Sept. 3, 2010
By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
There was frustration. There were good shots. There were too many good shots that failed to find the net. But it was a 1-0 Lobo victory over New Mexico State Aggies Friday at the Lobo Soccer Complex, so the night ended with a bunch of happy and undefeated Lobos.
"It was frustrating, but we've played those kinds of games before," said Lobo coach Kit Vela, who saw her young team go to 4-0-1 on the season. "It's a good learning experience, but those are scary games.
"It's one of those things that you look at the chances you squandered or the opportunities that you had. If you don't put them into the back of the net, they can tie it up at anytime."
The Lobos had plenty of chances and opportunities vs. the Aggies. UNM took 21 shots to six for NMSU. The Lobos had seven shots on goal to one for NMSU. There was a lot of Lobo dominance, but only a single goal. It was enough. The quickness factor leaned well toward the Lobos.
Still, the Lobos needed "someone to come up big," as Lobo senior Rachel Fields put it. She came up big in the second half when Roxie McFarland sent a free kick booming over the pack in front of the NMSU net. The kick came off an Aggie foul that resulted in an Aggie yellow card.
The Aggies' keeper might have made a mistake on the play. She could have easily caught the ball, but decided to punch it out - a two-fisted punch that landed near Fields.
"I really can't tell you much about it," said Fields of her game-winning goal and her third score of the season. "It was just a good shot. There were a lot of girls in the middle and it was a good touch pass past the keeper.
"We're going to have games like this. This was a good learning curve for us. We learned our lesson. We need to come out stronger as a team."
The Lobos dominated between the lines and on the stats' sheet, but Vela wasn't exactly thrilled with her Lobos' effort. "I don't think we played very well today," she said. "But it's always good to get a win and we have to clean it up for Sunday (at North Texas)."
The game, played in front of 2,205 fans, was the Lobos' first and last regular-season game played at home in September. They return Oct. 9 vs. San Diego State. "I wish it weren't so," said Vela of the long wait between home games.
Lobo Amanda Collins said even though the game was tight on the scoreboard, the Lobos' efforts on the pitch made her confident of a UNM win.
"I felt confident that we were going to win, but we weren't connecting like we usually do," said Collins. "We kept working hard and did what we had to do to get that goal. I felt like we had control. Our forwards were getting in and pressing them hard and getting a lot of chances."
First Half - Lobos 0, Aggies 0
The Lobos dominated play between the lines in the first half, but could never reach that little patch of green behind the Aggies' goal line. The Lobos had their chances though, missing several good opportunities in front of the NMSU net. The Lobos even got a decent shot at the NMSU goal with one second to play in the half, but the kick went wide.
There were only a few occasions when NMSU pushed the ball into Lobo territory, but the Aggies' two shots were soft and off line. They had no shots on goal in the first 45 minutes, so Lobo keeper Kelli Cornell had no saves.
UNM's dominance in the first half was reflected in the stats. The Lobos had 11 shots and three shots on goal.