Women's Soccer News

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Women's Soccer News

BREAKING: Aggie Soccer Head Coach Michael Needham Headed To University Of Rhode Island

Written By: Rhode Island Athletic Dept.

KINGSTON, R.I. - Michael Needham has been named the seventh head coach in the history of the University of Rhode Island's women's soccer program, it was announced today by Director of Athletics Thorr Bjorn.

Needham, a 1996 graduate of the University Rhode Island, returns to Kingston after a two-year stint as head coach at New Mexico State in which he oversaw the start of the Aggies soccer program.

"We are very excited about having Michael Needham return to URI to lead our women's soccer program," said Bjorn. "He is a proven winner with a passion for URI soccer. I believe our women's soccer program should compete year-in and year-out for an A-10 championship and the NCAA tournament. I am very confident that Michael is the person that will be able to achieve those goals for the University of Rhode Island."  Continue Reading This Post >>

Aggie Soccer Earns NSCAA Team Academic Award

The New Mexico State soccer team has earned the National Soccer Coaches of America/adidas (NSCAA) Team Academic Award after posting a 3.33 grade point average.

NM State is one of five Western Athletic Conference squads to be recognized along with Boise State, Louisiana Tech, San Jose State and Utah State. The Aggies' 3.33 GPA was highest in the WAC.

A total of 630 soccer teams (194 men, 436 women) posted a team grade point average of 3.0 or higher earning the NSCAA Team Academic Award for the 2009-10 academic year. Over 100 more women's soccer teams were honored this season. There were 125 schools that had both their men's and women's teams honored which was up from 97 last season.

The Aggies finished the 2010 season with a 7-8-1 record in the program's second year of existence.

WAC Schools Earning the 2009-10 NSCAA/adidas Team Academic Award
School, Coach, GPA
Boise State, Steve Lucas, 3.19
Louisiana Tech, Kevin Sherry, 3.29  Continue Reading This Post >>

Crystal Burns Earns Second Team All-WAC Honors

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

Crystal BurnsLAS CRUCES, N.M. - Sophomore midfielder/forward Crystal Burns was named second team All-WAC, the conference office announced. This is her first career award, which is voted on by the WAC coaches, and the third in the Aggies’ two-year history.

Burns led the Aggies in game-winning goals (3), points (20), shots (40) and assists (8) in 2010. She also ranked second on the team in goals (6).

“Crystal did a great job for us this year,” head coach Michael Needham said. “She is a special attacking player and has devoted herself to being a more complete player. We are honored to have her receive this recognition, she played limited minutes early in the conference season due to injury, but bounced back well and I am thrilled that the coaches in the conference voted in her favor.”

Earlier this season, Burns claimed a conference award when she was named the WAC Offensive Player of the Week, Sept. 20. In the league, she ranked in the top 10 in many categories and was second in assists and assists per game.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Winning The WAC, One Tall Order

Written By: Russell Barns for NM State Media Relations

Lauren CopeIn most areas involving competition, size matters. The stronger, faster and more physically formidable one is the better, except for maybe women’s soccer.

Lauren Cope or "Copee" to her friends is one such player. Listed at 5-2 she may be short even for soccer standards but that is her secret weapon.

"I don’t mind being short. Actually, I kind of like it I'm able to play head games with the opposition," Cope said. "They (opponents) get mad if I beat them for an air ball. I can get in their heads."

As a starting midfielder/forward, her main attribute is quickness. One doesn’t have to have blazing speed or overpowering strength. Cope can get to the ball before most other players.

"It's a matter of staying focused; being aware of the field and players. Knowing how the game plays."

Last year as a freshman, Cope had great success on the pitch. She was named WAC Offensive Player of the Week and scored several important goals that propelled the Aggies victory.  Continue Reading This Post >>

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 >>

Mikaela Bitner Named WAC Defensive Player Of The Week

DENVER, CO - New Mexico State’s Mikaela Bitner has been named the Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week for the week of September 6th-12th.

