The day was hot, but not excessively so. The ever-so-slight breeze was an added perk. And both of those made for a perfect day of soccer for the UNM women’s soccer team.
Attacking early and often, New Mexico (2-1-0) found itself dominating in a one-sided affair on Sunday afternoon, defeating the visiting Idaho State Bengals (0-2-0), 5-0 in front of a welcoming crowd of UNM fans.
It was also the team’s second win in three days after they defeated Pacific 4-2 in its home opener on Friday evening.
“I think the score line is obviously something we’re happy about,” UNM head coach Heather Dyche said, when asked if she was happy with her team’s performance on Sunday. “But there’s a lot to fix, so I think we know going into next weekend those games are going to be a lot more difficult.”
Though it was Idaho State who got the first good look of the game on a breakaway after an intercepted throw-in from senior defender Jessica Nelson, the Lobos were, in fact, the early aggressors.
Nearly nine minutes into the match, UNM got its first good attempt at scoring after Nelson, with her exuberant, front flip throw-in, nearly assisted sophomore midfielder/forward Alexa Kirton for the first score of the game.
It was a little over 10 minutes after that first clean attempt from Kirton that New Mexico scored its first goal. Senior midfielder Amelia Bierle assisted freshman forward Alesia Garcia who, on a breakaway, knocked in her second goal of the season, and the Lobos’ first of the day to put them ahead 1-0.
“Alesia (Garcia) is a goal scorer; that’s how she thinks about the game,” Dyche said. “She plays with a little bit of swagger to her, I think that that’s obvious. She’s confident that she can get things done.”
The Lobos added another goal in the 29th minute after junior midfielder Jessie Hix’s header found the back of the net on an assist from senior midfielder/forward Jennifer Muñoz.
Then, in the 37th and 38th minute, New Mexico added two more goals. The first of those two came by way of Jadyn Edwards, a freshman forward, who caught the ball on a clean pass on to the inside from sophomore midfielder/forward Madi Hirschman, who had just subbed in for sophomore midfielder Cami Floth.
The second of those back-to-back goals came by way of Hirschman, again, who found herself in the middle of the action. She stopped, set her feet, and struck the ball into the top left and out of reach of the Idaho State goalie.
“Honestly, Heather (Dyche) told me going in to bring a lot of energy, and that was my main goal—bring energy,” Hirschman said of her and her team’s game plan heading into Sunday afternoon. “I think that’s where we were successful in this game.”
In the first half alone, UNM outshot the Bengals 11-3, 8-1 on goal, all of which helped them grab a quick 4-0 lead.
Although New Mexico wasn’t able to match its goal total in the second half, its intensity was still on par.
Freshman forward Lexi Baca put one through nearly 25 minutes into the second half of play. She was assisted by Hirschman.
Dyche said that in non-conference matches such as that against Idaho State, getting players on the field and getting them more experience is of the utmost importance. In total, 17 substitutions took place for the Lobos.
Hix played the most minutes, with 80. Of the Lobos five goals, five different players scored. It was Baca’s first goal as a Lobo, as well as Edwards—both of whom are freshmen.
Overall, UNM outshot Idaho State 21-8 overall and 13-3 on goal. The Lobos also had 11 corner kicks to Idaho State’s 1.
The Lobos will have four days to rest before they head to California for a weekend slate against UC Davis, who they play on Friday, and San Francisco, who they play on Sunday.
Matthew Narvaiz is a sports beat reporter and senior writer for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers football and also contributes content for other sports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @matt_narvaiz.