Aggie Soccer Season Opener Against UTEP Results In A No Contest

With UTEP leading 1-0 at halftime after scoring on a corner kick in the 14th minute, a lengthy weather delay that included heavy rains and lightning forced the 2010 women's soccer season opener against I-1 rival UTEP to result in a no contest. Per NCAA rules, a match must restart within three hours from the start of the match.

There must be no lightning in the area for 30 minutes prior to the restart and at 9:30 there was still lightning in the area making it impossible for the match to restart three hours after the 7:00 p.m. start.

Neither the attendance count or the statistics will not count towards the official season statistics.

Should the game be rescheduled, it must be replayed in its entirety.

Below are the official NCAA rules regarding lightning delays and suspensions of games:  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 08/20/10

Well, as you can see, our Aggie Volleyball Preview hasn't been posted. We're still working on it and we PROMISE to get it posted on Monday. And when we promise something, we mean it unlike Nevada and Fresno State (sorry, we couldn't resist).

All kidding aside, today is a great day because the 2010-2011 Aggie athletic season officially kicks off tonight! That's right, you've been waiting all summer for Aggie sports to get going again and the day is here. Tonight the Aggies take on I-10 rival UTEP in what promises to be an electric, intense rivalry game. What better way to christen the new athletic season than with a rivalry game?

Everyone remembers what happened down in El Paso last year right? Well, if you don't, watch this video:

That should get your blood flowing for tonight's match.

Be sure to check out our preview of the 2010 Aggie soccer team as well as our interview this week with head coach Michael Needham.

The Aggies should be a much better offensive team this season. The Aggies have a couple of highly regarded freshmen in Mary Kate Koziol and Dani De La Vina who should bring some spark to the offense. We're excited to see what Crystal Burns will do this season. She established herself as perhaps the best offensive threat as she demonstrated that she can turn and fire from any place at any time.

The one big question mark for the Aggies is at goal keeper. We'll have to wait and see who has earned the starting nod in tonight's match. Three Aggies, all with limited college experience (two with none) are competing for that spott. Sophomore Jess Schutter has 55 minutes of college experience playing a little bit last season behind Katie Graul. However, she has been injured much of the preseason and was supposed to be cleared earlier this week. Mikaela Bitner is a redshirt freshman and Erin Wosick is a true freshman. One thing is for certain, the returning Aggie defenders will need to play very well in the early part of the season as whoever the Aggie goal keeper is adjusts to the college level.

The match will start at 7:00 p.m. at Aggie Memorial Stadium and can be heard on KSNM AM 570 with Kyle Doperalski calling the action. Streaming audio and video are available via Aggie Access (subscription required).

On to today's links...  Continue Reading This Post >>

Aggie Swimming And Diving Continues Academic Success

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - With the 2010 fall semester underway, New Mexico State swimming and diving head coach Rick Pratt doesn’t have to worry about his team’s performance in the classroom.

For the fifth year, the Aggies have a place on the Division I Team Scholar All-America Spring 2010 list, the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) announced recently. NM State posted a team grade point average of 3.216 for the spring 2010 semester.

"We always expect to be on the list," Pratt said. "This is the 10th straight semester that we’ve been on the list. I'm proud of the team and it says a lot about the culture of our team. We strive not only to be on the list but at the top of the list every semester."

Additionally, senior Alannah Lawrence earned individual honorable mention All-America honors.  Continue Reading This Post >>

NM State Equestrian Hires New Head Coach Audrey Van Eman

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State Athletics Director Dr. McKinley Boston announced Thursday that Audrey Van Eman has been hired as the Aggies’ new head coach. Van Eman becomes the third head coach in program history since its start in 2004-05.

"First of all, I’m extremely excited to be here at New Mexico State," Van Eman said. "I’m also excited to work with Robin (Morris) and it seems like she has done an excellent job with the Western side of our program. I'm looking forward to meeting the girls and I feel this team is supported greatly by the university and has everything it needs to be a nationally competitive team. I’m ready to hit the ground running and try and help this team reach its full potential."

