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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Teams Ink Trip to Women's College Cup

Nogueira puts on clinic against Wake[NORTH CAROLINA-WAKE FOREST 5-2] Casey Nogueira , the 2008 Women's Player of the Year, put on a clinic, scoring three goals to lead North Carolina to a 5-2 win over ACC rival Wake Forest. The Tar Heels return to the semifinals of the NCAA Women's Tournament for the 25th time in 28 years...

Stanford runs winning streak to 24 games[STANFORD-BOSTON COLLEGE 3-1] The 1-2 punch of senior Kelley O'Hara and junior Christen Press combined for all three goals as No. 1 Stanford beat Boston College, 3-1, Friday night before a sellout crowd of 2,200 at Laird Q. Cagan Stadium and earned a berth in the NCAA College Cup...

Irish return to College Cup for fourth straight year[FLORIDA STATE-NOTRE DAME 0-2] Throughout the NCAA Women's Tournament, Melissa Henderson has shown off her athleticism, but on Friday afternoon she demonstrated her nose for the goal, scoring her seventh goal in four games from close range to lead visiting Notre Dame to a 2-0 win over regional top-seed Florida State in front of a capacity crowd at the Seminole Soccer Complex. With the win, the Irish advance to the College Cup for the fourth consecutive year...

[UCLA-PORTLAND 2-1]Old foes UCLA and Portland clashed Saturday for the third time in the last four years in the NCAA quarterfinals in Westwood and UCLA proves to be poor hosts as they defeated the Pilots 2-1.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lambert Defends Herself

Nearly two weeks later, the University of New Mexico soccer player Elizabeth Lambert said she still could not fully explain what led her to yank an opponent from Brigham Young down by her ponytail in what has become a highly publicized incident of violent behavior.

Her action was indefensible, Lambert said Tuesday in her first interview since the incident occurred Nov. 5 in a Mountain West Conference semifinal game and led to her indefinite suspension from the New Mexico team.

“I still deeply regret it and will always regret it and will carry it through the rest of my life not to retaliate,” said Lambert, a 20-year-old junior on scholarship.

She has watched the video a handful of times and does not recognize herself pulling down Brigham Young’s Kassidy Shumway, Lambert said.

“I look at it and I’m like, ‘That is not me,’ ” said Lambert, a defender and an all-conference academic player. “I have so much regret. I can’t believe I did that.”

At the same time, she said other moments of aggressive play — in which Lambert elbowed a Brigham Young player in the back, received a yellow card for tripping, seemed to throw a punch at an opponent’s head and made a hard tackle from behind — came during the forceful, insistent play that routinely occurred in women’s soccer but might be misunderstood by casual fans.

Some of her actions — like the apparent punch, which she said was inadvertent — were misinterpreted or taken out of context on a condensed video, Lambert said. And she said she believed that the incident was blown out of proportion because it occurred in a women’s game. She said it was wrongly reported to be her when it was actually a teammate who tried to clear a ball and accidentally kicked it into the face of a BYU player.

“I definitely feel because I am a female it did bring about a lot more attention than if a male were to do it,” Lambert said. “It’s more expected for men to go out there and be rough. The female, we’re still looked at as, Oh, we kick the ball around and score a goal. But it’s not. We train very hard to reach the highest level we can get to. The physical aspect has maybe increased over the years. I’m not saying it’s for the bad or it’s been too overly aggressive. It’s a game. Sports are physical.”

She added: “I think the way the video came out, it did make me look like a monster. That’s not the type of player I am. I’m not just out there trying to hurt players. That’s taking away from the beauty of the game. And I would never want to do that.”

Lambert said she was shaken and appalled by some of the responses she received in e-mail messages, telephone messages and on blogs, which included the publishing of her parents’ home phone number in Southern California and one suggestion that “I should be taken to a state prison, raped and left for dead in a ditch.”

She said she felt conflicting emotions and sometimes still woke up in a sweat.

“I’ll be angry with myself that I did this, to my team, my university, that I did this to women’s soccer, a sport that many females have worked very hard to get respect for,” Lambert said.

