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."

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Aggie Soccer Ties Hawai'i 2-2, Keep WAC Tournament Hopes Alive

The Aggie soccer team rallied twice to tie the Wahine on Sunday night at the Waipi'o Peninsula Soccer Stadium.

The Aggies came out and put early pressure on the Hawai'i defense but UH would score in the 8th minute beating the Aggies in a 3-on-4 situation as Lauren Ho would hit Rachel Domingo on a cross. Domingo would beat Erin Wosick in the top left corner.

The Aggies would respond however as just two minutes later, Crystal Burns would battle on the end line for a ball and squeeze a pass to Yolanda McMillion who would send a ball in from just in front of the net.

The match would head to halftime tied 1-1 as neither team would be able to score in the final 35 minutes of the first half.

Hawai'i would go ahead 2-1 on a Brittany Lum free kick in the 49th minute that beat goal keeper Erin Wosick. The free kick would find the top right corner of the goal.

Once again the Aggies would dig deep as a corner kick by Mary Kate Koziol in the 58th minute would sail in front of the top left corner of the goal where Lauren Cope would cause enough of a distraction in front of the leaping goal keeper to cause her to mishandle the ball sending it into the back of the net.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 10/24/10

The Aggie football team lost to Idaho on Saturday afternoon 37-14. Unfortunately for the Aggies it was all but over by halftime thanks in large part to a 31-7 lead by the Vandals. The Aggies were able to outscore their third straight opponent in the second half as they won the second half 7-6 over Idaho, however, penalties killed the Aggies in the first half.

One drive in particular typified the Aggies' problems. The Aggies got the ball at the 9:24 mark of the second quarter down 24-0 and on the first play from scrimmage, Matt Christian completed a pass to Kenny Turner for a 59-yard touchdown. However, the Aggies were flagged for an illegal shift. It's a simple 5-yard penalty but it cost them 59 yards and seven points. The Aggies shook off the devastating penalty and drove 25 yards on two plays, both runs by Kenny Turner. They had the ball at the Vandals' 39 yard line with a 1st and 10. The Aggies are called for a false start. Two plays later on 3rd and 13, Matt Christian completes a 19-yard pass to Kyle Nelson down to the Idaho 23. However, the Aggies were called for an illegal formation for having five men in the backfield. Another 5-yard penalty but it cost the Aggies 19 yards and a first down and potentially cost them at least three if not seven more points. Just on that drive alone the Aggies were flagged for 15 yards in penalties that cost them 78 yards in gained yardage and it cost them a sure touchdown on the Kenny Turner play and potentially three to seven more points later in the drive when they should have had 1st and 10 at the Vandals' 23.

Defensively it was a similar story, however, the penalties were a little bit worse. The Aggies had the Vandals in 3rd and medium to long situations on two separate drives. They were called for a face mask penalty and a pass interference penalty. Those two penalties gave the Vandals 14 points because on both occasions just two plays after those penalties were called, the Vandals scored touchdowns.

Just based on those three series, had the Aggies played a little more disciplined football, the halftime score could have been 17-14 in favor of Idaho (at worst 20-10). Instead, the halftime score was 31-7 in favor of Idaho.

It's one thing to be physically overmatched in a game like the Aggies were against Boise State. It's a completely different thing to lose a game because you beat yourselves. That's what happened on Saturday. That's surely something that Coach Walker is not pleased about, particularly seven games into the season. The Aggies will need to clean up their play on Saturday when they host San Jose State for Homecoming. SJSU is banged up, really really banged up and it's the Aggies' most winnable game left on the schedule, one that sees them play Louisiana Tech, Nevada and Hawai'i to close out the season.

The Aggie volleyball team swept their way to their seventh consecutive victory and improved to 9-1 in WAC play as they have a week to prepare for No. 4 Hawai'i. The Aggies hit .444 against Utah State, their second highest percentage of the season, second only to the .500 they laid on Louisiana Tech (a decidedly worse team than Utah State).

Rocio Gutierrez rebounded from a tough night against Nevada with a double-double effort recording 12 kills and 10 digs. Kelsey Brennan had an errorless night with 12 kills and hit .706. Kayleigh Giddens had 17 kills and hit .406 against the third best blocking team in the WAC.

The Aggies have now put themselves in the same position they were in heading into the 2008 match at Hawai'i. They have a chance to hand Hawai'i a loss which, if the Aggies were to finish out conference play unblemished, would give them at least a share of the regular season title.

The Aggie soccer team is in Hawai'i today to face the Wahine. The Aggies and Wahine are both fighting for their postseason lives. A win by the Aggies tonight keeps them in the hunt for one of the six spots in the conference tournament. The Aggies did not get any help this weekend from Utah State as the top-ranked UtAgs lost to Fresno State on Friday night meaning NM State must win tonight to keep pace with the Bulldogs who now have six points.

