September 7, 2011

Soccer heads to the southwest, prepares for New Mexico State, UTEP

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Northern Colorado notes | Big Sky Conference notes

GREELEY – After beginning its four-game road trip with a victory against instate-rival Air Force, the Northern Colorado women’s soccer program looks to carry that momentum to the southwest, as the team prepares to take on New Mexico State and UTEP over the weekend.

For the first time all season, the Bears will leave the state of Colorado to play a soccer match. They continue their four-game road trip with a battle against New Mexico State. Friday will mark the second time the two schools have locked up in soccer, with Northern Colorado having won the previous match last season. The Bears won an overtime thriller when JJ Wkystra headed home a corner-kick.

Coming into the week, the Aggies have compiled a 4-2 record, including a perfect 2-0 mark at home and a current four-game winning streak. The team is led offensively, by Mary Kate Koziol, who has scored two goals and racked up five total points.

Northern Colorado continues its southwest trip Sunday, when it matches up with UTEP in El Paso. The Bears and Miners have squared off twice before, with each team earning a win. The last time the two teams met was in 2008, as UTEP got the best of Northern Colorado 3-1.

The Miners, in 2011, have gotten out to a 3-2 overall mark, but have lost their last two matches. Despite having two losses on the year, UTEP still holds a sizable advantage in scoring differential (+1.6). 

Game details

  • Game 1: Northern Colorado (1-3-1, 0-0 Big Sky) at. New Mexico State (4-2, 0-0 WAC)
  • When: 7:00 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9
  • Where: Las Cruces, New Mexico – Aggie Memorial Stadium (30,343)
  • Coaches: The Bears’ Tim Barrera (170-148-17) vs. the Aggies’ Blair Quinn (4-2-0)
  • All-time series: Northern Colorado leads 1-0, starting in 2010. The Bears have never played in Las Cruces.

Series history
2010       New Mexico State           W, 1-0 (OT)

  • Game 2: Northern Colorado (1-3-1, 0-0 Big Sky) at UTEP (3-2, 0-0 CUSA)
  • When: 1:00 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11
  • Where: El Paso, Texas – University Field (1,610))
  • Coaches: The Bears’ Tim Barrera (170-148-17) vs. the Miners’ Kevin Cross (131-67-8)
  • All-time series: The series is tied at 1-1, starting in 2006. The Bears are 0-1 in El Paso.

Series history
2006       UTEP                     W, 2-0
2008       at UTEP                                L, 3-1

Game notes

  • The Bears began their transition to the NCAA Division I level in 2003-04 and were postseason eligible for the first time in 2007-08.
  • Sophomore forward Danielle Birdsall was named Big Sky Offensive MVP after putting together an outstanding sophomore campaign. She was also awarded the league’s Golden Boot for having the most points (18) in the league.
  • Finally, in the fourth week of the 2011 season, the Northern Colorado women’s soccer program will travel out of Colorado to play. The next three games all come outsdie the state.
  • With her one shot on goal in a September win against Air Force, senior Ariel Cook moved into a tie for first atop Northern Colorado’s Division I career shots on goal list. She is currently tied with Teresa Prais.
  • Northern Colorado senior forward Kimmie Feidler seems to have a flair for the dramatic. In 2010, the Arizona native put away a shot as time expired to give the Bears a win over New Mexico State. To kick off 2011, Feidler added to her late-game heroics by putting away a shot from 20 yards out to tie a game against Denver in the closing minutes.
  • With their 1-0 over Air Force on Friday, Sept. 2, the Bears extended their winning-streak over the Falcons to six games.
  • Senior goalkeeper Kirstin Salminen leads a staunch Northern Colorado defense. With the help of Salminen and a backline loaded with seniors, the Bears have the third-lowest goals-against-average in the Big Sky (1.29).
  • Coming into the weekend, Northern Colorado goalkeeper Kirstin Salminen leads the Big Sky in saves (30). Her 238 career saves is good for fifth all-time in school history.
  • Northern Colorado’s match against New Mexico State on Friday will be the second time the Bears have matched up against a WAC school. Earlier in the season, they fell to Utah State at Jackson Stadium.
  • The Bears have a balanced scoring attack so far in 2011. All three goals have been scored by different players (Feidler, Wykstra, Dunn).
  • For the first time in school history, Northern Colorado had players named to the All-Big Sky First Team in 2010. Both Danielle Birdsall and Kimmie Feidler were named to the team. Ariel Cook and Aundreaha Martinez were both named to the second team. The four all-conference selections is most in school history.
  • Heading into the week, senior forward Ariel Cook needs just two more goals to move into the top-10 of Northern Colorado's all-time career goals list. Her 17 career goals is already the most in the school's Division I history.
  • The Bears’ five-game unbeaten streak in the middle of last season marks the longest such streak since 2002, when the team opened up the season with a nine-game tear.
  • With Northern Colorado's 2-1 win on August 20th on the road against Wyoming last year, head coach Tim Barrera earned his 100th victory as the head coach of the Bears. His 110 career wins as a Bear almost double the numbers of Dana Kusjanovic, who sits in second place on the list.