KICKING OFF - After four-straight home matches, the Utah State womens soccer team will hit the road for its longest road trip of the season. USU begins the first of five matches on the road against Tulsa, on Friday, Sept. 16. The undefeated Aggies (8-0-0) will take on another undefeated team No. 2 Oklahoma State (9-0-0) on Sunday, Sept. 18. The Cowgirls are the highest ranked team that the Aggies have ever faced.
SERIES HISTORY vs. tulsa - This is the first meeting between the Aggies and the Golden. Before joining Conference-USA, Tulsa was a member of the Western Athletic Conference. Tulsa is the second Conference-USA team that USU has taken on this season, defeating Rice, 1-0, in Logan on Sept. 8.
The Golden Hurricane are 4-2-1 this season and have a two match unbeaten streak. Last time out, Tulsa defeated Northwestern State 2-0 in Natchitochces, La. The Golden Hurricanes only losses came against then-No. 7 Notre Dame and Western Michigan. Offensively, Tulsa is led by Stephanie Aitken who has three goals for six points this season. In goal, Katie Bykowski has played the bulk of the minutes for TU, allowing nine goals for a goals against average of 1.29.
SERIES HISTORY vs. Oklahoma STATE - Second-ranked Oklahoma State is the highest ranked team that the Aggies have ever faced. Prior to taking on the Cowgirls, the highest ranked team that USU has met was last season when BYU was ranked No. 8. The Aggies are also looking for their first ever win over a ranked opponent. The Aggies and the Cowgirls have met once before in 2009 in Logan. In that meeting, then-No. 20 Oklahoma State defeated Utah State 1-0.
The Cowgirls are a perfect 9-0-0 this season with wins against in-state rival Oklahoma and USC. Last week, OSU defeated San Diego 2-1 in Los Angeles. The high-potent OSU offense is led by three players in double-digits in points. Taylor Matthews leads the team with 11 points off of four goals and three assists. Krista Lopez is second with 10 points off of five goals. In goal, Rosa Medina has played the majority of the minutes for OSU. She has allowed only two goals in 545 minutes for a GAA of 0.33.
DARING DEFENSE - The blue and white backline has been marvelous this season. Utah State has allowed only four goals in eight matches. Senior goalkeeper Molli Merrill had a season-high eight saves in the Aggies dramatic 1-0 double overtime win over Cal State Fullerton. Senior Summer Tillotson, junior Natalie Norris and sophomore Taryn Rose have been stellar in the USU backline this season. All three have played over 700 minutes this season.
GAMETRACKER - Fans can follow all the Aggie home games through the USU web site at www.UtahStateAggies.com via GameTracker, a free service, which updates play-by-play and statistics throughout the game.
CARDIAC KIDS - Utah State has been keeping its fans on its toes this season. In seven of USUs eight matches this season, the Aggies have captured one-goal victories. The Aggies won three-straight 1-0 matches, before exploding for six goals against Idaho State on Sept. 11. Senior forward Shantel Flanary has had four of the Aggies game-winning goals. Sophomores Jennifer Flynn, Kendra Pemberton and Mari Miyashiro and junior Natalie Norris have the four other game-winning goals.
TOPS IN THE NCAA - The first set of NCAA statistics were released on Tuesday and Utah State is tied for the top spot in two categories. Shantel Flanarys four game-winning goals is tied for first with five others. USUs 8-0-0 record is also tied for first. There are a total of seven undefeated teams in Division I, including future Aggie opponent No. 2 Oklahoma State. As a team, USU is ninth in the nation in goals against average (0.49), while Flanary is eighth in total goals with eight.
RECORD BREAKERS - Sophomore midfielder Kendra Pemberton is nearing an allusive Utah State record. In only her second season as an Aggie, Pemberton already has 10 assists. She is one assist away from tying for fourth place with Amber Tracy (2000-03) who had 11 career assists. Shantel Flanary is tied for second on the all-time assist list with 12.
Flanarys three-goal spurt against Idaho State also helped her climb the Aggie record books. She is now tied for third all-time in goals scored with Brigid Turner with 32. She is only five away from tying Aggie-great Lauren Hansen who set the record last season with 37 goals scored. Flanary is now third all-time in career points scored with 76 just one point behind Jayme Gordy (1997-2002). She is only eight points behind Hansens USU-record 84 points.
REACHING A MILESTONE - Head coach Heather Cairns recently passed the 80 win mark. She now has 83 wins at Utah State. Cairns is already the all-time winningest coach in USU history. She is 81-70-17 (.533) at Utah State.
STAYING IN THE WIN COLUMN - Utah States eight-straight wins to start the season ties a school record for consecutive wins. In 2008, the Aggies won eight-straight matches en route to the finals of the WAC Tournament. USU is one win away from tying last seasons win total when the Aggies finished the season 9-7-5.
BY THE NUMBERS - The Aggies 2-1 win over Colorado College on Aug. 26 had some interesting anomalies. The Tigers had 13 corner kicks in the first half and ended the match with 17. USU was out-shot 21-2. The Aggies shooting percentage was perfect with two goals on two shots.
ON THE PITCH - Utah State will remain on the road to take on the always-tough Cougars of BYU on Sept. 22, f
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