The Lobo women’s soccer team followed suit by picking up a win in its first exhibition game, duplicating the effort of the men’s team and walking away with a 3-1 victory over Colorado State-Pueblo on Wednesday night.
New Mexico’s men’s team gave up the first goal in its exhibition match against Air Force, but responded to score the final three goals of the match to win 3-1.
The women got the same result, but took a different path in getting there. Senior midfielder Claire Lynch helped the Lobos find the scoreboard first, striking the ball from distance and finding the back of the net.
Her score but UNM up 1-0 and the team never looked back. Lynch seemed to indicate the offseason felt short heading into her final season, but was excited to be back on the field with her teammates.
"It's been a long-time coming, but it also felt very short between last year and this year. We have a lot of new faces that got good time tonight and played really well. That makes me excited for the rest of the season," she said in a release.
UNM scored its second goal off a corner kick opportunity. Sophomore Jessie Hix, another midfielder, put a header into the goal to make the score 2-0.
New Mexico added another goal to make it 3-0 after one of the incoming freshman made her presence felt. Leilani Baker tracked down a ball and booted the final Lobo goal past the keeper.
The team appeared to play solid in all facets of the game—controlling the action, delivering crisp passes and playing solid defense behind two goalkeepers. That was apparently just the kind of performance head coach Heather Dyche was looking for.
"We got exactly what you want out of an exhibition," Dyche said in a release. "We got 30-40 minutes for our kids that we are anticipating are starting right now. I thought they were outstanding and controlled the ball really well.”
Emily Johnson and Malia Vanisi combined to make things tough for Colorado State-Pueblo, though it did notch one goal late in the match to make the final 3-1.
New Mexico will look to carry the momentum into Friday’s match, where things start to count. The season opener against San Francisco is set to kick off at 7:30 p.m. on Friday evening at the Lobo Invitational.
Robert Maler is the sports editor for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers football and men’s and women’s tennis. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @robert_maler.