29 Oct NM State Ends Regular Season, Honors Seniors in Saturday Night Showdown with Dixie State
NM State (8-10, 4-5 WAC) vs. Dixie State (6-12-1, 2-6-1 WAC)
Saturday, Oct. 30 | 7:00 p.m. | NM State Soccer Athletics Complex | Las Cruces, N.M.
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• For the final time, a group of 11 NM State women’s soccer seniors will take the field at the NM State Soccer Athletics Complex as the Aggies host Dixie State Saturday night in their WAC regular-season finale.
• Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m., but approximately 40 minutes prior to the start of the match NM State’s senior class which includes the likes of Cindy Alvarez, Lece Aviles, Alexa Barrera, Tia Gladem, Corey Kizer, Katie Martinez, Mia Montano, Shea O’Connor, Grace Olson, Annalise Pacheco and Emma Smith will be honored for their contributions to NM State soccer in a pre-match ceremony.
• One of the newest teams both in the WAC and in the NCAA Division I ranks, Dixie State had not played NM State prior to the 2021 calendar year. The Aggies hold a 2-0-1 all-time record against the Trailblazers with two of the three games having been played at the NM State Soccer Athletics Complex.
• The Aggies outscored the Trailblazers 3-2 in last season’s pair of showdowns. Two of the Aggies’ three goals against the Trailblazers came off the feet of Hannah Leitner while Megan Ormson added another.
• This year, NM State opened WAC play with a 2-1 triumph over the Trailblazers in St. George, Utah. Shea O’Connor started the scoring with a penalty kick goal in the 29th minute before Bella Garcia fired in the eventual game-winner in the 78th minute.
LAST TIME OUT | Utah Valley 2, at NM State 0 | Thursday, Oct. 28
• Unable to get much of anything going offensively against one of the league’s best defensive squads, NM State found itself on the wrong end of a 2-0 decision to Utah Valley Thursday night.
• The Aggies were out-shot by a 15-5 margin and put only three shots on goal through the 90-minute tilt.
• Senior goalkeeper Makenna Gottschalk finished with five saves in the setback.
• NM State fell to 0-10-3 all-time against Utah Valley with Thursday night’s loss.
ABOUT THE AGGIES
• With their loss to Utah Valley Thursday night, the Aggies are now locked in as the third seed in the WAC’s West Division for the upcoming WAC Women’s Soccer Tournament. Depending on what happens elsewhere around the WAC Saturday, the Aggies will play either Abilene Christian, Lamar or Sam Houston in the first round of the WAC Tournament Wednesday.
• The Aggies’ four WAC wins are tied for the most regular-season league wins in the history of the program. NM State’s eight wins so far in 2021 are the third-highest single-season win total in program history as well as the most in a single season under fourth-year head coach Rob Baarts.
• Baarts has succeeded in increasing the Aggies’ win total every single season during his tenure. After winning just two matches in 2018, the Aggies won four in 2019 and five in the 2021 spring season.
• Fifteen NM State players have points to their credit this season. Among other WAC clubs, only Grand Canyon (20 players) and SFA (17 players) have more student-athletes who have either scored goals or registered assists in 2021.
• NM State goalkeeper Makenna Gottschalk has been steadily moving up the program’s all-time statistical charts in a number of categories. For her career, the Broomfield, Colo., product has amassed 141 saves – the fourth-most in the history of the program. Gottschalk’s 82 saves this season rank as the sixth-most in a single season in program history as well as the third-highest total among all WAC goalkeepers.
• In terms of total wins, Gottschalk has eight this season and 11 for her NM State career. Her eight this year are tied for the second-most in a single season in program history while her 11 career victories are the second-most in Aggie lore, too.
• Seven different players have accounted for game-winning goals for the Aggies this season. That’s the highest number of players with game-winners to their credit in a single season in program history.
• Nearly one-third of the Aggies’ 16 points (five goals, six assists) in their last seven matches have come courtesy of sophomore midfielder Loma McNeese. McNeese has scored two of the Aggies’ last five goals and has dished out one of their six assists.
• Bella Garcia has accounted for two of the Aggies’ seven game-winning goals this year which is the third-highest single-season total in program history.
• Various NM State players have been stepping up in a big way this season. NM State has not had the benefit of a fully healthy roster since early September due to multiple injuries.
• Hannah Leitner is the program’s all-time leader in assists with 12 throughout her career in the Crimson and White. Additionally, Leitner ranks eighth all-time on the NM State goal scoring charts with 10 in her career. Three of those goals have been of the game-winning variety, making Leitner seventh all-time in NM State history in that statistical category.
• Three other Aggies have been making their way up the program’s all-time goal scoring charts since the season began, too. Shea O’Connor has booted in 11 during her NM State career. Those 11 goals are the seventh-most all-time.
• Like Leitner, Corey Kizer is tied for eighth all-time in career goals scored with 10. On the year Kizer has accounted for two of the Aggies’ 18 scores.
• Possessing a varied offense, NM State boasts seven players with multiple goals this season. Among all other WAC teams, only Grand Canyon (10 players) and SFA (nine player) boast more players with multiple goals this year.
SCOUTING DIXIE STATE | ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATISTICS
• Unable to compete in the WAC Tournament as a result of being in a transitional period to the NCAA Division I ranks, Dixie State’s tilt with NM State Saturday night will serve as the Trailblazers’ season finale.
• Thursday night, the Trailblazers’ two-match winning streak was snapped in Phoenix, Ariz., as they dropped a 4-1 decision at WAC West Division co-leader Grand Canyon. Kalea Woodyatt pumped in her fifth goal of the season for Dixie State in the defeat.
• Woodyatt leads Dixie State in both goals (five) and points (12) while Jill Bennett is tied atop the team’s leaderboard with Woodyatt in terms of points. Bennett’s four assists lead the team while her four goals are tied for second among all Trailblazers.
• In net, Kayla Gonzalez has stopped more potential goals than any other WAC netminder. Her 101 total saves average out to a WAC-best 6.73 per match.
• Dixie State is going in search of its first WAC road victory of the season. The Trailblazers are 0-3-1 in WAC road tilts through the year and have been outscored 9-3 in league road tilts.
COMING UP NEXT
• For the second-straight season, NM State has clinched a berth in the WAC Tournament. The Aggies will head to Abilene, Texas, as the third seed in the West Division and will open their tournament run at 3:00 p.m. MT Wednesday afternoon from Elmer Gray Stadium on the campus of Abilene Christian. NM State will play either Lamar or Sam Houston in one of the two first-round tilts.
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