The Daily Aggie :: 09/21/10

Head over to The Wiz of Odds website and vote for the Aggie football poster (Group 2) as the best poster of the year.

The Aggies and Jayhawks meet on Saturday and both teams are hearing the same message from their coaches: We've got to get better as a football team.

Kansas first year head coach Turner Gill has had that message after each of their first three games. He told Matt Tait of the Lawrence World-Journal, “We’re trying to improve on every phase of our game. My talk hasn’t changed. It doesn’t depend on the quality of the opponent. We’ve just gotta get better as a football team. That’s what they heard (last weekend), and that’s what they’ll continue to hear.”

Second year head coach DeWayne Walker has this to say after Saturday's game, "Right now we have some major problems that we need to figure out," and this after week one against San Diego State, "We have to get a lot better not only on offense but our whole football team."

The two teams will meet on the gridiron on Saturday where both coaches will hope to see big improvements over their last game.

Crystal Burns earned WAC Offensive Player of the Week honors for the Aggie soccer team this week. She scored four of the Aggies' 12 goals this past weekend in the Aggies' two victories. It's the third consecutive week that the Aggies have had a Player of the Week. Yolanda McMillion won Offensive Player of the Week two weeks ago for her hat trick against Alabama A&M and her game-winning goal against Jacksonville State. Last week Aggie goal keeper Mikaela Bitner earned WAC Defensive Player of the Week honors for her shutout against North Dakota.

The Aggies wrap up non-conference play this weekend when they face Northern Colorado and Wyoming.

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Crystal Burns Earns WAC Offensive Player of the Week

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State sophomore forward/midfielder Crystal Burns was named Verizon WAC Offensive Player of the Week, for the week of Sept. 13-19. This is her first career honor, and she is the third Aggie to earn the recognition this season.

Burns scored four goals and added three assists in a pair of wins for the Aggie soccer team over Alabama A&M, 8-0, Sept. 17, and Lamar, 4-0, Sept. 19. Against Alabama A&M, she scored two goals and added an assist, including her second game-winning goal of the season. It was her first-ever multiple-goal contest at NM State. In a 4-0 win over Lamar, Burns tallied two goals and two assists. She posted an impressive .833 shots on goal percentage in the final two non-conference matches of the season, and currently leads the team with six assists and 16 points.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 09/20/10

The Aggie soccer team shut out Lamar 4-0 on Sunday afternoon to improve to 5-1-2 on the season. The Aggies have now pitched three consecutive shutouts and have not allowed a goal in the last 335 minutes dating back to a goal by Northern Arizona's Carolyn Savage 15 seconds before halftime. The Aggies have four shutouts through eight games this season matching the four shutouts they had all of last season.

The Aggie offense has also helped their defense as they've score early in each the last three games. The Aggie goals have come in the 9th, 2nd and 8th minutes. Coach Needham has made that a point of emphasis with his team. "We ask our team to set the tone early. See if we can get an early goal," says Coach Needham. "We talk about key moments of the game. The big moments for us, we talk about moments we call "Big Five" moments which would be first five minutes and last five minutes of the half and first five minutes of the second half and last five minutes of the game. Both Friday night and today I think we did a pretty nice job of handling those big five moments in our favor."

The Aggies finish the home non-conference portion of their schedule undefeated as they've gone 5-0-2 at home thus far. The Aggies finish up non-conference play on the road this week as they'll face Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colo. and Wyoming in Laramie, Wyo. Northern Colorado will be a stiff test for the Aggies as the Bears are 5-3-1 on the season and they've score 17 goals on the season while allowing only 11. Wyoming is much improved this year as they're 5-5 on the season. Wyoming has scored 14 goals on the season and has allowed just 15.

Coach Needham pointed to the fact that the Aggies are playing well heading into conference play, which was also his goal last season. "The big thing again is that we're playing our best soccer heading into conference and we're starting to hit on cylinders which is good."

