Women's Soccer Travels To WAC Soccer Tournament

The San Jose State women’s soccer team heads to Fresno, Calif., this week with a berth in the NCAA Tournament on the line at the Western Athletic Conference Soccer Tournament. The Spartans will play Idaho in a first round match Thursday at noon.
First Round, Thursday vs. (5) Idaho, Noon
Semifinal, Friday* vs. (1) Utah State, Noon
Final, Sunday* vs. TBD, 1:00 p.m.
( ) – WAC Tournament seed * -- If advancing
2011 WAC SOCCER TOURNAMENT Six of the conference’s eight teams qualified for the 2011 version of the WAC Soccer Tournament, with Utah State and host Fresno State earning the No. 1 and 2 seed, respectively. The tournament, hosted by the Bulldogs on the new Soccer/Lacrosse Field, begins Thursday, Nov. 3 with two first round games. Game One pits No. 4 seed San Jose State against fifth-seeded Idaho at noon, while Game Two will see No. 3 Hawaii face No. 6 New Mexico State at 2:30 p.m.
Top-seeded Utah State will face the winner of the San Jose State-Idaho match at noon on Friday, Nov. 4. No. 2 Fresno State will take on the winner of the Hawaii-New Mexico State game at 2:30 p.m. Friday. The winners of the semifinal matches will meet at 1 p.m. on Sunday in the WAC Soccer Tournament Championship for the chance at an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
WAC TOURNEY BROADCAST LIVE ONLINE The Western Athletic Conference, in conjunction with its Web site partner NeuLion, has announced it will stream all of the matches of the 2011 WAC Soccer Tournament. Viewers can sign up by visiting www.WAC.tv.
The soccer tournament will be held in Fresno, Calif., Nov. 3-4, 6, and will feature the top six teams in the WAC. Two first round matches will be played on Thursday, Nov. 3 with the winners moving on to face the top two seeds in the semifinals the next day. The championship will be played at 1:00 p.m. (PT) on Sunday, Nov. 6.
All five matches can be seen on WAC.tv by accessing the soccer tournament package for a one-time price of $10.95.   WAC TOURNAMENT CENTRAL Fans can find all the information they want about every game of the 2011 WAC Soccer Tournament at the WAC’s Tournament Central Web site. Just go to http://ow.ly/7g2tM for live stats, streaming broadcasts, final box scores, game recaps and photos of each game.
ABOUT SAN JOSE STATE The Spartans (6-11-1, 4-2-1 WAC) split their final two games of the regular season on the road last weekend at Utah State and Nevada. In doing so, they earned their first road win of the season (2-0 at Nevada) and secured the No. 4 seed in this week’s WAC Soccer Tournament.
Kelsey Lord is the team’s leading scorer with six goals and four assists for 16 points. Lord is also the team’s top shooter with 38 shots and 16 on goal. Six different players have notched two or more assists for the Spartans this season. Goalkeeper Meghan Maiwald has logged over 1,600 minutes in goal, posting a team-high 100 saves and a 1.59 goals against average.
  • San Jose State has now qualified for seven consecutive WAC Tournaments
  • San Jose State owns one WAC Tournament title (2000)
  • San Jose State has twice been the WAC Tournament runner-up (2010, 2005), and has been a semifinalist on six other occasions (2009, '08, 1999, '98, '97, '96).
  • The Spartans are 8-9-2 all-time in the WAC Tournament.
  • SJSU has scored as many goals as they have allowed in the WAC Tournament, 21-21.
  • The Spartans are 1-1 in the WAC Tournament when going to penalty kicks to decide which team will advance after playing to a draw.
  • The Spartans' record in the WAC Tournament against 2011 WAC Soccer Tournament participants:
Utah State: 0-1-0 Fresno State: 0-3-1 (Have never played Hawaii, Idaho or New Mexico State in the WAC Tournament)
SERIES HISTORY Utah State holds a 3-2-2 advantage in the all-time series against SJSU. The Spartans won last season’s meeting 4-0 at Spartan Stadium, and are on a two-game unbeaten streak against the Aggies (1-0-1) dating to 2009. Utah State had a string of three wins and a five-game unbeaten streak (3-0-2) from 2006-09. San Jose State won the first meeting between the two teams 4-2 on Oct. 14, 2005.
