LARAMIE, Wyo.– Wyoming soccer travels to California to face a pair of Mountain West foes this weekend. The Cowgirls play the San Jose State Spartans on Friday at 1 p.m. MT, before a Sunday showdown with Fresno State, also scheduled for 1 p.m.
Wyoming continues its climb up the MW standings after a six-point weekend with wins over Air Force and Colorado College. The results leave Wyoming sitting in sixth place in the conference at 3-3-0 and 7-6-1 overall. UW’s three league losses this season were also to the three teams currently in the top spots in the MW.
The Cowgirls are currently riding a three-game winning streak, the longest in the conference. UW is third in the league in shots per game (14.50) and goals per game (1.50). Junior midfielder Summer Halle played the game of her Cowgirl career against the Falcons last Friday, netting three goals in UW’s 4-2 comeback victory. Halle’s hat trick was the first since junior forward Shaina Ashouri’s last season, and just the sixth in program history.
Wyoming’s leading scorer, freshman forward Michaela Stark, has tallied three goals and one assist in her last three games. Stark’s five goals and 11 total points on the year rank seventh and ninth in the MW, respectively, and she is second in the conference in scoring among true freshmen. After two assists this weekend, senior defender Sammi Dunda leads UW with four assists this season, tied for the sixth-most in the league and most of any MW defender.
Junior goalkeeper Georgia Rowntree is now tied for the most shutouts in the league after Sunday’s 2-0 victory. Rowntree holds a goals against average of 1.18 and a save percentage of .746.
“We have a lot of confidence right now after getting a shutout Sunday and scoring six goals last weekend,” UW head coach Pete Cuadrado said. “We’re ready for this weekend and we just have to keep building on what we’ve started.”
San Jose State, the reigning MW Tournament champion, owns an overall record of 6-4-4 and a 3-2-1 mark in league play. The Spartans’ are coming off a 2-1 loss to Utah State last Sunday. San Jose State averages 14 shots a game, fourth-most in the conference just behind Wyoming. They also sit third in total points (57) and assists (19) in the MW.
The Spartan offence is led by senior midfielder Alexis Venegas and junior forward Dorthe Hoppius. Venegas has scored a team-best four goals on the year, while Hoppius is second in the conference in shots per game (42) and ninth in assists (3).
The San Jose State back line has been tough to beat all season. The Spartans lead the conference in goals allowed with 11, three fewer than the next team. Freshman goalkeeper Ana Calero has taken over the starting spot in league play, and currently holds the fifth-best goals-against average in the conference. However, the strength of the Spartan defense comes from allowing just 9.4 shots per game from opponents. San Jose State is last in the league in saves (44) and Calero’s save percentage is just .684.
The Cowgirls are 2-4-0 all-time against the Spartans, but 2-1-0 under Cuadrado. The Cowgirls fell to San Jose State in overtime, 1-0, in last season’s conference opener.
“There’s never an easy road trip in the Mountain West,” Cuadrado said. “I think everybody can beat everybody, and we will have our hands full. San Jose State is a team that won the conference tournament last year, so we have to make sure we’re ready and execute our game plan.”
The Bulldogs are 6-7-1 overall and 1-4-1 in conference play. Fresno State dropped both of its games last weekend, and has just one win in its last six contests. The Bulldogs are third in the conference in points (57), fourth in assists (17) and fifth in goals (20). Fresno State is a strong team at home, with a 4-2-1 record, and are undefeated at the Soccer and Lacrosse Stadium against conference foes (1-0-1).
The Bulldog offense is powered by junior forward Myra Delgadillo, who has notched seven goals and seven assists this season. Delgadillo also sits in fourth in the conference in shots per game.
The all-time series between the Cowgirls and Bulldogs is locked at 2-2-1. UW is undefeated in its last three meetings with Fresno State (2-0-1), and claimed a 2-0 victory in the only matchup in Fresno.
The live stream of both matches will be available through GoWyo.com, and will also be available for viewing on the Mountain West Network at TheMW.com and on Campus Insiders at CampusInsiders.com. Live stats can be found at the links above. Follow the Cowgirls on Twitter (@WYOSOCCER) for live updates throughout each match.