Mountain West Kicks Off Women's Soccer Season Aug. 17

Aug. 14, 2012

Weekly Release No. 1 Get Acrobat Reader

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The 2012 Mountain West women's soccer season kicks off this Friday, August 17, with all eight league teams in action. Seven squads open at home, with Air Force hosting Lamar, Boise State facing off with New Mexico State, Nevada entertaining Hawai`i, New Mexico squaring off with TCU, San Diego State taking on SMU, UNLV welcoming Northern Arizona and Wyoming hosting Montana. Fresno State will be the lone MW team kicking off the season on the road with a trip to UC Davis.

Two-time defending champion New Mexico is the preseason favorite to win the 2012 MW regular-season title. The Lobos return 14 letterwinners and seven starters from a 2011 squad that swept the MW regular-season and tournament crowns en route to a second-straight NCAA appearance. Heading up the list of returnees for 12th-year head coach Kit Vela are four returning all-MW performers: senior goalkeeper Kelli Cornell, the 2010 and 2011 MW Defensive Player of the Year; senior forward Natalie Jenks; senior defender Lauren Irwin and junior defender Elizabeth Nare. The Lobos finished the 2011 campaign with a 12-5-4 overall record (4-0-2 in MW play) and earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Returning all-Conference selections from 2011:
Air Force: None
Boise State: None
Fresno State: Callie Hancock (Jr., F), Lauren Lindstrom (So., D) and Vanessa Gonzalez (Jr., MF)
Nevada: None
New Mexico: Kelli Cornell (Sr., G); Natalie Jenks (Sr., F); Lauren Irwin (Sr., D); Elizabeth Nare (Jr., D)
San Diego State: Tiffany Hurst (Sr., D/MF); Megan Jurado (Sr., F/MF); Sophie Metz (Jr., MF/D); Haley Palmer (Jr., D); Rachel Boaz (So., G); Kory Spotts (Jr., D/MF)
UNLV: Caitlin Allen (Jr., D); Macy Jo Harrison (Sr., MF)
Wyoming: Sara Paul (So., F) - 2011 MW Freshman of the Year