“And I’ll be sad that people want to see me suffer.”
She said she was taken aback at how the incident had been perceived by some as sexy catfighting between two women. She said she was aghast that some men had sent her messages saying, “Hey, we should meet up some time.”
“That appalled me,” Lambert said. “A lot of people think I have a lot of sexual aggression. I was like, ‘Whoa, no, I don’t feel that way at all.’ That’s bizarre and shocking to me.”
The game against Brigham Young began with familiar passion and intensity, Lambert said. Emotions escalated after Brigham Young took a 1-0 halftime lead, given that a defeat could mean the end of the season and a failure to qualify for the NCAA tournament, she said.
Opposing fans were mockingly chanting her name, she said, and players on both teams were playing aggressively. She said she was called names and taken down to the ground with cheap shots. On video, a BYU player can be seen elbowing Lambert in the stomach before she shoves the opponent in the back in retaliation. Shumway can be seen tugging on Lambert’s shorts before she is yanked down by her ponytail.
If the referee Joe Pimentel had issued more yellow cards or a red card, Lambert said, “It would have been a very different game.”
Still, Lambert said that she did not want to throw Pimentel “under the bus” and that she did not consider the game to be out of control.
Her coach, Kit Vela, never instructed her to “take anybody out,” Lambert said, adding that the BYU players also did not appear to have malign intent.
Lambert said she eventually grew frustrated, as much with herself as with the opponent, saying she had often struggled with self-confidence and with feeling “that I’m accepted playing at this level.”
Lambert said of the match: “I’ve never been in a situation like that, where I was out of my element. There were times in the game where I was literally like, ‘All right, Elizabeth, you’ve got to get control’ of myself.”
In each of her two previous matches, Lambert had received a yellow-card warning, but those were the only cautions in more than 2,500 minutes of play at New Mexico, a university official said.
Lambert said she did not consider herself a dirty player. Yet in the second half, she yanked Shumway down by her ponytail and assumed widespread villainy.
“In that one moment, I let it all get into my head,” Lambert said of the emotion of the game.
Later in the match, Lambert received a yellow card for tripping.
She is seeing a clinical psychologist on campus to better understand what caused the hair-pulling incident. It is one of several steps she is taking, along with speaking to youth players about acceptable behavior, so she can seek reinstatement to the team in the spring.
“I’m working on my mental game to never let that happen again,” Lambert said. “That’s unacceptable in any sport to get to that point where you feel it’s necessary that you have to retaliate in a dirty manner.”

Monday, November 9, 2009

NCAA Women's College Cup Selection Show: Division I

ESPNews will air the NCAA Women's College Cup Selections tonight at 7pm (CT). Teams will learn their fate when those selections are announced. There are 30 DI conferences that will receive automatic bids to the post-season and another 34 teams will receive at-large bids.

Oklahoma State beats the Aggies: Earns NCAA Berth

Oklahoma State defender Carson Michalowski headed in a corner kick from Colleen Dougherty in the 53rd minute, and it was all the offense the Cowgirls would need to win the Big 12 Conference Soccer Championship with a 1-0 victory over Texas A&M on Sunday.

The fifth-seeded Cowgirls (15-7-0, 8-5-0) earned the automatic bid into the NCAA tournament, which starts Friday. It's the first time they have won the Big 12 tournament since 2003. The Aggies won in in 2004 and '05 and were the runnerup in '07.

Oklahoma State controlled the tempo early, because A&M did not get much offense generated before halftime. The Aggies, who had outshot their opponents by a 22-10 margin in all games this year, were outshot 6-3 by the Cowgirls in the first half.

"I thought we were real unlucky not to be up one or two goals at halftime," OSU coach Colin Carmichael said. "And we were fortunate that it didn't come back to bite us.

"You're not going to keep a good team like A&M from getting opportunities. But AD (Franch) makes coaches look good, doesn't she?"

A&M coach G. Guerrieri said his team usually can win if it gets at least eight shots on goal. A&M had seven for the game, but six in the second half.

"I think their goalkeeper was great," Guerrieri said. "They made big-time saves.

"And we have to play for 90 minutes. I think we played for 40. Oklahoma State did a great job of battling and scraping to keep us off the scoreboard."

Memphis: 3-Peat Complete

Three is a magic number as Memphis claimed its third-straight Conference USA title with a 3-0 victory against UCF in Sunday's championship match on a mild day at SMU's Westcott Field. The third-seeded Tigers (16-6-0) won their third tournament match in a row, advancing to the finals with wins over SMU and Colorado College.

