Utah State soccer (2-10-1, 1-4-1 MW) closes out its road trip for a pair of Mountain West matches this week. The Aggies will play at Colorado College (7-4-1, 3-2-1 MW) on Friday, Oct. 12, at 3 p.m., and at Air Force (1-5-6, 0-3-3 MW) on Sunday, Oct. 14, at noon.
All regular-season home and Mountain West matches will continue to be broadcast as a USU Athletics Production on the Mountain West Network. All video feeds will be available live and in archive form online. Live stats and play-by-play information will be available through SIDEARM, while updates will also be provided through the team's social media outlets. Links to each option will be available online prior to every match.
Tiger quick hits
Colorado College opens the weekend with a 7-4-1 record, including a 3-2-1 ledger in Mountain West play. Last week, the Tigers split a pair of road matches, falling to Wyoming, 3-1, before tying their match to Colorado State, 0-0.
The Tiger offense is led by senior midfielder Lauren Milliet, who has scored four goals this season. Additionally, three different players have each recorded four assists. Sophomore goalkeeper Jade Odom has played the full season in the net for Colorado College, tallying 46 saves while allowing 11 goals.
Colorado College returned 10 starters and seven other letterwinners to the pitch this season. A year ago, the Tigers posted a 6-9-4 record while going 3-6-2 in conference play.
Colorado College finished 10th in last year's Mountain West standings.
Geoff Bennett is in his 15th season as the head coach at Colorado College, where he has an overall record of 155-101-19.
All-time, Utah State is 2-2-3 against the Tigers. Last year saw a 1-1 tie at the friendly confines of Bell Field.
Falcon quick hits
Air Force welcomes the Aggies to the USAFA with a 1-5-6 record, having gone 0-3-3 against Mountain West opponents. The Falcons fell last week at Colorado State with a 1-0 loss and a 1-1 tie at Wyoming. Air Force will play Boise State on Friday before hosting the Aggies.
Senior forward Kaitlyn and sophomore midfielder Emma Nelson lead the Falcons offense with two goals apiece this season, while five players have one assist. Senior goalkeeper Jennifer Hiddink has played the majority of minutes in the net, while the team's two keepers together have tallied 72 saves and allowed 13 goals.
The Falcons had 18 players return from last season's roster when the team went 7-9-3 on the year. The coaching staff also added nine new players to the 2018 squad.
Larry Friend is in his 10th season as the head coach at Air Force, where he has a record of 51-103-24.
Utah State leads the all-time series against the Falcons, 5-2-1, with the lone tie coming last season at home with a scoreless contest.
Her old Colorado home
The campuses of both Colorado College and Air Force are in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Aggie junior defender Mealii Enos hails from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, a town 60 miles north of Colorado Springs. Enos was high school teammates with Air Force junior defender Erin Speer and played club soccer for Real Colorado with junior midfielder Jacq Pepper.
For the second season in a row, the Utah State offense is led by a freshman. Forward Sara Noel is the leading scorer for the Aggies with four goals on the year. In 2017, now-sophomore midfielder Ashley Cardozo led USU with nine goals.
That was fast
Utah State scored its quickest goal of any match this season last weekend at New Mexico off a corner kick in the 15th minute, where junior forward Alecia Robinson made the final redirecting contact to score as sophomore defender Imelda Williams headed it toward the net.
You only need one
Freshman defender Imelda Williams scored her first-career goal on her only shot last week against San Diego State. Against the New Mexico, Williams provided the assist on both of USU's goals, her first two assists of the season. For the week, Williams had one goal and two assists.
Game on the line
The Aggies earned a 1-0 win over Nevada on Sept. 23, with a penalty kick goal from sophomore midfielder Cardozo. It was Utah State's first PK attempt since the 2016 season when Jessica Brooksby scored on a penalty kick in a 2-1 win against San José State.
The rain to end the drought
With a last-second goal against Nevada, Utah State snapped a four-match scoreless streak on Sept. 23. The four shutout matches in a row were the longest scoring drought in program history.
Keep it clean
Utah State has had just three cards issued to its players this season. The Aggies have had two yellow cards and one red card on the year, as they have the second fewest of any Mountain West team behind Wyoming's two cards.
What we play for
As the winners of the 2017 Mountain West title, San José State will host the 2018 Mountain West Championships. The tournament will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 30, continuing with semifinals on Thursday, Nov. 1, and the championship match on Saturday, Nov. 3. The top-six teams in the Mountain West standings will advance to the conference tournament, and the winner of the tournament will receive the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Utah State was picked seventh in the Mountain West Preseason Poll, as voted on by the league's 12 head coaches. The Aggies earned 64 points in this season's poll. Last season, Utah State finished seventh in the final standings with a 4-5-2 conference record. San Diego State was picked as the favorite to win the league for the sixth year in a row, tallying 112 total points and four first-place votes.
She's tricky, tricky, tricky
Freshman forward Sara Noel recorded the 14th hat trick in program history in Utah State's 5-4 double-overtime loss at Idaho State on Sept. 8. She is the ninth player in USU's history to score a hat-trick. Noel's is the first USU hat trick since current junior forward Alecia Robinson had one as a freshman against Sam Houston State in 2016. Of the nine players to score three goals in one game, three have done it during their freshman season, as Noel and Robinson join Brigid Turner in the feat.
Happy at home
Two weekends ago were the last of a seven-game homestand for the Aggies, the most consecutive home games in program history. In all, Utah State will play 10 matches at Chuck and Gloria Bell Field this season. The Aggies played 12 games at home in 2012, when Utah State hosted the WAC Tournament, but the 2005 team holds the record with 11 regular-season home matches.
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Utah State posted a 0-1-1 Mountain West road record last week, tying San Diego State (2-2) in double overtime and falling to New Mexico (3-2). Freshman forward Marli Niederhauser led the Aggie offense with six shots in the two matches. For the week, USU took 26 shots with nine on goal, while its opponents fired 45 shots, 19 of which were on frame. Senior goalkeeper Grace McGuire finished the weekend with 14 saves.
The Aggies wrap up home competition next weekend. Utah State will play host to San Jose State on Friday, Oct. 19, at 3 p.m., and Fresno State on Sunday, Oct. 21, at 1 p.m.