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Lobo Women’s Soccer Grounds Fort Lewis Skyhawks in Impressive 3-0 Victory

Post-Match Edition: Lobos defeat Skyhawks 3-0 FT

By Christopher Walker | April 16, 2019 | seekandstrikecollective@gmail.com

Albuquerque, NM – On Sunday, April 14, 2019, UNM Lobo Women’s Soccer hosted a match against visiting Fort Lewis Skyhawks Women’s Soccer. This is fifth match of six listed on the Lobos Spring schedule. It was originally slated to be at the UNM Soccer Complex but, due to scheduling conflicts with the Track & Field team, the match was moved to the practice field. This arrangement favored each team’s supporters allowing them to be closer to the action than they would be in the Soccer Complex. My interest to attend this game was piqued by the appearance of Women’s Soccer at this past weekend’s New Mexico United game. The Lobos faced off against New Mexico State in a Crossbar Challenge. The objective was to make a shot on target (hitting the crossbar). Both teams found the back of the net many times throughout the challenge. However, the Lobos won this challenge in front of 12,000 plus when Alexa Kirton took aim nailing the crossbar dead on.

Note: During the Spring, Lobo Women’s Soccer does not have staff to keep statistics, so this recap of their match really speaks to pivotal moments such as momentum shifts, key stops, and goals scored.

Right from kickoff, it was the Lobos on the attack. The Lobos kept 3 defenders in the back and their goalkeeper, Malia Vanisi, was very vocal throughout the first half communicating about the oncoming press from Fort Lewis. Vanisi faced some barrage through a series of corner kicks taken by Fort Lewis. Vanisi recorded one punch save that was timed just right or it might have sunk in to the back of the goal. Another, she jumped up for and pulled out of the open air. The scrum that ensued within the Lobos goal led to some second chances for Fort Lewis but, nothing made it in the goal due to Vanisi’s vision scooping up any loose balls.

Fort Lewis didn’t enter the Lobos side off their own efforts much of the time, it was the Lobos mishandling that allowed Fort Lewis opportunities. The Lobos consistently applied pressure to disrupt Fort Lewis passes, which led to interceptions and a quick transition back into the attack led to a goal scored by Maysa Walters. The score was 1-0 at halftime.

The second half got underway with goalkeeper Emily Johnson coming off the bench for the Lobos. Fort Lewis stepped up their intensity looking for every opportunity to mobilize. Through every stop, Fort Lewis’ goalkeeper called for her team to push up and seal out the Lobos. This proved to falter as the Lobos matched their aggression only doing so with self-control to not draw any yellow cards. Most of the transfer from each teams’ side came from headers and body shots. The Lobos were fortunate to be awarded some set pieces that found the Fort Lewis crossbar each time.

The Lobos managed to stay in Fort Lewis’ side most of the second half. Leilani Baker had several attempts to play on long passes, but her speed attributed to several offsides calls or she eagerly took the dribble up the pitch just missing available passing lanes before getting tangled up in Fort Lewis defenders. Still Baker’s hustle created chances for other players to score. The Lobos scored two goals within a few minutes of each other towards the end of the match, they were by Cami Floth and Jessie Hix.  As the whistle blew match play dead, the Lobos exited the game with a 3-0 shutout over Fort Lewis and Lobos goalkeepers Emily Johnson and Malia Vanisi share a clean sheet (a scoreless game by the opponent).

Next Up: Lobo Women’s Soccer conclude their spring schedule in Texas when they face Texas Tech on April 20, 2019.

Christopher Walker is a beat reporter for Seek and Strike Collective covering the beat on New Mexico United and Albuquerque Sol soccer. Follow him on Twitter@_ChrisWalker505

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