"I am extremely proud," head coach Brooks Monaghan said. "We were the underdog coming in since we had to play three games. These kids continue to amaze me and it all points back to their character. To win a championship is amazing, but to do it three years in a row leaves me at a loss for words."

Sophomore forward Lizzy Simonin was credited with the game-winner in the 58th minute as she put the Tigers on the scoreboard first. Simonin scored from just inside the box off a pass from junior midfielder Vendula Strnadova.

UCF (16-4-1), who won the C-USA regular season title for the third time in the last five years, had its 10-match win streak snapped with the loss. The Knights last defeat was against Memphis on Sept. 27.

San Diego State Women's Soccer: First MWC Championship

The MWC Offensive Player of the Year, San Diego State junior Cat Walker, scored the game's lone goal to give the #2 Aztecs (14-3-5) an upset win over #1 BYU (17-3-2) in the final of the MWC Women's Soccer Tournament. The Aztecs' 1-0 victory on Saturday, Nov. 7, at South Field, marks the team's first MWC Tournament title.

"Obviously it was a huge, huge win," said San Diego State head coach Mike Friesen. "It's great to not have to wait around to see if we're getting in the NCAAs. We're super excited now, and in the future, to see where this program is headed."

Saturday, November 7, 2009

MWC Championships: LIVE at 1pm CT

(2)SAN DIEGO STATE (13-3-5; 5-0-2 MWC)
at #8 (1)BYU (17-2-2; 6-0-1 MWC)

MWC Championship Final South Soccer Stadium Provo, Utah

Saturday, Oct. 7 Noon MT/11 a.m. PT The Mtn. (tape delay)


The top-seeded Cougars improved to 17-2-2 with their semifinal win over New Mexico ... BYU has won seven straight contests ... The Cougars had won seven straight before encountering San Diego State, which turned out to be a 2-2 tie ... Brigham Young's last loss came on the road at Washington State, 2-1, back on Sept. 10 ... BYU is nationally ranked in all major top-25 polls, including Soccer America, which has them at No. 8 ... The Cougars are led offensively by Carlee Payne, who leads the team with 36 points (13 g, 10 a) ... Kassidy C. Shumway is second on the team in points with 18 (7 g, 4a) ... McKinzie Olson has 11 shutouts and has a GAA of 0.51 ... Andrea Willis earned league defensive-player-of-the-year honors, while Carlee Payne was named the conference's top freshman ... Willis, Payne, Shumway and Olson were all first-teamers and Lindsi Lisonbee garnered second-team accolades.

San Diego State advanced to the championship game after rallying from a one-goal second-half deficit to beat Utah in double overtime, 2-1. SDSU received a goal from Cat Walker in the 83rd minute to tie the game and Sarah Halverson sent everyone home in the 108th minute. Niki Fernandes assisted on both goals, while Hayley Marsh was credited with a helper on the game-winner after providing the outlet pass to Fernandes.

The two teams meet for the 2nd time this year and the 22nd time overall. BYU leads the all-time series 9-8-4 all time vs. the Aztecs... SDSU is 0-5-2 in its last seven against BYU in Provo... The Aztecs' last win over the Cougars in Provo occurred on Nov. 7, 1998 ... SDSU's last overall victory over BYU was in 2007, a 2-0 decision at San Diego State.

San Diego State kept its unbeaten streak intact and pushed it to seven games as it earned a 2-2 double-overtime tie against 13th-ranked Brigham Young Thursday afternoon at SDSU Sports Deck. The Aztecs, who were playing their first Mountain West Conference game of the season, see their record move to 7-3-4 (0-0-1 MWC), while the Cougars leave Montezuma Mesa with a record of 10-2-2 (1-0-1 MWC).

The game started on a fast note as San Diego State struck first just over three minutes into the game. Tiffany Hurst continued her strong play of late and beat two defenders on the right side. After having the ball knocked away momentarily, Hurst touched the ball back to a breaking Allie Crowson, who deposited the ball in the upper right corner of the goal from approximately 16 yards out. For Hurst, it was her second assist in as many games and her fourth point in her last two outings. Crowson, meanwhile, notched her second goal of the season.

