Oct. 16, 2008
Thursday: Utah 1, Lobos 0
Saturday: Lobos vs. Brigham Young
When/Where: 12 p.m., UNM Soccer Complex
By Richard Stevens Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
It's meeting time for the University of New Mexico women's soccer team and it might be best for the Lobos that Coach Kit Vela is not a screamer.
Because Vela said she was not happy with the Lobos team that "didn't show up" Thursday night at the UNM Soccer Complex for UNM's 1-0 Mountain West Conference loss to the Utah Utes.
"It was Thursday night? Fall Break? You got me," said Vela. "We didn't show up. It was two kind of average teams tonight. We showed up at home and kind of thought we'd walk our way through it or something. We'll have a meeting. We'll see."
As it often is in soccer, the losing team didn't really do much wrong, but they say there is a crack in every defense. That's how the goals get in.
The Utes found a small crack in the Lobos' defense with 13:10 left in the first half and that lone goal held up the rest of the night. The score was set up by a hand ball that gave Utah a free kick outside the box and a bit to UNM keeper Shannon Adragna's left. The goal was a nice combination of touch and execution.
Utah's Katy Reineke lofted a soft pass to Lauren Porter, who had carved out an angle that placed her behind the UNM defense and in front of the UNM net. Porter gathered in the pass and chipped it past Adragna.
"It was a very average game. I didn't think either team was very good tonight, to be honest with you."
The Lobos ended the game with two shots-on-goal and Utah had three. Both teams had a total of seven shots apiece. Adragna had two saves for UNM and Hannah Turpen had two for the Utes. Utah had three corner kicks and UNM had one.
"If you come out with a lack of energy, you get what you deserve," said Vela, who saw her Lobos drop to 7-4-4 overall and 2-2-0 in the Mountain West. "Half the group was pretty energetic and half the group wasn't. Unfortunately, the scoring half wasn't."
The Lobos had a decent chance to tie the game near the 11:03 mark of the first half when Hannah Hand broke open behind the Utah defense and dribbled in toward the Utes' net. However, Hand was run down from behind by a Utah defender, who cleared the ball away from Hand's feet.
Utah had an earlier chance in the first half to take a 1-0 lead near the 17:17 mark with a free shot directly in front of the UNM goal - set up by a hand ball. A low, ground shot by Reineke was ripped to Adragna's left side and she made a nice diving save.
The first half mostly was an evenly-played half with defenses dominating on both ends. Utah finished the half with two shots-on-goal and UNM got a single shot-on-net by Jennifer Williams. Utah had two corner kicks to one for UNM. The biggest difference in the first half was seven fouled whistled on UNM while Utah had only two -- and, of course, the Utah goal.
Utah seemed to stress its defensive play in the second half, hoping to nurse the 1-0 lead into a win. UNM's best shot at the net came near the 12:00 mark when Hand lofted a high shot at the Utah net off a free kick. Utah's Turpen leaped high to tap the ball away from the top of her goal. Almost, not quite.
"That free kick was great," said Vela. "But nobody followed it up. That kind of showed the lack of energy out there."
The loss dropped the Lobos behind Utah in the Mountain West race. Utah is now 7-7-2 and 3-1-0 in MWC play. UNM will play host to Brigham Young at noon on Saturday. The Cougars beat TCU in Fort Worth 1-0 Thursday which makes them 4-0 in league play.
Editor's note: Richard Stevens is a former Associate Sports Editor and sports columnist for The Albuquerque Tribune. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Previous articles are available at The Richard Stevens Corner