Things didn’t go as planned for the University of New Mexico women’s soccer team last weekend, as they lost both matches, putting the Lobos at 2-3 so far this season.
Their losses came against UC Davis and San Francisco in California.
New Mexico’s two wins this season have both come at home against Pacific and Idaho State. Its three losses have all come on the road, including the season opener to Texas Tech.
Nonetheless, UNM head coach Heather Dyche, still acknowledging her team is young, said that the two losses on the road last weekend were good learning experiences for her team — and she hopes they can learn from their mistakes and miscues.
“I was disappointed with the losses, but actually really pleased with our team,” Dyche said.
This weekend, the Lobos can fix those mistakes, or at least clean them up a bit, when they host the UTEP Miners at 7:30 p.m. at the UNM Soccer Complex. It’ll be the first of four straight home games, stretching over a three-week span for New Mexico.
Against UC Davis, the Lobos failed to register a goal, losing 1-0 last Friday night. And on Sunday, the Lobos fell to San Francisco 2-1.
However, freshman forward Alesia Garcia, budding young star for the UNM program, was the lone Lobo to register a goal over the weekend. So far this season, she leads her team with three goals.
“I’ve been really impressed with her,” Dyche said of Garcia. “Alesia does a lot of things off the field that nobody watches. So she’s working on her own, she’s up watching videos. And I think it’s really paying off for her, because she’s starting to play the other side of the ball really well.”
In UTEP (4-2), the Lobos face a team that returns 16 letterwinners, according to the Miners’ athletics website. Leading the charge for the Miners is junior defender Lauren Crenshaw who, like Garcia, leads her team with three goals.
The Miners are coming off of two straight wins. Both wins came at home against Grand Canyon and Northern Illinois.
UTEP also beat Idaho State 2-1 a couple of days before the Lobos hosted them. UNM beat Idaho State at home, 5-0, two Sundays ago.
With a win come Friday, the Lobos can break even on the season.
Speaking of her freshmen, Dyche said getting better takes time, but it also takes a willingness to go out and get better every day.
“‘If you want something, work for it,’” Dyche said. “If you want to be better at something, apply yourself to it. Sometimes it takes them a little bit longer. And sometimes they come in and they have that naturally. And our job is to help them become strong women that figure out how to have a voice and how to fight for what you want.”
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.