With the match just 3:09 old, both teams traded possessions throughout the first half and produced very few quality scoring chances. After the Crowson goal, BYU's top scoring opportunity came 51 seconds later when Kassidy C. Shumway blasted a ball toward SDSU goalkeeper Aubree Southwick, but it sailed high. On the flip side, the Aztecs' Niki Fernandes nearly gave San Diego State a two-goal lead in the 33rd minute when she blew by two defenders with a creative one-on-one move, but didn't have the angle she needed to get her shot past BYU goalie McKinzie Olson. With that said, the Aztecs went into the locker room ahead, 1-0.

In the second half, the Cougars became aggressive offensively and it paid off at 52:06 when SDSU mishandled an attempt to clear the ball after which put the ball in Jessica Ringwood's possession 13 yards out. Seconds later, Ringwood calmly tucked the ball into the right corner past a leaping Southwick to provide the tying goal.

BYU, who came into the game having won seven straight, continued its aggressive game plan and it netted the go-ahead goal in the 65th minute. Shumway scored off a header from eight yards out after consecutive passes from Lauren Anderson and Carlee Payne.

As time was running off the clock, San Diego State started to get its rhythm back in the final 10-15 minutes. In the 86th minute, the Aztecs' Millie Allen had her shot blocked, but Cat Walker gathered the rebound and blasted a shot of her own that went just high to end a frantic two-shot sequence. With the ball and momentum on San Diego State's side, the Aztecs took advantage of the opportunity in the 89th minute when Britney Bennett found Megan McQueeny. Bennett, who entered the game at the start of the second half, dribbled the ball on the far right side and sent a pass into the middle of the box that found McQueeny. The sophomore, from seven yards out, then put a shot on goal that went through traffic in front of the goal and found the back of the net to even the score at 2 apiece and essentially force overtime. The goal was McQueeny's first of the season and second of her career. In the final 24-plus minutes of regulation, San Diego State outshot the Cougars, 5-1.

In the first extra session, San Diego State continued to control the ball, but attempted just one shot. The Aztec defense, which has been solid all season, prevented BYU from taking a single shot as the match moved into another 10-minute stanza. Like the first OT, the second frame did not produce a goal as the game ended in a draw.

The match, which featured two of the top teams in the Pacific Region, was nearly equal in every statistical category. Brigham Young owned a slim lead in shots (15-14), shots on goal (5-4) and corner kicks (7-6), while San Diego State finished with three saves to the Cougars' two. The teams were even in fouls with 13 apiece.

With their two goals, the Aztecs became just the third team to score twice on BYU this year. Coming into the game, the Cougars had allowed just nine goals in their 13 games.

As previously stated, the tie extended San Diego State's unbeaten streak to seven games. It was the longest such streak since 1998 when that team went unbeaten and won 12 straight en route to the WAC championship and the third round of the NCAA Tournament. The Aztecs also extended their unbeaten mark to four against BYU in games played on the SDSU campus and are 5-2-2 vs. the Cougars all time in San Diego.

Defending Champs Defeated: Aggies vs Cowgirls Again

Katie Hamilton and Whitney Hooper scored goals less than 1 ½ minutes apart in the second half to help Texas A&M break open a close game and land the Aggies a spot in the Big 12 Conference Soccer Championship final with a 5-1 victory over Texas on Friday night.

Annika Niemeier’s goal in the 80th minute broke a tie game and gave the Oklahoma State Cowgirls a spot in the Big 12 Conference Soccer Championship final with a 3-2 victory over top-seeded and defending champ Missouri on Friday night.

The final is 1 p.m. Sunday at Blossom Soccer Stadium, and it will be a rematch of a 1-0 game that the Aggies won on Oct. 9 in Stillwater. Oklahoma State has not lost since, going 7-0 and outscoring the opposition 16-3.

C-USA Championship: Halbert Scores First; Memphis 3-Peat?

UCF and Memphis both advanced to Sunday's C-USA Championship match with 1-0 wins in the semifinals. The title match will be played Sunday at 1 p.m. Central at SMU's Westcott Field and will be televised live by CBS College Sports.