We spoke with Coach Needham about tonight's match and what the Aggies need to do to get a victory. "Do what we do. That's something we've been trying to preach all year and it's something we get away from time to time," said Coach Needham. "I think our soccer has been better this year, the challenge is getting results when you're trying to play better soccer than you did the year before."

He added, "When we play we're pretty good, the idea is to get the ball on the floor and try to get them to chase us and adjust to us. They try to do something that's going to try to disrupt what you do. I like that because that keeps me in a system that I'm playing so it's not me adjusting to somebody else."

"I think it'll be a great game. The energy will be there. They're in the same situation as us, they're in a must-win situation. It's a huge game for them."

Tonight's match kicks off at 9:00 p.m. MT. There will be no Live Stats for the match, however, the match will be streamed online via the UH athletic website for a small fee.

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Aggies Sweep Utah State For Seventh Straight Victory

Kelsey BrennanThe Aggie volleyball team won their seventh consecutive match by sweeping Utah State in Logan on Saturday night to improve to 9-1 in WAC play and 15-9 overall. The Aggies rallied to win the first set 25-23, controlled the second set winning 25-18 before holding off the UtAgs 25-21 in the third set.

The Aggies hit .444 for the match and committed just 12 attack errors, four in each set. The Aggies hit .432 in the firs set recording 20 kills then followed that with 17 kills on a .481 hitting percentage and then closed out the match hitting .429 in the third set and recording 19 kills.

Kayleigh Giddens recorded 17 kills on 32 swings with just four attack errors to hit .406 while fellow outside hitter Rocio Gutierrez added 12 kills on 21 swings with just four attack errors to hit .381. Middle blocker Kelsey Brennan also finished with 12 kills and did not make an attack error in 17 swings and finished with a .706 hitting percentage.

The Aggies trailed Utah State 6-2 early in the first set but battled back to tie the set at 8-8. From that point in the set neither team would lead by more than two points as the set saw 10 ties and four lead changes leaving the two teams tied at 22 points apiece. The Aggies would take a 23-22 lead behind a kill from Kelsey Brennan which would force a Utah State timeout. The Aggies would get a kill by Rocio Gutierrez to set up match point at 24-22. Utah State would get a kill by Shantell Durrant to cut the Aggies' lead to 24-23 but the Aggies would close out the set on a kill by Kelsey Brennan winning 25-23.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Aggies Lose 37-14 To Idaho

The Aggie football team fell behind 17-0 in the first quarter and 31-0 in the second quarter as Idaho scored on all three first quarter drives and could not recover falling 37-14 in Moscow on Saturday afternoon.

The Aggies would get a pair of touchdowns, one right before halftime and one right before the end of the game to make the score respectable but penalties would hurt the Aggies all afternoon. The Aggies were flagged 11 times for 85 yards in the first half turning what could have been a competitive game into a blowout.

In the first half the Aggies were flagged six times for 35 yards in penalties that wiped out 87 gained yards including a 59 yard touchdown pass. On defense the Aggies were only penalized three times for 36 yards, however, all three resulted in first downs, two resulted in third downs being converted and those two penalties resulted in touchdowns just two plays following the penalty.  Continue Reading This Post >>

The Daily Aggie :: 10/23/10

The Aggie football team takes the field today in Moscow, Idaho as they try to win in Moscow for the first time since a 35-31 victory in 2002. Since the year 2000 all of the games have been decided by 15 points or less and seven of the meetings have been decided by eight points or less.

The Idaho offense has been consistently good for the Vandals this season. They're averaging 32.2 points per game and are allowing 23.7 points per game and just 6.7 points per game in their three victories this season.

The Aggie defense will need a strong effort today as Idaho is 4th in the WAC averaging 437.8 yards per game and are second in the league in passing yards per game at 348.3 behind only a resurgent Hawai'i pass game. The Aggies actually average more yards per game on the ground (121 YPG) than the Vandals do (89.5 YPG) and Idaho is allowing 169.3 yards per game on the ground this season.

The Aggie ground game started to get going last week with both Seth Smith and Kenny Turner both rushing for a combined 170 yards.

Also look for Matt Christian to try to get the ball into Taveon Rogers' and Marcus Allen's hands more this week as Coach Walker noted in this week's interview that the offense has to try to find a way to get their playmakers the ball more.

If the defense can have a strong performance like they did against New Mexico and like they did in the second half against Fresno State this will be a very winnable game for the Aggies. However, if they give up big plays like they did against Fresno State in the first half and in their other losses, it will be a long day for the Aggies.

