has played the most OT matches with four, while San Jose State and Boise State have played three, while Utah State and Fresno State have been in two.