The Spartans have commanded the all-time series against Nevada since it began in 2000, posting a 9-3-1 record. San Jose State won the teams’ first meeting 4-0 on Oct. 1, 2000. The Spartans have won four of their last five games against Nevada. They are 4-2 in the series as the road team, last falling in Reno, Nev., in 2006.
THE FIELD No. 1 Utah State The Aggies (13-4-2, 5-1-1 WAC) enter the WAC Soccer Tournament as the No. 1 seed after clinching the WAC regular season title with a 1-1 tie against Fresno State on Oct. 30. Utah State earned a first round bye with the top seed and will face the winner of the San Jose State-Idaho match on Friday. The Aggies are 2-6 all-time in the WAC Tournament in five appearances.
Shantel Flannery, a three-time WAC Offensive Player of the Week this season, leads the Aggies with 10 goals and four assists (24 points). Kendra Pemberton is tied for first in the conference with nine assists and has 19 points on the year. Goalkeeper Molli Merrill, a three-time WAC Defensive Player of the Week in 2011 (including last week’s honor), has logged over 1,700 minutes minding the net for Utah State posting nine shutouts.
No. 2 Fresno State The Bulldogs (10-4-5, 4-1-2 WAC) secured a No. 2 seed in the WAC Soccer Tournament and a first round bye with a 1-1 tie at regular season champion Utah State on Oct. 30. Fresno State is hosting the tournament for the second time in the tournament’s 16-year history. Fresno State has a first round bye for the fourth time in program history. Last time it earned a bye the team went on to win the tournament title (2008) as the No. 2 seed.
Callie Hancock leads all Fresno State scorers with 25 points on 11 goals and three assists. Her goals and points totals are also tops in the conference. Goalkeeper Katie DeVault has 102 saves and seven shutouts this season. She has posted a 1.11 goals against average.
No. 3 Hawai’i The Rainbow Wahine (5-11-1, 4-2-1 WAC) will compete in the conference tournament after a two-year hiatus, earning the No. 3 seed after a 1-0 overtime win at Louisiana Tech on Oct. 30. The Rainbow Wahine have won one WAC Tournament title (2007) and are 4-7-1 (.375) in nine all-time appearances.
Brittani Lum is Hawai’i’s top scorer with five goals and an assist (11 points). 12 different players have scored at least one goal for the Rainbow Wahine, with four scoring at least three. Rachel Domingo is the team’s leader in assists with five. Kanani Taaca has started every game in goal for Hawai’i, holding a 1.89 goals against average with 81 saves and three shutouts.
No. 5 Idaho The Vandals (7-9-3, 3-3-1 WAC) play in their second-consecutive WAC Soccer Tournament this week. The Vandals earned the fifth seed after posting a 3-3-1 record in conference play. Idaho is 3-2-1 in its last six matches and plays its fifth neutral-site game of the year on Thursday. Seven different Vandals have scored a goal this year, while 10 different players have registered a point.
The Vandals are led in scoring by junior forward Chelsea Small, whose 10 goals and 24 points are tied for second in the WAC this year. Junior forward Jill Flockhart leads the team and is tied for third in the conference with six total assists. Junior goalkeeper Caroline Towles has seen 991 minutes in goal this year and ranks second in the WAC with 5.64 saves per game this year.
No. 6 New Mexico State The Aggies (9-7-3, 2-3-2 WAC) are partaking in their first appearance in the WAC Soccer Tournament under first-year head coach Blair Quinn. It is the Aggies' second showing in their three-year existence and the first trip since the 2009 season.
Yolanda McMillion leads the team with 14 points (five goals, four assists). Teammate Katie Smith is right behind her with 11 points. 12 different players have recorded assists for New Mexico State. Goalkeeper Erin Wosick has played nearly 1,400 minutes and recorded 67 saves while logging four shutouts with a 1.10 goals against average.
