The Daily Aggie :: 08/13/09

Check out our interview with Aggie head women's soccer coach Michael Needham. Coach Needham and his girls are preparing for Saturday's exhibition game, the first game in Aggie soccer history. We talked with Coach about what he hopes to see from his team when they take the field on Saturday as well as a few other things. There are a couple items to take away from our interview. First, Coach Needham was and is very appreciative of the support the community has given him since he arrived in Las Cruces. However, he was quick to point out that no matter how many times he tells his players how great the support from the Aggie community has been, they won't understand until they see it for themselves. What does that mean? It means come out on Saturday afternoon and support the team. Show them that same great Aggie support that you've shown Coach Needham and his staff.

Second, he's very very appreciative of the support he has gotten from the University's administration. He feels very strongly that there is a commitment to his program. "When you're out in the coaching circles and you're talking to people there's a lot people that don't feel that they have the support of their administration." What's interesting about that statement is that it is very similar to a statement made by UConn women's head basketball coach Geno Auriemma in the press conference after his team won the National Championship back in April. He said, "Today, every [BCS] school that wants to win a national championship can do it. Every one. Every [BCS] school in America, if they wanted to, could do it. At Connecticut, they want to. Now if they didn't want to, in '85, in '86, '87, '88, '89, I mean, there's a long time there where they didn't want to, because they couldn't. They couldn't afford it." You don't have to read between the lines too much when you compare Coach Needham's quote to Coach Auriemma's quote. In college athletics support from one's administration = $$$$ which in turn equates to resources, facilities, better equipment, etc. Plain and simple. While it's unrealistic to expect the Aggies to win the College Cup in women's soccer in the near future (that statement is not meant to be negative or pessimistic*) they have at least been and will hopefully continue to be given the resources to compete regionally and in the WAC and for that Coach Needham expressed his gratitude in our interview with him.

*Since 1982 only seven different teams have won the College Cup (the NCAA soccer National Championship) with North Carolina having won the title an astounding 19 of the 26 years (including four times this decade). Notre Dame has won twice, Portland has won twice, Santa Clara once, Florida once, Southern Cal once and George Mason once.

We ran across a story put out by a news outlet in College Station, TX (home of the other Aggies) reporting that the Texas A&M Aggie volleyball team would be playing the Italian National squad. Our very own Aggies are also playing the Italians but what caught our eye was the fact that the Italians are playing just four matches in the U.S. during this trip. New Mexico State, Texas A&M, Texas and Wichita State. It truly is an honor for the Aggies (and the other three schools) to play in this exhibition.

Also catching our eye was this: Italy will have an obvious height advantage, as five of the players on the 12-member roster are listed 6-3 or taller, including 6-8 opposite hitter Valentina Diouf. Six feet, eight inches. To put that in perspective, Ms. Diouf is taller than all but three of our MEN'S basketball players.

Make sure and grab your tickets to this special event, September 6th at 7:00 p.m. in the Pan American Center.

On to today's links...

Aggie Football
Teddy Feinberg of the Las Cruces Sun-News blogs about yesterday's practice sessions.

Teddy Feinberg writes about Chris Buckner's switch from receiver to secondary.

Aggie Men's Basketball
Our man Kevin at Parsing The WAC has an update on Aggie recruit Justin Standley.

Aggie Women's Basketball
Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News blogs about Fresno State having to vacate their 2007/2008 WAC regular season and conference tournament titles due to the use of an ineligible player.

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