UCF junior Lauren Halbert made her first goal of the season really count as she nailed the game-winner in a 1-0 victory over UAB in the semifinals of the C-USA Women's Soccer Championship. With the win, the top-seeded Knights extended their win streak to 10 matches.

Memphis sophomore midfielder Lizzy Hildebrandt netted the game-winner in the 15th minute and the UofM defense held on for its school-record 11th shutout of the season in a 1-0 victory against Colorado College. Memphis advances to the C-USA title game for the third year in a row to defend its 2007 and 2008 titles.

Friday, November 6, 2009

BIG 12 Women's Soccer at Blossom

Semifinals tonight at 5:30 pm and Finals Sunday at 1 pm.

Friday: Nov. 6
Oklahoma State vs. Missouri - 5:30 p.m.
Texas vs. Texas A&M - 8:00 p.m.
Sunday: Nov. 8
Championship - 1:00 p.m.

Please tell your own network of soccer enthusiasts and help us pack the stands! And don't forget, the NCAA Div. III Men's & Women's Soccer Championships come to San Antonio on Dec. 4 & 5.

Tickets are available online or by calling San Antonio Sports at 210.820.2100.

Tickets are always available at the GATE. $7 per day or $12 for the tournament pass. SPECIAL TEAM PACKAGE OF 20 TICKETS FOR ONLY $99.

On Field Reaction from BYU's Carlee Payne to Lambert

New Mexico Women's Soccer Player Suspended Indefinitely

Lambert apoligizes for her actions.

UNM SID - Nov. 6, 2009
University of New Mexico head women's soccer coach Kit Vela announced today that junior defender Elizabeth Lambert has been suspended indefinitely for her actions in Thursday's match against BYU in the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference Championship in Provo, Utah.
Effective immediately, Lambert is prohibited from participating in all team practices, competition and conditioning activities.

"I am deeply and wholeheartedly regretful for my actions," said Lambert. "My actions were uncalled for. I let my emotions get the best of me in a heated situation. I take full responsibility for my actions and accept any punishment felt necessary from the coaching staff and UNM administration. This is in no way indicative of my character or the soccer player that I am. I am sorry to my coaches and teammates for any and all damages I have brought upon them. I am especially sorry to BYU and the BYU women's soccer players that were personally affected by my actions. I have the utmost respect for the BYU women's soccer program and its players."

"Liz is a quality student-athlete, but in this instance her actions clearly crossed the line of fair play and good sportsmanship," said Vela.

"Liz's conduct on the field against BYU was completely inappropriate," said UNM Vice President for Athletics Paul Krebs. "There is no way to defend her actions."

Women's Soccer Is Surprisingly Violent

There’s an old adage that describes soccer as a gentleman’s game played bt ruffians and rugby as a ruffian’s game played by gentlemen. That’s never more true than when the gentlemen playing the game are ladies. Take, for example, the supremely thuggish antics of Elizabeth Lambert, a 21-year-old defender on the New Mexico Lobos women’s soccer team. I know she doesn’t look dangerous, but just check out this carnage.

A lot of people in America knock soccer for being a soft sport played by kids and foreigners, but those that do have never seen someone stop a soccer ball with their face or take a kick to the chops during a sliding tackle. Lambert got a yellow card eventually.

Lambert is a 5-7 Junior, centerback from Lancaster, CA.

Mountain West Conference Tournament Championship: Coming to you LIVE

After two overtime periods, #2 San Diego State (13-4-5) defeated #3 Utah (12-4-5), 2-1, to advance to the final round of the Mountain West Conference Tournament. First-seeded BYU (17-2-2) ensured that the top-two seeds in the MWC Women's Soccer Tournament will play for the championship on Saturday, as the Cougars defeated fourth-seeded New Mexico (13-5-3), 1-0, on a goal in the 31st minute by Carlee Payne. With the win, BYU will play second-seeded San Diego State at noon on Saturday, Nov. 7.
The Mtn. - MountainWest Sports Network will air the championship game between #1 BYU and #2 San Diego State, scheduled for 1 p.m. CT on Saturday, Nov. 7. The match will be streamed LIVE on The Mtn.’s Web site (Click Here for Live Streaming Video) and air on The Mtn. via same-day tape delay at 1 a.m. CT. It will also be re-broadcast at 3p.m. CT on Sunday, Nov. 8.