ON THE PITCH
Utah State soccer concluded the 2017 season with a 9-7-3 overall record, finishing eighth in the Mountain West with a 4-5-2 league ledger.
WHERE THEY STAND
Utah State finished in eighth-place in the Mountain West standings, tallying 14 total conference points. San José State claimed the regular-season league title, posting a 9-1-1 league record. Boise State, San Diego State, New Mexico, Fresno State and Air Force rounded out the top half of the standings, advancing to the Mountain West Tournament. UNLV finished just ahead of the Aggies, while Wyoming, Colorado College, Colorado State and Nevada followed. This was the second time since joining the lead that Utah State did not qualify for the Mountain West Tournament. San Diego State earned the tournament championship, representing the league in the NCAA Tournament.
THE MOUNTAIN WEST’S BEST
Utah State freshman midfielder Ashley Cardozo earned all-Mountain West honors for the 2017 season, as she was named to both the all-conference first team, as well as the all-newcomer team, as well as the all-newcomer team. Cardozo was the only freshman named to the all-conference first team. Additionally, she is just the second freshman in Utah State history to earn first-team all-conference honors, joining Chandra Salmon-Christensen, who earned first-team all-WAC honors in 2008.
BEYOND THE MOUNTAIN WEST
Along with her all-conference honors, Ashley Cardozo was named to the United Soccer Coaches all-West Region second team. Cardozo was one of seven student-athletes from the Mountain West to be recognized and she was one of seven freshmen to earn a spot on either of the three West Region teams. Cardozo is the sixth player in Utah State history to earn all-region honors, joining the most recent accolade in junior defender Kelsey Andersen, who earned third-team honors a year ago. She is just the second Aggie to be named to the second team or higher, along with Shantel Flanary, who was a two-time second-team honoree.
ATHLETIC AND SMART
Two Utah State soccer players were recognized by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), as sophomore defender Mealii Enos and senior midfielder Erin Rickenbach earned second-team Academic all-District honors. Enos and Rickenbach are the fourth and fifth Utah State players to earn CoSIDA Academic all-District recognition, as Taryn Rose and Jeannie Woller were named to the second team in 2014, and Natalie Norris earned first-team honors in 2011. Utah State’s two honorees were among seven players honored from the Mountain West. Additionally, they were two of four players from Utah schools to be recognized, joining one player each from BYU and Utah.
Utah State now says goodbye to its senior class comprised of goalkeeper Sara Cobb, midfielder Kacey Erickson, forward Bailee Hammond, forward Wesley Hamblin, defender Mikayla Howes, forward Rachelle Parrish and midfielder Erin Rickenbach.
Freshman midfielder Ashley Cardozo led the Aggie offense this season, tallying ninegoals and six assists for 24 total points. She is the highest-scoring USU freshman since 1999, when Brigid Turner set the freshman scoring record with 25 points (12 goals, one assist). With her goal against San Diego State, Cardozo took the second-place spot as she passed Jayme Gordy, who earned 14 points (six goals, two assists) as a freshman in 1997.
IN THE BOOKS
Several Utah State players continued to secure their places in the program record books this season. Senior forward Wesley Hamblin claimed the all-time assist record, finishing her career with 20. She also ranks sixth in total points (50) and tied for eighth in goals (15). Senior forward Bailee Hammond is tied for 10th in goals scored with 14. In the net, senior Sara Cobb ranks seventh in goals against average (1.11), tied for seventh in shutouts (6.5) and ninth in minutes (1,622) and saves (84). Junior Grace McGuire has seen limited playing time this season, but continues to climb the record lists. She is currently third in GAA (0.88), tied for fifth in shutouts (9.5) and ninth in saves (82) and minutes played (1,944).
A trio of players also earned spots on the single-season record lists. Freshman forward Ashley Cardozo ended the year tied for fifth in assists (6), eighth in shots on goal (37), tied for eighth in total points (24) and tied for 10th in goals (9). Hamblin ended the season tied for third with seven assists on the year, While Cobb tied for fourth in single-season saves (82).
HIT THE ROAD
Utah State closed the road portion of the 2017 season in a 4-0 win at Nevada. With that victory, the Aggies posted a 6-4 road record this year. The ledger marks the first time Utah State has had a winning road record since 2013, when the team went 4-3-3 in road games. The six away victories by the team this season are the most in program history.
SHUT THEM OUT
Of Utah State’s nine wins this season, seven were shutouts. This is the eighth-straight season that USU has had seven or more shutouts. The 2011 and 2013 squads hold the program record of 11 shutouts in a year. This season’s seven shutouts are the most in the Mountain West. Butler leads the NCAA with 14 shutouts this year.
Three Utah State players started all 19 matches this season, in sophomore defender Mealii Enos, senior forward Wesley Hamblin and freshman defender Kami Warner. Four other players started each of the 18 matches they played in, as freshman forward Ashley Cardozo, senior goalkeeper Sara Cobb, senior forward Bailee Hammond and freshman midfielder Amber Marshall each missed one match during the seaosn.
TAKING THE LEAD
With her two assists at Wyoming, senior forward Wesley Hamblin became the all-time assist leader at Utah State. She finished her career with 20 assists, passing the former record of 17 set by Jessica Brooksby.
THE NIFTY 150
With the Sept. 17 win at Oakland, Utah State head coach Heather Cairns secured her 150th win at the helm of the Aggie program. The winningest coach in Utah State history, Cairns has an overall record of 154-117-37 in her 15 years as head coach.
KEEP IT CLEAN
Utah State finished the season having nine yellow cards shown to members of the team, the fewest in the Mountain West. Senior forward Wesley Hamblin was the only USU player to receive multiple warning cards, ending the year with four. Each of the other five yellow cards were issued to different players.
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