October 26, 2011

Soccer set to celebrate Senior Night at Jackson Stadium

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Northern Colorado notes | Big Sky Conference notes

GREELEY – Coming off a huge weekend in which the Northern Colorado soccer program earned its first Big Sky co-championship, the Bears will wrap up the regular season with Senior Night against Nebraska-Omaha.

The Bears will be looking to continue a five-game unbeaten streak on Friday. The Bears and Mavericks used to match up regularly before Northern Colorado transitioned to Division I. The two teams are dead-even in the all-time series (3-3). The last time the two teams met, in 2002, Nebraska-Omaha was ranked sixth in the nation and beat the Bears 5-1.

Heading into the weekend, the Mavericks, who are in their first year as a Division I school, own a 5-6-2 record. Although the squad is currently not associated with a conference, the Mavericks have won their last two matches. Last weekend, Nebraska-Omaha defeated Western Illinois and Washburn.

Game details

  • Game 19: Northern Colorado (7-7-4, 4-1-2 Big Sky) vs. Nebraska-Omaha (5-6-2)
  • When: 6:00 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28
  • Where: Greeley, Colorado – Jackson Stadium (1,480)
  • Coaches: The Bears’ Tim Barrera (176-152-20) vs. the Mavericks’ Don Klosterman (198-58-12)
  • All-time series: The series is tied 3-3, starting in 1999. Northern Colorado is 1-1 in Greeley against the Mavericks.

Series history
1999       at Nebraska-Omaha                       W, 4-2
2000       Nebraska-Omaha                            W, 2-1
2000       at Nebraska-Omaha*                     L, 4-1
2001       at Nebraska-Omaha                       W, 3-2
2001       vs. Nebraska-Omaha*^                                L, 1-0
2002       Nebraska-Omaha                            L, 5-1
* - NCC Tournament
^ - at Mankato, Minn.

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.
  • Coming into a Sunday showdown at home against Montana, Northern Colorado needed a win to clinch at least a share of the Big Sky regular season title. The Bears took care of business against the Grizzlies, as they shut Montana out 2-0. With the win, the Bears earned their first Big Sky Women’s Soccer co-Championship and the right to host the 2011 Big Sky Women’s Soccer Championship.
  • After a history-making weekend, the Big Sky recognized Northern Colorado’s accomplishments by awarding both Ariel Cook and Kirstin Salminen Player of the Week honors. Cook was named Offensive Player of the Week after scoring both goals in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Montana. Salminen was named co-Defensive Player of the Week after allowing just one goal in two games and recording her 15th career shutout on Sunday.
  • Senior Kimmie Feidler recorded two more shots against Montana on Sunday. Those two shots made her the first player in Northern Colorado Division I history to record 200 career total shots.
  • Senior goalkeeper Kirstin Salminen continued her fantastic season after being named Big Sky co-Defensive Player of the Week. She made six saves over the weekend and continues to sit in second-place in the conference in saves (90). Her 90 saves also moved her into a tie for the tenth-most saves in a single-season in school history. With two more saves against Nebraska-Omaha, Salminen will become the third player in Northern Colorado history to record 300 saves.
  • In first place coming into the weekend, the Bears are on the hunt for their first Big Sky title. The Bears have qualified for the Big Sky Tournament twice since joining the conference in 2006, including last season when they finished in fourth-place.
  • Senior goalkeeper Kirstin Salminen had a fabulous weekend on the road for the Bears. In two road matches against Portland State and Sacramento State, Salminen made 13 saves and recorded two shutouts. In Sunday’s 0-0 draw against Sacramento State, the senior made eight saves to keep the score level. Salminen’s big weekend also catapulted her up the Northern Colorado history books. After Sunday, she moved into third-place on the school’s all-time saves list (292). She needs just 15 more saves to move past Chrissy Marvin and into second.
  • After scoring two goals in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Montana, senior forward Ariel Cook moved into a tie for seventh on the school’s all-time scoring list (21) and a tie for eight on the all-time points list (53).
  • For the fifth week in the row, the Bears are the Big Sky's best in the NCAA's RPI standings. This week, the Bears moved down in the standings to 230th, but are still ten spots above second-place Portland State, which came in at 242nd. The highest-ranked opponent Northern Colorado has played is Denver -- which sits at 46th.
  • Although the Bears have seen their offense fire up lately, the scoring has still been dispersed evenly throughout the team. JJ Wykstra leads the team in scoring (5), but nine other Bears have found the back of the net at least once.
  • It seems like everybody on the Bears wants to be a hero. The team has had seven different players score game-winning goals, with nobody scoring more than one.
  • Three times this season, head coach Tim Barrera has enjoyed watching Kimmie Feidler and JJ Wykstra hook up on a corner-kick set-piece.
  • The Bears opened up Big Sky play with a 2-0 win over defending regular season conference-champion Northern Arizona. It was the second time in school history that a Bears team opened up Big Sky play with a win. In 2007, the Bears started out 2-0 in conference competition.