"We are excited to have Coach Van Eman joining the NM State Athletics family," Boston said. "We feel her experience will position our equestrian team to continue to build a quality program."  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 08/19/10 :: WAC Conference Call Highights

The 80 minute teleconference just ended a few minutes ago. The WAC will be sending out a clarification on membership requirements (we're assuming as it pertains to automatic qualification for the NCAA championship tournaments).

We had hoped to take better notes but luckily for us there are a couple of good note takers who were listening. Visit Jon Wilner's blog at the San Jose Mercury News for all the highlights from today's press conference. But here are the key points:

* In opening statement, Benson calls moves by Nevada and Fresno State “selfish actions.”

* Thinks there’s an opportunity to structure an arrangement that would allow BYU to be part of the WAC in some form.

* Binding agreement introduced to WAC board a week ago Monday — knowing that if the BYU piece fell into place that the MWC might make a run at existing WAC members: “We took that action to deter a school from accepting an invitation from the Mountain West.

* WAC expects $5 million payments from Nevada and Fresno State within 60 days.

* On the departure penalty: “I wish at this time that I would have made it $20 million.”

* On the remaining members: “I believe strongly that the six schools that are left are in better shape than Boise State was when it joined the WAC in 2001.”

* “In my opinion, it was very clear that Fresno State and Nevada invitations a direct result of BYU’s interest in going independent and going into the WAC.”

* On Louisiana Tech jumping to C-USA: “We’ve known Conference USA would be a better geographic fit … Our dependency on Louisana Tech more of a priority. (It) has become an even more valuable member of the WAC.”

* Earliest WAC would add new members is 2012.

* Was the binding agreement actually signed? “There are seven signed agreements in a file in the WAC office.” (Nevada is the exception.) Remaining six schools are not bound by it. (due to the departure of Fresno State and Nevada)

There will be an audio replay available later today and of course multitudes of stories on both a national and school level. We'll post the link to the interview in this article and on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

UPDATE: Listen to the media teleconference here.

We'd also point you to our interview with Commissioner Benson back in June.

UPDATE:
Per Andy Katz (ESPN.com):
NCAA spokesperson David Worlock told ESPN.com that the WAC will keep its automatic bid to the NCAA tournament if it is a six-team league in 2012. Under NCAA rules, a conference has a two-year grace period to be a six-team league after it loses members. So that means if the WAC is at six teams in 2012-13 and 2013-14, it would have until 2015 to add a seventh member. The other rule is that the remaining six schools have to have been together for five continuous years. If Fresno State and Nevada get out of the WAC after 2010-11, the WAC would have 2012 and 2013 to be a six-team league before needing to add a seventh by 2014.   Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 08/19/10

We'll just call this the "The What The Hell Just Happened Edition". We apologize for not getting the 2010 Aggie Volleyball Preview posted this morning like we'd hoped, we got sidetracked by this whole BYU/Fresno State/Nevada ordeal.

In less than an afternoon's time span, the WAC went from potentially bolstering itself overall as a league (minus football of course) to wondering it it'll survive (again) after the sudden (but not really so sudden if you read the tea leaves) departure of Fresno State and Nevada.

If you've been following us this summer, you know that we broached this very subject back in June when the Pac-10 invited half the Big 12 but only ended up with Colorado. Here's what we wrote in June 14th's Daily Aggie.

Everyone will be waiting with bated breath this week as Texas (and in turn the rest of the Big 12 south) makes its decision on which conference it will end up in. Earlier in the day ESPN.com was reporting that Texas was leaning toward the Pac 10 only to change that report a couple of hours later reporting that Texas is leaning towards staying in a 10-team BIg 12.

The latter could actually be more disastrous for the WAC than a mass exodus by the Big 12 south to the Pac 10. Why? Because the Pac 10, at 11 members needs to add one more to have a championship game in football (which was probably part of the goal to begin with, championship games mean more television money). That means that they would likely turn to Utah to fill the 12th spot in the league. That move could in turn could send the Mountain West back to the WAC cupboard to fill a couple more spots (it's our belief that the Mountain West wants to have 12 teams and a championship game in order to try to earn an automatic BCS bowl bid). That would mean that the MWC would likely try to pluck Fresno State and Nevada from the WAC and perhaps Houston (a travel partner for TCU) from Conference USA (who in turn might try to get Louisiana Tech to join to replace Houston, a bid that if offered would be hard to turn down for Louisiana Tech as C-USA is a better geographical fit for the Bulldogs than the WAC is). That would leave the WAC with just five members, New Mexico State, San Jose State, Idaho, Utah State and Hawai'i and in code-red status.

