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Wolf Down: Lobos Main Priority Is To Get Better And Win

University New Mexico’s Women Lobo Soccer are still fighting to earn a berth into the Mountain West Tournament. Ahead of them, two road matches that they need to win to create distance in the standings. 

By Chris Walker | BV Photos!

New Mexico Lobo Women’s Soccer team went head-to-head with Boise State Broncos Women’s Soccer last weekend for a chance to take the sole position atop of the Mountain West Conference. The Lobos rode into the match on a 4-match win streak and found themselves down 1-0 in the 75thminute when Broncos’ Jazel Bowers found the ribbing of the goal. The Lobos (8-5-0, 4-2-0) and Broncos (13-2-0, 5-1-0) match went the distance with each team matching offensive and defensive efforts alike. 

The result of this match put Boise State out ahead in the Mountain West Conference by 1 match ahead of Colorado State, San Diego State, and the Lobos. 

While the Lobos are competing to stay in the second place of the standings, this week’s opponents are sitting equal in third place. 

The Lobos are lacking depth this year after unloading many players due to graduation. But it hasn’t stopped Head Coach Heather Dyche, nor her players from tasting victory. Dyche and her technical staff are developing their younger players by teaching them how to maintain composure in high-pressure situations. “In the second half, the energy gets higher and we have let it affect the way we play,” stated Dyche. “We start playing direct and start panicking. We’re not good that way. We’re trying to get our sophomores and the players that don’t have a ton of minutes under their belts to just breathe and keep the ball. We’re telling them if you’re going to lose it, lose it in smart areas instead of giving it away in areas that cause second chances.”

Dyche’s Juniors, Leilani Baker (4 goals, 2 assist) and Gwen Maly (leads all Lobos with 5 goals), along with Senior Jessie Hix are credited with 2 game-winning goals each. “A lot of kids tend to be on a rollercoaster,” Dyche said. “I think in your sophomore year, you don’t have the composure that you do once you become a Junior and when you’re a Senior, everything’s easy and you play desperate. So, Seniors are the ones that win these games for you.”

Lobo Freshman Maysa Walters (2 goals, 2 assist) and Sophomore Alesia Garcia (2 goals, 2 assist) have managed to get in on the action, each with a game-winning goal, which must bode well with Dyche considering the future of this roster. Sophomore Jadyn Edwards has 3 goals and leads all Lobos with 3 assists on the season. They are winning games now in the Mountain West as a team heavy-laden with Sophomores and Freshmen. 

“I want our team to get better every game,” Dyche states. “but in our conference, you have to get a win.”

This evening, the Lobos visit Colorado College Tigers at 7 pm. (8-4-0, 3-3-0) and Sunday will wrapping-up their last Mountain West road-series when they play at Air Force Falcons (8-4-1, 3-3-0) at 12 pm.

Colorado College is coming off a 2-0 loss to the UNLV Rebels. The Lobos edged the Rebels 3-2 two weeks ago at UNM Soccer Complex. Colorado College Tigers averages 1.75 goals per game and concedes just 0.92. Sophomore forward Jacqui Hand owns a team-best seven goals. Junior Jen Wilt is second with three goals and eight assists, while sophomore Kiley Suter paces the team with nine assists. The series is drawn even between these two teams at 7-7-0 with the Lobos winning the last 3 meetings. 

Air Force lost 2-1 to Nevada Wolfpack. Nevada’s standout freshman, Gabby Brown was kept off the team sheet for a second straight week following the Lobos 3-1 victory over the Wolfpack. The Falcons average 1.85 goals per game and concedes 1.15. Lexi Romero leads the team with 10 goals, while Romero, Emma Nelson, and Emiley Benner lead the team in assists with 4 each. The Lobos own this series posting a head-to-head record of 15-9-1 with a series win-streak of 1 game. 

Both matches will live-stream on the Mountain West Network. 

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