SPREADING THE SCORING 12 different players have scored at least one of the Spartans’ 18 goals this season. Kelsey Lord leads the way with six tallies, her most recent coming in the form of a game-winner against Louisiana Tech on Oct. 23. Catherine Ruder scored her first collegiate goal on Aug. 26 against No. 13 UC Irvine, and McColl Matthews got her first collegiate score Sept. 9 at CSU Bakersfield. Jessica Ingram tallied a goal Aug. 28 at UC Riverside, while Shanelle Furner and Kelsy Holm both notched scores Sept. 6 against UC Davis. Lauren Sanchez got on the board with a goal Sept. 18 against Portland State. Kayla Santacruz tallied a game-tying goal against Idaho on Oct. 2. Abigail Hernandez netted her first collegiate goal and Megan Molina got her first of the season against Dominican (Calif.) on Oct. 4. Cheryl Kute notched a header goal versus New Mexico State on Oct. 21 and Maria Esquivias got her first score of the year against Louisiana Tech on Oct. 23.
FIRST HALF SHUTDOWN The Spartans have kept their opponents off the scoreboard before halftime in 11 of the team’s 18 games this season. San Jose State has limited opponents to nine first half goals in 18 contests, and less than 50 percent of opponents’ shots have come in the first 45 minutes.
RECORDS FOR LORD The weekend of Oct. 21-23 was full of milestones for junior forward Kelsey Lord. Over the course of two games, she set the SJSU career record for assists with her 18th and tied the career record for game-winning goals with her fourth of the season and 10th of her career. Lord has already this season moved into the top three for career records in goals (21) and points (60), and sits sixth all-time in shots (130).
SHUTOUTS FOR MAIWALD Maiwald’s solo shutout of Nevada Oct. 30 was the ninth of her career, moving her into third all-time at San Jose State. Her combined shutout on Oct. 4 against Dominican with teammate Gladis Covarrubias gives her 10 total shutouts in her career, tied for second all-time at SJSU. Maiwald’s predecessor Nina Butera (2007-09) also had 10 career combined shutouts.
WAC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK San Jose State has earned two Verizon WAC Player of the Week awards this season. The latest came on the defensive side with senior goalkeeper Meghan Maiwald earning the honor for Oct. 17-23. She ended the week with a scoreless streak of 137 minutes, 17 seconds, including a solo shutout of Louisiana Tech on Senior Day, Oct. 23. She led the Spartans to two WAC wins, helping the team secure a place in the WAC Tournament for the seventh straight season.
The Spartans’ first player of the week recognition of 2011 came when senior Lauren Sanchez was named the Verizon WAC Offensive Player of the Week for the week of Sept. 12-18. Sanchez scored the game-winning goal in the Spartans’ first win of the season, a 1-0 triumph over Portland State.
FALLING GOALS AGAINST Senior goalkeeper Meghan Maiwald  tightened her lock on opponents’ scoring opportunities in the month of October. In eight games, Maiwald dropped her season goals against average from 2.17 to 1.59. She has posted a 0.86 goals against average in 728 minutes, 44 seconds minding the net during that stretch with 43 saves and three shutouts: a solo job against Louisiana Tech on Oct. 23 and another at Nevada on Oct. 30, and a combined shutout of Dominican on Oct. 4.
PLAYING THEM CLOSE SJSU has been involved in eight one-goal games this year, holding a 3-5 record in those matches. 14 of the Spartans’ 18 games have been decided by two goals or less. Of the Spartans’ 10 losses this season, five of them have come by one goal, including three straight one-goal setbacks to open the season.
HEAD COACH JEFF LEIGHTMAN Jeff Leightman is in his fourth season leading the San Jose State women’s soccer program. Leightman has collected a 34-35-11 record at the helm of the Spartans while winning back-to-back Western Athletic Conference regular season titles in 2009-10 and leading the team to the WAC Soccer Tournament in each year of his tenure.