USU soccer: Aggies set to face No. 19 Denver in WAC Tournament final on Sunday

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, Nov. 4 2012 9:17 a.m. MST

Top-seeded Utah State soccer will take on second-seeded Denver in the finals of the Western Athletic Conference Soccer Tournament on Sunday at Chuck and Gloria Bell Soccer Field in Logan. The teams which shared the WAC regular-season title have been atop the conference most of the season.

This is the Aggies' third WAC Tournament final in the last five years. USU is 1-1 in finals with a win against Fresno State in Fresno, Calif., last season and an overtime loss to the same Bulldogs in Reno, Nev., in 2008. The Aggies will face second-seeded Denver on Sunday, Nov. 4, in a match that begins at 1 p.m. The Pioneers stopped third-seeded Texas State, 2-0, in Friday's other semifinal.

During the regular season, Utah State and No. 19 Denver played to a 0-0 draw in Denver. In that match, the Aggies played without starting goalkeeper Ashlyn Mulford, who had received a red card the match before. Freshman keeper Jeannie Woller stepped in and was stellar keeping a clean sheet. The all-time series between USU and DU is knotted at 1-1-1, as this is the Pioneers' first season in the WAC.

The Aggies have now won seven-straight matches and have an unbeaten streak of 10 matches. Utah State has not lost since a 1-0 loss to No. 4 BYU, 1-0, in Logan.

The Pioneers have an impressive streak of their own, not losing a match since the first match of the season. DU lost to in-state rival Colorado College 1-0 on Aug. 17 and have been unbeaten since then. Denver has won six-straight matches and has a 19-match unbeaten streak.

Senior defender Natalie Norris earned her third-straight WAC Defensive Player of the Year honor on Wednesday, while DU's Kristen Hamilton took home the WAC's Offensive Player of the Year award. Norris is the anchor of the USU defense that has allowed only 11 goals this season. Hamilton leads the Pioneers with 13 goals and six assists for 32 points.

Tickets for the 2012 WAC Soccer Tournament can be purchased as either an all-session pass or as single-session tickets. A single session ticket allows access to one day's worth of matches. All tickets are for general admission seating.

To purchase WAC Soccer Tournament Tickets contact the Utah State ticket office at 1-888-UState-1 (1-888-878-2831) or go online.

Fans can also vote for senior defender Natalie Norris for the 2012 Senior CLASS Award in collegiate soccer, as the Aggie player is just one of 10 NCAA women's soccer student-athletes who excels both on and off the field that were selected as finalists for the award. Fans can vote at http://www.seniorclassaward.com/athletes/natalie_norris/.

Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.

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