Sept. 11, 2009
Lobo Women's Soccer
What: UNM Nike Classic
Where:: UNM Soccer Complex
Friday: Lobos 2 Cal State Northridge 0; Kent State 2, Tulsa 1
Sunday: Lobos vs. Tulsa, 1 p.m.; Northridge vs. Kent State, 10:30 a.m.
Online: GameTracker, live streaming, results on GoLobos.com
By Richard Stevens -- Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
The history made Friday night by Kit Vela's Lobos was a pretty cool deal: Best start ever for University of New Mexico women's soccer. The 2-0 win over Cal State Northridge hands Vela's Lobos a 6-0-0 start. They shoot for lucky seven on Sunday at 1 p.m. against Tulsa.
Whoa, said Vela, more than happy with the start, but quickly willing to put this Lobo soccer journey into perspective. "We want to make history, but we want to do it more at the other end," she said.
The other end brings things like Mountain West Conference play and possibly NCAA play. "That's what we want. The NCAAs," said Williams. "And conference is more important. That's what counts."
Williams got several good looks at the net Friday against Northridge, but her first good look was the one she made count.
Williams worked her way deep into the pack in front of the Cal Northridge goal and received a pass from Rachel Fields, who did a nice job weaving through the Northridge defenders on the left side to center the ball.
"The only thing I really remember," said Williams, "is the ball bounced off a defender right in front of me and I nailed it toward the goal. It hit the goalie, but I got enough power on it so she couldn't make the save."
The ball pounded into the Northridge goalie's chest and ended up high in the back of the net. It was Williams' sixth goal of the season. The Lobos took the 1-0 lead into the half.
Northridge had several nice opportunities to find net in both halves with some well-timed lead passes, but UNM goalie Kelli Cornell made some nice sliding saves.
"The girls played well and played hard," said Vela. "We are still taking it a game at a time. I think we were a little too excited to be home and that didn't work in our favor.
"Our first goal was world class and the second goal was world class. But I wasn't all that happy with some of the stuff that happened in between."
Rowe's goal was special for a couple of reasons. First, it was an awesome work of soccer art. Second, Rowe wasn't even projected to play in this game. The 5-foot-5 freshman never left the bench in UNM's previous five games.
"Coach decided to give me a chance," said Rowe. "She knew I wanted a chance to prove myself in a game. I knew this was my time to show what I could do."
Rowe, centered in front of the Northridge net, took a pass from midfielder Nicole Reed. Then Rowe got fancy and put on some moves.
"The defender was on my back and I knew she would be stepping to the ball," said Rowe. "I let the ball go through my legs and I just turned on it and hit it. I saw the goalie moving and I just tried to get it past her. There are no words to describe the feeling."
The Lobos ended the game with 19 shots-on-goal to nine for the visitors from California. UNM had two corner kicks to four for Northridge. The Lobos remain the only undefeated team in the MWC.
"We put away our chances so at the end of the day we were at the good end," said Vela.
Said Williams: "I think it (6-0 start) is well deserved because we are working so hard as a team."