The Daily Aggie :: 10/25/10

The Aggie soccer team scratched out a hard-fought 2-2 draw last night against Hawai'i. The Aggies trailed twice in the match giving up goals in the 8th and 49th minutes of play, however, they scored the equalizers in the 10th and 58th minutes.

Yolanda McMillion scored the first goal on a cross from Crystal Burns who fought hard to dig a ball off the endline against a Wahine defender. "Crystal played a great cross, she did a great job of digging the ball out, sends it across to Yollie and Yollie knocks the ball in the goal," said Coach Needham.

The Aggies' second goal was an own goal by the Wahine goal keeper that came because of a great corner kick by Mary Kate Koziol and some good pressure by Lauren Cope jumping up to try to head the corner in. Cope provided enough of a distraction that the Wahine goal keeper mishandled the ball sending it into her own goal. "Mary Kate put a good service in there, I don't know that she was shooting but it doesn't matter. She put it toward the back post, the kid went up and couldn't deal with it and ended up knocking it into her own goal."

While the Aggies could have used the three points from a win, the tie gives them a point and keeps them alive in the race for the WAC Tournament. "A 2-2 tie at Hawai'i is a pretty good result, said Coach Needham. "If you look at that before the season starts you probably circle that as a real quality result."

The Aggies are one of four teams fighting for that sixth and final spot in the conference tournament. It all comes down to the final weekend of play.

The Aggies need to win on Friday night and get some help. Heading into the final weekend of play, Fresno State, Hawai'i, Nevada and New Mexico State are all within three points of each other. Fresno State has seven points, Hawai'i has five, Nevada and New Mexico State each have four.

In order for the Aggies to quaify for the WAC tournament the Aggies must defeat Louisiana Tech on Friday night while having Nevada and Hawai'i tie. The Aggies must also have Fresno State lose both its final two matches at Boise State on Friday and at Idaho on Sunday. The Aggies must then have Utah State defeat Hawai'i on Sunday.

That sequence of events would leave New Mexico State and Fresno with seven points, Hawai'i with six points and Nevada with five points. The Aggies would earn the spot in the WAC tournament via their head-to-head victory over Fresno State.

"All those scenarios are very very possible," said Coach Needham. "The most important part of that scenario is we have to win on Friday night."

While it may seem improbable for the Aggies to qualify for the WAC tournament, you only need to look back at the situation the Aggie softball team found themselves in earlier this year.

The Aggies will need all the support they can get from Aggie fans on Friday night when they host Louisiana Tech. It's senior night and also a very important match for the Aggies. We'll leave you with some final thoughts from Coach Needham.

"This team has a lot of resolve and I'm very proud of them for that. I'd love to see them not put themselves in such tough positions but it seems like except for a couple times this year, we've put ourselves in a bit of a hole but we've always come back and been able to dig out. Whatever happens with us winning on Friday night and going to the conference tournament or something happening where we don't, I'm proud of the progress these kids are making. We're playing better soccer, we're doing good things. Great things are going to happen in this program."

On to today's links...

Aggie Soccer
The Hawai'i athletic website recaps the Aggies' tie.

Brian McInnis of the Honolulu Star Advertiser recaps the match.

Aggie Football
The Sports Network shares news and notes from around the league.

Josh Wright of the Spokesman Reviews discusses an Idaho injury suffered against New Mexico State.

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