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Aggie Soccer Shuts Out Lamar 4-0

The Aggie soccer team shut out the Lamar Cardinals 4-0 on Sunday afternoon as the team wrapped up it's non-conference home schedule.  The Aggies got a pair of goals from Crystal Burns, one from Cassie De Leon and one from Veronica Subu en route to the victory.  "Lamar was a much stronger test than Friday and I think we responded well," said head coach Michael Needham after the game.  "It was a different level of pressure, a different level of intensity in the game and I think our kids did a nice job of handling that, particularly in the second half and getting the ball on the ground and starting to play a little bit more."  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 09/19/10

By now you know the final score, 42-10 and unfortunately it was every bit the beating that the score indicates (it probably could have been worse but UTEP head coach Mike Price started pulling his starters and playing the second string).

UTEP had scored three touchdowns before the Aggie offense mustered a first down (the Aggies hadn't even gained enough yards in their first two drives combined to warrant a first down). When the Aggie offense finally got going, they looked good. They looked like the offense that scored on their second drive last week against San Diego State.

The Aggie defense struggled to get off the field all night long. UTEP converted six of their first seven third downs and also a 4th and 1. The Miners finished the night converting 9-of-17 third downs and as we noted yesterday, if the Aggie defense had a repeat performance of the San Diego State game on third down situations, it would be very tough to win the game.

The positives from last night? While there weren't many, the Aggie special teams played better than it did last week. Tyler Stampler hit a 31 yard field goal to essentially end the first half and the special teams blocked a field goal attempt by the Miners in the fourth quarter.

The offense put together two good second quarter drives, a nine play 63 yard touchdown drive and a 16 play 85 yard field goal drive. The Aggies' depleted offensive line also did not allow a sack the entire evening. The Aggie defense played well in the second quarter and combined with the offense, managed to trim a 21-point deficit down to a very manageable 11-point deficit by halftime.

It should also be noted that the Aggies' final drive of the game, the one in which they made it down to the Miners' 5-yard line. The replay really looked like Kenonte Howard landed with his toe inbounds before his heel hit the sideline on the third down pass in the endzone. We really thought it was a touchdown, unfortunately, the replay crew did not.

The Aggies have little time to regroup as they head to Lawrence, KS to take on a schizophrenic Jayhawk team. The Jayhawks lost 6-3 to FCS North Dakota State to open the season, then upset No. 15 Georgia Tech 28-25, then lost on Friday night to Southern Mississippi 31-16.

All-in-all it was a tough night for anyone wearing crimson.

The Aggie volleyball team fell 3-0 to Arizona yesterday afternoon. The Aggies hung tough with the Wildcats through about 16 points in the first two sets before Arizona pulled way. The Aggies pushed Arizona to extra points in the third set before falling 26-24.

Kayleigh Giddens and Jennah DeVries were named to the Arizona Invitational All-Tournament team.

The Aggies open up conference play on Thursday night against Louisiana Tech in Ruston. They'll then turn right around and face the Lady Techsters again on Saturday night in Las Cruces (the joy that is WAC scheduling).

Kelsey Brennan's status for the upcoming matches is still unknown, however, it sounds like the Aggies are going to take a cautious approach with their junior middle blocker in an attempt to make sure the ankle sprain does not turn into a lingering issue.

The Aggie soccer team is also back in action today as they wrap up their home non-conference slate against Lamar. The Cardinals fell 6-1 to UTEP on Friday night. The Aggies currently lead 1-0 at the time of this post. Cassie De Leon put the Aggies on the board in the 8th minute.

The match is being streamed live via Aggie Access (subscription required).

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NM State vs. UTEP Game Photos

NM State vs. UTEP Game Photos

Aggie Football Falls 42-10 In The Battle Of I-10

Matt ChristianThe 88th renewal of the Battle of I-10 belonged to the Miners as UTEP would score on their first three possessions to take a 21-0 lead before the Aggies would even get their first first down. "We just played poorly," said head coach DeWayne Walker after the game. "We knew they were going to be explosive on offense, right now we have some major problems that we need to figure out. We're not a good enough football team right now to be be in a scoring fest."

