Aztecs to Face Wyoming Friday on The Mtn.
Nov. 2, 2011
SAN DIEGO -
Mountain West Championship - Semifinal Round
(3)Wyoming (11-5-4; 3-1-2 MW) vs. (2)San Diego State (10-6-3; 4-1-1 MW)
Friday, Nov. 4 | Noon MT | The Mtn. | UNM Soccer Complex | Albuquerque, N.M.
Aztec Story Lines
- This season, the MW Championship is being held at UNM Soccer Complex in Albuquerque, N.M. In 2012, San Diego State will once again play host to the conference tournament as it did in 2010. SDSU was awarded the Championship after it finished in second place.
- Wyoming defeated sixth-seeded TCU in double overtime, 2-1, in the quarterfinal round on Wednesday afternoon.
- Friday's game will be televised live on The Mtn. In San Diego, The Mtn. can be seen on Cox Cable channel 320. For satellite customers across America, The Mtn. can be found on DIRECTV channel 616.
- San Diego State is coming off a 2-1 double-overtime win at UNLV last Friday. The Aztecs received a goal in the 26th minute from Sophie Metz, but the Rebels tied the score in the 79th minute. In the second overtime session, Megan Jurado was taken down in the box and Cat Walker converted the penalty kick in the 104th minute to lift SDSU to victory.
- The win at UNLV secured second place and the second seed in this week's MW Championship. San Diego State had a chance to win the regular-season title, but needed TCU to defeat New Mexico in Albuquerque. The Lobos won, 7-1.
- SDSU carries a season-long three-game winning streak into the MW semifinal game, but more impressive is its current five-game road winning streak. The road winning streak is the team's longest since its MW championship season in 2009 when it also won five straight.
- San Diego State is playing its best soccer of the season having won five of its last six with the four wins coming by way of shutout. During the current six-game stretch, the Aztecs have allowed just two goals.
- SDSU has given up just two goals in its last 579 minutes, 53 seconds. In road games, the Aztecs have allowed one goal in their last 489 minutes, 53 seconds.
- San Diego State's defense has been stellar of late. As mentioned earlier, the Aztecs allowed two goals (0.31 GAA), which was a league low for MW games only, and posted a Mountain West-high nine shutouts (all games). SDSU also notched a league-best four shutouts in conference games only.
- With 10 victories to date, San Diego State has logged two 10-win seasons in the last three years, something that has not been accomplished on campus since 1997-99. Those squads won 10, 19 and 15 games, respectively.
- The Aztecs are 6-3 in games away from Montezuma Mesa and 1-1 in neutral-site contests. SDSU has won five straight away from campus, but dropped its last neutral-site game back on Sept. 18 against Seattle in Las Vegas. A day prior, however, San Diego State defeated Hawai'i convincingly, 3-0.
- The game at UNLV marked the third consecutive outing in which Cat Walker scored the game-winning goal. The goal was her ninth of the season and fifth game-winning score of 2011 (third in MW play). The five game-winners ranks 22nd in NCAA Division I. Ten of Walker's last 13 goals have either won the game for San Diego State or sent the contest into overtime. Of those 10 goals, eight have been game-winners.
- Sophie Metz continued her assault on the Mountain West at UNLV as she scored the Aztecs' first goal of the game. The redshirt sophomore recorded at least one point in four of SDSU's six league games and ultimately compiled six points (2 g, 2 a). In the 13 games that preceded conference, Metz scored just one goal.
- The San Diego State defense and Rachel Boaz have been stellar in Mountain West action. The Aztecs have allowed a league-low two goals and are tops in the league in goals-against average (0.31) and shutouts (4). For all games, SDSU leads the MW with nine total shutouts.
- Boaz, individually, finished Mountain West action with a miniscule GAA of 0.32 and three shutouts. Boaz's 0.91 GAA for all games ranks 75th nationally.
- Boaz sits atop the league's leaderboard due to, in part, the cohesiveness and steady play of the Aztecs' starting backline of Tiffany Hurst, Rachael McGlinchy, Haley Palmer and Kory Spotts. In the last six games, Spotts has played all 554 minutes with Hurst (540), McGlinchy (508) and Palmer (515) all logging similar minutes. The foursome never left the field in 103 minutes at UNLV.