Bitner, a redshirt freshman goalkeeper from Albuquerque, N.M. (Sandia HS), anchored the NM State defense in a 1-0 shutout victory over North Dakota on Friday night. "She deserves it, she's done an outstanding job for us in the goal," said head coach Michael Needham. "She's made some really big saves at big times for us and all-in-all she's done an exceptional job to this point."

Bitner recorded a season-high nine saves in the game against the Fighting Sioux and on the season has .892 save percentage and is allowing 0.72 goals per game en route to helping the Aggies post a 3-1-2 record through six games in the 2010 season.

This is the first Player of the Week award for Bitner and the second of the 2010 season for the Aggies as Yolanda McMillion was named Offensive Player of the Week last week.

McMillion Earns WAC Player Of The Week Honors

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State sophomore forward Yolanda McMillion has been named WAC Offensive Player of the Week, for the week of Aug. 23-29. This is the first career honor for McMillion.

An Alamogordo, N.M. native, McMillion led the Aggie soccer team to the Hotel Encanto Aggie Classic title with the first hat trick in school history. McMillion scored three goals in NM State’s 8-0 victory against Prairie View A&M, Aug. 29. She also scored the game-winning goal in a 2-1 victory over Jacksonville State, Aug. 27. For the week, McMillion posted a team-high four goals, two game-winning goals, and eight points with a .714 shots on goal percentage. She also became the first Aggie in school history to score multiple goals in a single match.

"Yolanda was great for us this weekend," head coach Michael Needham said. "She works very hard and her goals were a direct effect of that hard work."  Continue Reading This Post >>

Aggie Soccer Picked To Finish 8th In Preseason Coaches Poll

Written By: WAC Media Relations

DENVER, CO - Utah State has been selected as the favorite for the 2010 Western Athletic Conference season as determined by a vote by the league’s nine head coaches. The 2010 WAC preseason all-conference soccer team and Players of the Year were also announced as voted on by the league’s head coaches.

Utah State placed second last season in the WAC with a 5-2-1 regular season record. The Aggies received three first place votes for 59 points. Utah State returns 16 letterwinners, including eight starters from last year’s squad. Boise State was voted to finish second, receiving six first place votes with a tally of 58 total points. The Broncos won the 2009 WAC Tournament championship. Last season’s regular season champion, San Jose State, received 40 points to place third.  Continue Reading This Post >>

Aggie Soccer Kick-Off Party On The Patio, August 12th

As promised, I am writing to update you with our plans for our Aggie Soccer Kick-off Party on the Patio. We will be getting together at 6:30PM on August 12, 2010 at The Game Sports Bar and Grill. This will be an amazing opportunity for you to have a fun evening with everyone in our program. All coaches and players will be in attendance and look forward to the opportunity to get to know you better and for you to get to know us a better. Everyone is welcome, we will have schedule posters on hand and sharpies ready for autographs with the kids (and adults).

This will not be your average event, we are looking to have a fun evening with our fans or as we call them in soccer, our supporters. This event will expose our new players to how great the fans of Las Cruces are. I think back to one of our seniors last year, Katie Graul (Transfer Goalkeeper, First Team All-WAC), in a conversation after one of our games, she explained to all of our young players just how special it is to play here at New Mexico State and to play in Las Cruces, NM. She had played three years of collegiate soccer at other schools and had never seen the support you provided for us. She simply looked at me and asked if she could say something, I responded of course, this was her address to the team....

"Guys, look around, this is amazing, can you believe you are playing women's college soccer in front of this many people, awesome, just awesome guys!"

I wanted to reach out and personally invite you to our Aggie Soccer Kick-Off Party on the Patio. You support means so much not only to our program, but also to me personally. Thank you for your continued support of our program, see you on the 12th, come help us start this season off right!  Continue Reading This Post >>