The Aggies would win the coin toss and defer to the second half giving UTEP the ball first. The Miners would get the ball on their own 26 yard line and drive nine plays covering 74 yards en route to a 7-0 lead. Trevor Vittatoe would find Julio Lopez on 2nd and 10 from the Aggie 18 for the touchdown. The Miners converted on 3rd and 7 twice during the drive.

The Aggies would start their first drive on their own 22 yard line but would go three and out.

The Miners would return the Tanner Rust punt to the Aggie 48. The Miners would convert on 3rd and 5 to the Aggie 36. After a holding penalty put the Miners back to the Aggie 46, the Aggies would force UTEP into a 3rd and 5 on the Aggie 20. George Callendar would stop Vernon Frazier for a four yard gain forcing a 4th and 1 on the Aggie 16. The Miners would convert the 4th down. Three plays later the Aggies would covert a 3rd and 4 on the Aggie eight as Trevor Vittatoe found Donald Kemp for the 8-yard touchdown pass putting the Miners up 14-0 with 2:33 left in the first quarter.

The Aggies would start their second drive on their own 20 yard line and after a seven yard completion to Marcus Allen gave the Aggies 3rd and 3 on their own 27, Kenny Turner would rush for two yards coming up just short of the first down. Tanner Rust would punt the ball to the UTEP 31 where Marlon McClure would return it to the UTEP 44.

Two consecutive offensive holding penalties would back the Miners up to their own 24 giving them 1st and 30. The Miners would start the second quarter with a 3rd and 25. The Aggie defense appeared to get the stop as Trevor Vittatoe's pass attempt to Kris Adams fell incomplete, however, a defensive pass interference penalty was called on Jonte Green giving the Miners a first and 10 on their own 44. The Aggie defense would again force a 3rd and long as UTEP faced a 3rd and 13 situation but again the Aggie defense would allow a third down conversion down to the Aggie 14 as Trevor Vittatoe found Pierce Hunter for a 45 yard gain. The Aggie coaching staff would call a timeout to try to settle down the defense, however, the Aggies would come back on the field and were flagged for having 12 men on the field giving UTEP a 1st and 5 at the Aggie 9. Two plays later the Miners would find the endzone for their third score. The extra point by Dakota Warren gave the Miners a 21-0 lead just three minutes into the second quarter.  Continue Reading This Post >>

NM State Kachina Classic Photos

NM State Kachina Classic Photos

Aggie Volleyball Hangs Tough With Arizona But Falls In 3-0 Sweep

Desiree ScottStarting three freshmen against a veteran Arizona team on Saturday afternoon, the Aggies would come up short falling in three sets to the host Wildcats, 25-18, 25-19 and 26-24. The Aggies would battle closely with the Wildcats in the first two sets before Arizona would pull away in the later stages of each set. The Aggies led by two points at 23-21 in set three but could not overcome the Wildcats. "We had three freshmen out there, sometimes four against a good Pac-10 team, that's difficult right now but there was definitely some competition," said head coach Mike Jordan after the match.

The Aggie defense had no answer for Arizona's Tiffany Owens who finished the match with a match-high 22 kills on 30 swings with just one attack error and an astounding .700 hitting percentage on the left side. She added 12 digs and a service ace. "We didn't play very good defense in the first game, it was close for a long time but we didn't capitalize on some defensive opportunities," said Coach Jordan.

The Aggies' freshman middle blocker Desire Scott, playing in place of injured junior Kelsey Brennan, finished with nine kills on 11 swings and committed no hitting errors for an .818 hitting percentage.

It was the sixth loss in a row for the Aggies, their longest losing steak since losing six in a row in the 1999 season, head coach Mike Jordan's second season at the helm.  Continue Reading This Post >>