Three-fourths of that scenario has come true. Now it's the Mountain West who is in the same position as the Pac 10 was, an 11-member league looking for a 12th. Hello Houston? Goodbye LA. Tech?

Here's what MWC Commissioner Craig Thompson said on June 17th:

“Our intention is to move forward for the 2011 season with a nine-member conference. We are done. Parroting what fellow commissioners in the Pac-10 and Big 12 and to a degree in the Big 12, I think our endeavor in expansion is over for the time being.”"

And our response to that in the June 18th Daily Aggie:

We would caution WAC fans to take Thompson's word with a grain of salt however. This is the same league that last Monday had a press conference stating that they would not be inviting Boise State to join the Mountain West, only to turn around and invite Boise State a few days later.

We're afraid it's just a matter of time before the WAC loses Fresno State and Nevada (and Louisiana Tech for geographical reasons).

Now, here's why this is bad for the schools that are left holding the WAC together:

According to some quick research done late last night by Kyle Whelliston (MidMajority.com) in order for a league to maintain it's automatic bid status for the NCAA Tournament a conference must have: a) 8 teams. b) 7 core members (Division I for at least 8 years); c) 6 of those must be in the same league for at least 5 years.

Kyle points out that the current 2011-2012 WAC setup would fail rule a). And if any one of Idaho, NMSU, Utah State, Hawai'i, Louisiana Tech or San Jose State leaves, it fails rule c).

The thing that is really troublesome is that regardless of who joins the WAC to replace Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada, should any one of the six current remaining schools leave the WAC, the WAC will still fail rule c).

And after chatting back and forth with Coach Spence last night, he believes the same rule applies to women's basketball as well. The same could hold true for volleyball and soccer, in baseball's case, from previous discussions with head baseball coach Rocky Ward we know that you have to have at least six members to maintain your automatic bid status on the baseball side and the same is likely for softball as the league had been a seven team league before Boise State's inaugural season two years ago.

There have also been reports stating that in order for a conference to be a BCS member, you need an eight team minimum membership. We haven't been able to find anything that officially states that, however, that's even more troublesome for the WAC. Given the scenarios we laid out in our June 12th and June 14th Daily Aggie posts, the WAC could be stuck at six football members for at least the 2011, 2012 and 2013 seasons. Again, we don't know the specifics of being a BCS conference (and for some reason can't seem to find any documentation online) but could that mean that the WAC is shut out of receiving any BCS monies for at the very least 2011? Quite possibly.

What's also a bit concerning is that the $5 million pledge of solidarity that each of the eight remaining members were reported to have signed, according to reports in the Reno Gazette-Journal and Fresno Bee, neither one of those schools may have signed it. So, not only is the WAC losing two of its key members, it could also have nothing to show for it.

Now, as for BYU, the school that may have started this whole mess. We wrote yesterday afternoon about the benefits of their potential membership in the WAC. Well, it's still not official that they are joining the WAC at all (although it never really was, everyone was just going off of reports from sources). There are now thoughts that they could be staying in the Mountain West with the addition of Fresno State and Nevada.

The WAC will be holding a press conference at 11:00 a.m. MT this morning to address the Fresno State and Nevada departures. We'll let you know what is said.

On to today's links...  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 08/18/10 :: Afternoon BYU Rumor Mill

We had something written about the whole BYU football independence/WAC for everything else but decided hold off on posting it this morning until we got a better indication for if the whole thing was really going to happen or not. This morning has seen the Salt Lake Tribune report that it's a "Done Deal" (of course we all know about how "done" these "done deals" are.), however, they are citing a source in the WAC office in their story. So... we'll stick our necks out a little bit and comment on the potential move.

