After winning four games in a row, UNM was dealt a blow by Boise State, which beat the women’s soccer team on Friday night 3-0 at the Boas Soccer Complex in Boise, Idaho.
The Lobos (7-4, 2-1 MW) have outshot and out-possessed the majority of their opponents this season, but against Boise State (7-4-1, 2-1 MW), the balance of play was far more even. The Broncos edged the Lobos in shots (20-16), but both sides had twelve shots in the second half.
The Broncos inflicted plenty of damage in the first half, and it took them 35 minutes to open the scoring. A Boise State throw-in during the final third was flicked onto sophomore forward Raimee Sherle, who let the ball roll across her body and then fired the ball from the top of the box to find the upper left corner of the goal.
Sherle is the Broncos’ top scorer and increased her scoring total to six goals this season.
Just under two minutes after Sherle’s opener, the Broncos were able to double their lead.
UNM sophomore goalkeeper Emily Johnson punched out a Boise cross from the left side of the UNM defensive third, but the ball landed within the box just in front of sophomore forward McKenna Kynett, who volleyed the ball low with her left foot past Johnson.
The Lobos picked up the pace in the second half, coming close to scoring on several occasions.
In the 70th minute, UNM forward Claire Lynch found forward Eileen Zendejas in the box, who rocketed the ball toward the roof of the net off a one-time volley, but Bronco senior goalkeeper Janelle Flores was there to make an acrobatic, one-handed save.
The Broncos added their third and final goal of the match in the 82nd minute. A scramble in the UNM penalty area popped the ball up into the air and was then controlled by senior defender Jessie Vogel, who then poked the ball into the left corner of the goal from just outside the six-yard box.
The Broncos were able to close out the 3-0 victory and will play again on Sunday against San Diego State. The clean sheet marks goalkeeper Flores’ 17th shutout of her career.
“It’s remarkable what she’s done over the course of her career,” Boise head coach Jim Thomas said in a release. “I think people underrate what she’s capable of. It’s one thing to make 10 saves where you should make the save on each shot, but if you make one save where everything else has failed, that’s game changing stuff — and that’s essentially been her career.”
The Lobos will likely want to put the disappointing result behind them and return home on a winning note next week if they can get by Utah State on Sunday, who lost to San Diego State on Friday, 2-1.
UNM head coach Heather Dyche seemed to express a desire to see her team start stronger against the Aggies than they did against Boise State.
"Boise State gets credit for the way they started the game," she said in a release. "They came out harder and wanted to win more than we did. In the second half, we came to compete, but it wasn't enough to overcome their start."
The Lobos will play Utah State on Sunday at 1 p.m. in Logan, Utah.
Matthieu Cartron is a sports beat reporter for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers women’s soccer and men’s tennis. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @cartron_matt.