Today's game is scheduled for a 3:00 p.m. MT kickoff and the game will be aired on AggieVision as well as streamed online via ESPN3.com. Additionally, radio coverage will be available and streaming audio will also be available via Aggie Access (subscription required).

The Aggie volleyball team continues their road trip as they face Utah State tonight at 8:30 p.m. MT. The Aggies and Aggies are doing battle for the first time this season. Utah State is off to their fourth best start in program history at 15-5, however, they are just 3-4 in conference play. Utah State is led by Liz McArthur who is averaging 4.31 kills per set on the season and is hitting .243. Josselyn White and Shay Sorensen are averaging 2.34 and 2.22 kills per set and Sorensen his hitting .254 on the season.

Utah State is another team that has good floor defense. They're averaging 13.65 digs per set and are led by Christine Morrill who is averaging 4.53 digs per set. Morrill became Utah State's all-time digs leader last week. Utah State is also a good blocking team averaging 2.76 blocks per set with Shantell Durrant averaging 1.36 blocks per set and Katie Astle averaging 1.10 blocks per set.

Tonight's match is scheduled for an 8:30 p.m. MT first serve and can be heard on the radio on KSNM AM 570 in Las Cruces with streaming audio available via Aggie Access (subscription required). Live Stats will also be available via the Utah State athletic website.

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NM State vs. Boise State/North Texas Swimming & Diving Photos

NM State vs. Boise State/North Texas Swimming & Diving Photos

The Daily Aggie :: 10/22/10

The Aggie volleyball team picked up a solid victory last night against Nevada in Reno. The Aggies, as they'd done in three of their previous four matches (Fresno State, Boise State and Idaho), dropped the first set. But as they had done in each of those matches, they made the adjustments they needed to make and earned the victory.

In an interview after the Aggies' match against Nevada on Sunday, Nevada's head coach Devin Scruggs said that despite losing 3-0, she felt that their team had not played particularly well and yet they had a pair of match points and was encouraged that they were that close despite not playing well.

Last night the Wolf Pack played much better but still lost to the Aggies. They out stats'd the Aggies hitting .239 to .175, outblocked the Aggies 13-6 and were outdug by the Aggies by just three 62-59. However, the Aggies were able to hit .310 and .302 in sets two and four and in set four the Aggies had 19 kills.

The win gives the Aggies some serious cushion between themselves and the rest of the league as they still hold out hopes of tracking down the Wahine. The Aggies have just one conference loss and are now three games ahead of everyone else in the loss column and they now hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over Nevada.

The Aggies' next two opponents, Utah State and No. 4 Hawai'i, both won their matches last night with ease. The UtAgs swept Louisiana Tech winning 25-13, 25-23, 25-12 while Hawai'i crushed Idaho 25-20, 25-7, 25-19.

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bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Harkins Interview :: 10/22/10

bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on the performance of your two teams at the Pre-Nationals this past weekend?
Paul Harkins: I thought the men ran pretty solid, especially for a field that size as well as how many people were there and how competitive it was. The men's side had 10 nationally ranked teams in their race. They also were fighting pretty hard to get to Utah State. They came up a little short but not that short. I don't think it's an unreachable goal for conference next week.

The women, I thought a couple ran fairly well. I thought the twins did a decent job but our pack is a little bit too spread out at this point. They're a very young team and going to a meet like that is an experience that is definitely a shock the first time you go.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Aggies Overcome First Set Loss To Defeat Nevada 3-1

Kayleigh GiddensThe Aggie volleyball team was dominated in the first set against Nevada falling 25-16 but regrouped to take the final three sets 25-22, 25-20 and 25-21 to notch their ninth consecutive victory over Nevada. With the victory the Aggies improve to 8-1 in conference play and 15-9 overall.

The Aggies got a match-high 23 kills from Kayleigh Giddens as she nearly posted her 12th double-double of the season recording nine digs. Setter Jennah DeVries posted her sixth double-double of the season finishing with 42 assists and 11 digs. DeVries also posted five kills in the match and had two service aces.

The Aggies led Nevada 4-3 early in the first set but a 6-0 run gave the Wolf Pack a 9-4 lead. The Aggies would trim the Wolf Pack lead to three points on several occasions, the last time coming at 16-13, hwoever, they would get no closer the remainder of the set. The Wolf Pack would go on a 3-0 run to push their lead to 19-13 and would outscore the Aggies to take the set 25-16. The Wolf Pack hit .286 in the match with 15 kills and five attack errors while the Aggies would hit .000 recording nine kills but also nine attack errors.  Continue Reading This Post >>