Before we get that though, one interesting side development in this story is the revelation that there is no penalty for Boise State should they decide that the Mountain West isn't what they thought it was and decide come crawling back to the WAC (that would make for very interesting rivalry games between Idaho and Boise State if that happened given what unfolded during the WAC's football media days). A dream scenario for the WAC would have Boise State come back giving the league it's nine-team format for football and the much desired 10-team format for men's and women's basketball, volleyball and softball which would create travel partners and avoid some of the difficult scheduling the league office has.

The Sporting News' Mike DeCourcy also spoke with Aggie head men's basketball coach Marvin Menzies who said that he would welcome the addition of BYU to the WAC.

So what exactly would it mean for the WAC in terms of competition? Well, it means the WAC gets instantly better across the board in pretty much all sports. Last season, the 2009-2010 athletic season, BYU was the conference champion in eight of the 19 Mountain West sponsored sports (women's soccer-regular season, women's swimming and diving-regular season and tournament, men's and women's indoor track and field, men's tennis-regular season, softball-regular season as the MWC doesn't hold a postseason tournament, and men's and women's outdoor track and field).  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 08/18/10

As promised, we've posted our 2010 Aggie Soccer Preview. The Aggies open up their season on Friday night against UTEP at Aggie Memorial Stadium. The one big question that remains before Friday night's opener is who will claim the starting spot in goal for the Aggies. There are big shoes to fill with Katie Graul's departure but after speaking with Coach Needham earlier this week, he seems very confident that one of the three goal keepers he has on his roster can fill those shoes. Whoever it ends up being, whether is Jess Schutter (who has been hampered by an injury but should now be cleared to practice), Mikaela Bitner (redshirt freshman) or Erin Wosick (true freshman), the Aggie defenders, the position that is probably the deepest on the team, will definitely be able to provide a lot of help to the new goal keeper, especially early on while she gets her feet under her.

The AVCA Preseason Top 25 poll was released yesterday and the Aggies were one of the team in the "receiving votes" category. The Aggies received 14 votes good for 41st in the rankings. We also posted yesterday that the Aggies' schedule is full of teams either in the Top 25 or receiving votes. There will be plenty of opportunities for quality, RPI-boosting victories in the non-conference. The Aggies would most definitely crack the Top 25 should they win a good number of those matches.

Also, be sure to check out Ellen Miks' first entry in the 2010 Aggie Volleyball Diary.

We hope to have our 2010 Aggie Volleyball Preview posted tomorrow.

Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News notes that UNM's men's basketball schedule was released and the dates for the Aggie/Lobo games are December 4th in Las Cruces and December 11th in Albuquerque. The time for the game in Las Cruces is still TBD (though we'd guess it'll be at 7:05 p.m. just like every other year) and 7:00 p.m. in Albuquerque.

On to today's links...  Continue Reading This Post >>

2010 bleedCrimson.net Aggie Soccer Preview

The New Mexico State soccer team went into the 2009 season with few expectations. The reason? It was the program's inaugural season and nobody really knew quite what to expect. The result? A much better than predicted finish from the team as a 9-9-1 overall record and a conference record of 4-3-1 led to a fifth place finish and a WAC tournament bid in just their first season. Just how impressive was their inaugural season? Fellow first year program Missouri-Kansas City finished their inaugural season at 1-16-1 and fellow conference mate Louisiana Tech, a program that has been in existence for six seasons, had never won a WAC game until last season and still have yet to participate in the conference tournament.

Enter 2010. The Aggies are looking to build off the momentum they created in their inaugural season and despite being picked to finish eighth by the league's coaches, the Aggies have their sights set once again on a strong season with a top six finish and a conference tournament berth.

"We definitely have high expectations, we did good last year and we just want to build off that," said sophomore defender Courtney Irwin in the team's media day interviews.

Being just a second year program, the Aggies didn't have a lot of turnover after their first season nor do they have to replace many starters due to graduation. The team does have a couple of notable names to replace as the Aggies' leading goal scorer, Jazmin Cardoso, transferred to George Mason and senior leader and First Team All-WAC goal keeper Katie Graul exhausted her eligibility. Finding Graul's replacement in goal will be one of the few puzzles second year head coach Michael Needham will have to solve before the Aggies open the 2010 season. The Aggies have added 13 newcomers to the roster with several of them expected to push for playing time and perhaps potential starting positions.

POSITION BREAKDOWNS  Continue Reading This Post >>