- San Diego State brings a history of success vs. the Cowgirls into the match. The Aztecs are 11-2-1 against the Cowgirls all-time and have won seven straight, all of which have been shutouts. During its seven-game winning streak, SDSU has outscored UW, 16-0. Earlier this season, San Diego State beat Wyoming in Laramie, 1-0, on a Cat Walker goal in the sixth minute. The victory snapped the Cowgirls' nine-game unbeaten streak.
- The Aztecs' two losses and one tie vs. Wyoming have all occurred in Laramie. SDSU lost, 1-0, in 2005, 3-1 in 2003 and played to a 1-1 double-overtime draw in 2001.
Aztecs and the MW Championships
School-, League-Best Seven Earn All-MW Honors
The SDSU first-team fivesome includes redshirt senior Cat Walker, redshirt junior Tiffany Hurst, junior Megan Jurado, redshirt sophomore Sophie Metz and sophomore Haley Palmer. Sophomore Kory Spotts and redshirt freshman Rachel Boaz, meanwhile, landed on the all-MW second team.
Walker, a midfielder, finished the conference season with a team-best three goals, all of which were game-winners in the final three outings of the campaign, and six points. The Folsom, Calif., native started all six MW games and was among the league's best in every offensive category, ranking first in game-winning goals (3), second in shots (24) and shots per game (4.00), third in goals (3), fourth in goals per game (0.50), and sixth in points (6) and points per game (1.00).
A product of Santa Rosa, Calif., Hurst is a first-time selection after seeing action as a defender and midfielder. Hurst played and started all six Mountain West games. In five of those outings, the redshirt junior played the entire game. Hurst was a part of a defense that held MW opponents to a league-low two goals, including one goal in four road games, and posted a conference-high four shutouts.
A forward, Jurado earned the starting nod in all six league contests. The San Jose, Calif., native did not record a point, but was one of the main offensive weapons for the Aztecs as she attempted 15 shots, which ranked second on the team. Of the junior's 15 shot attempts, nine were on goal. Jurado's 60.0 percent shots-on-goal percentage ranked second on the team. At the MW level, Jurado ranked sixth in shots (15) and seventh in shots per game (2.50).
In her first year at SDSU, Metz garnered all-league recognition after transferring from UCLA. The redshirt sophomore midfielder/defender started all six games and recorded at least one point in four of the six conference outings. Metz finished the league season with two goals, including the game-winner at TCU, two assists and six points. The Pleasanton, Calif., product ranked third in assists (2) and assists per game (0.33), fourth in game-winning goals (1), sixth in points (6) and points per game (1.00), seventh in goals (2), ninth in goals per game (0.33), and ninth in shots (13) and shots per game (2.17).
A two-time all-MW selection, Palmer lands on the first team after earning second-team accolades as a freshman a year ago. A defender out of Windsor, Calif., Palmer started all six games and played the entire game in all three of the team's overtime games. Like Hurst, Palmer was a member of an Aztec backline that allowed just two goals and blanked four opponents during the Mountain West season.
Spotts, a sophomore newcomer from UNC Greensboro, played every minute in six starting assignments at center back. Hailing from San Diego, Calif., Spotts was instrumental in San Diego State shutting out four Mountain West foes and limiting league opponents to just two goals in six games. Hurst, Palmer, Spotts and Rachael McGlinchy started the entire MW slate together to form arguably the best backline in the conference.
Boaz, a goalkeeper from Murrieta, Calif., completed her first competitive season in the Mountain West by putting up gaudy numbers. The redshirt freshman led the league with a goals-against average of 0.32 after giving up a Mountain West-low two goals and posted a conference-best three shutouts. Boaz played 78 of 90 minutes at TCU and combined with Megan Allaire to notch SDSU's fourth shutout of the 2011 MW slate. Boaz also ranked second in save percentage (.889). With the exception of the game in Fort Worth, Boaz played every minute in Mountain West action.