Courtesy of NMSU
LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The New Mexico State women’s soccer team prepares for the regular-season opener with a free exhibition match versus Pima Community College on Wednesday beginning at 3:30 p.m. at the NM State Soccer Athletic Complex.
The young Aggies, who will carry 17 true freshmen on the 27-player roster, look to improve on a 5-17 2014 campaign, the first for head coach Freddy Delgado. He enters his second season at the helm after becoming the third head coach in the program’s six-year history.
NM State was placed in a tie for sixth with the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in the recently released Western Athletic Conference coaches’ poll. The Aggies finished in a tie for fifth in the WAC last season after going 3-7 in conference play. They advanced to the WAC Tournament for the third time in team history.
This year’s Aggies will rely heavily on its only two seniors, Cindy Buraczyk and Mikaela Haley, and juniors Gabby Campbell and Stephanie Petre. Campbell and Petre both finished with six points last season, tied for fourth-best on the squad. Campbell had four assists while Petre finished with three goals.
Other players to watch for are sophomores Alexis Rienks and Holly Abdelkader. Rienks won a national championship with her Nebraska club team this summer while Abdelkader was named to the Preseason All-WAC team earlier this month. As Campbell and Petre, Abdelkader also finished with six points in 2014.
Fans will also get to see a lot of homegrown talent as 17 Aggies hail from the state of New Mexico, including sophomore midfielder Micaela Milavec and freshman goaltender Rian Nials, from Las Cruces High School and Mayfield High School respectively.
Pima CC, meanwhile, plays out of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference (ACCAC), where it has been a powerhouse for many years.
Last season the Aztecs finished with a 16-6-2 record en route to playing in the NJCAA National Tournament. Pima finished ranked No. 7 in the country in the final NJCAA poll while former Aztec Shannon Shields was named an NJCAA All-American. Shields was also the ACCAC Player of the Year while Pima head coach Kendra Veliz was tabbed the ACCAC Coach of the Year.
Wednesday’s exhibition is a prelude to the regular-season home opener against Eastern Washington on Sunday beginning at 1 p.m. Season and single-game tickets for all NM State home matches are now on sale at the Pan American Ticket Office, by calling 575-646-1420 or by clicking HERE. Remember, all kids 12 and under are always free to all Aggie home matches.