The New Mexico women’s soccer team opened the season with a bang, scoring in the opening minutes of the match — but ultimately came up short against San Francisco on Friday night.
UNM’s Emily Chavez, a senior defender, headed in a goal off a corner kick at the 2:37 mark to put the Lobos up 1-0.
Many things appeared to go well for the Lobos (0-1-0). The team outshot its opponent 19-14 and ended up with eight shots on goal for the match.
New Mexico Head Coach Heather Dyche said she was pleased with what she saw overall and the mistakes the team made are correctable.
“I saw a lot of good things tonight,” she said in a release. “There are things that we did wrong — like despite scoring, we didn’t come out with the energy we needed to at the beginning of the game.”
San Francisco (1-0-0) also scored early, evening the match at 1-1 early in the 13th minute after Samantha Jehnings notched a goal.
The Dons opened the second half by scoring what ended up being the game-winner at the 48:07 mark.
Sophomore goalkeeper Emily Johnson initially made a save, but was unable to clear the ball. San Francisco’s Sonja Giraud cleaned things up and put a one-timer past Johnson to go up 2-1 over New Mexico.
Johnson played well, making three saves during the match but San Francisco’s goalkeeper really seemed to lock in after she allowed the opening goal.
New Mexico had plenty of scoring opportunities, which Dyche said was encouraging, but goalkeeper Olivia Camera kept the Lobos at bay.
She saved seven of New Mexico’s eight shots on goal, making a huge one in the 81st minute after UNM’s Leilani Baker fired a shot from inside the box. That shot came moments after Chavez narrowly missed putting in a second header that ricocheted off the post.
Despite the inability to finish scoring chances, Dyche seemed encouraged by the ability of the team to create them.
“I saw we have the capability to score a multitude of ways this year — last year we could only score one or two ways,” she said.
The Lobos have a chance to salvage a split at the Lobo Invitational as they take on Grand Canyon University at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday.
Robert Maler is the sports editor for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers football and men’s and women’s tennis. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @robert_maler.