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Lobos Secure Home Pitch Advantage, Maly Scores Game-Winner

University of New Mexico Lobos defeat University of Wyoming Cowgirls 3-1 at UNM Soccer Complex. There were 714 fans in attendance on this Friday evening, which is one of the largest crowds the Lobos have played in front of this season at the Complex.

By Chris Walker

Courtesy of UNM Lobos

The first half of play saw the Lobos create chances early in the match. Possession went in their favor too. The Cowgirls were unable to match the pace the Lobos displayed on the pitch. The biggest struggle for the Lobos was their timing and execution. The Cowgirls managed to set themselves up on a few runs into the Lobos defending half and Lobos goalkeeper Emily Johnson was there to make the quick save.

Jadyn Edwards made her presence known with a glitzy step over pivot spin that put her in a position for a nice shot, but Wyoming wouldn’t let her complete that sequence. It appeared to be her night to shine as she made run after run showcasing a lot of what makes her an all-around threat.

It was a scoreless first half, which is what the Lobos have endured in two of their last three matches. The Cowgirls were physical at times, but this has always been advertised by them in their run of play.

The second half is where the Lobos have thrived after defensive matchups. It’s the pack mentality that overrides the opposition. The Lobos broke into the scoreline first.

Karlee Maes dribbled up the pitch making a serious stride. She passes the ball off to Gwen Maly on the left channel. Maly makes her Cowgirls defender play her man-on while at the same time Maes emerges and gets out in front of the nearest defender, and sets a screen on the Cowgirls goalkeeper. Maly sends a low cross into Maes, who gets a boot on the ball to re-direct it in towards goal and it’s uncontested. This goal was scored seven minutes into the second half.

Gwen Maly scores back-to-back goals to snap a 3-match scoring drought. Both off the first touch. The first, assisted by Madi Hirschman, Maly found herself in spaces throughout the night. She had a few shots that weren’t made, but she was able to get a rebate on a missed attempt when Hirschman found her at the top of the 18 and Maly kicked a daisy cutter past the Cowgirls goalkeeper. This came just a few minutes after Maes’ goal.

The Lobos were up 2-0 and broke open the match as they’ve been accustomed to doing at UNM Soccer Complex. They have scored 15 goals at home this season, an average of 3 goals per match, and have only allowed 1 goal at home.

Maes found Maly with a cross from outside the box, which was met with precision on the first touch. A big part of Maly’s effectiveness inside the 18 is her one-touch efforts.

However, the Cowgirls would answer back hitting a shot in the upper 90 out of Lobos goalkeeper Emily Johnson’s reach. Johnson has only allowed 3 goals all season.

The Lobos have outscored Mountain West opponents 23-3 this season. This accomplishment is certainly a nod to the 2010 team that only allowed 11 goals, which previously was the fewest amount of opponent goals scored in a season.

Lobos close out their regular season with Colorado State on Sunday at 1:00 pm.

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