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Lobo Senior forward Stephanie Rowe (right) heads the ball away from a Boise State defender in a 1-0 victory over the Broncos on Sept. 28 at the UNM Soccer Complex. UNM hosts its final two home games of the season starting today against Air Force, then on Sunday against Wyoming.

Seven seniors say adios this Sunday

With only three games left in the regular season, the UNM women’s soccer team faces a conundrum.

The Lobos (8-5-2, 2-1-1 MWC) are in a three-way tie for second place in the MWC with UNLV and Fresno State. SDSU is at the top of the standings with a 14-1-1, 4-0-0 record.

Head coach Kit Vela said the team must win either the MWC regular season championship or the conference tournament title to reach its third consecutive NCAA tournament. In order to have a shot at those titles, the team will have to win all three games remaining in the season. The Lobos’ 2-0 defeat to UNLV on Sunday snapped their 17-game unbeaten streak in the MWC.

“I never think we’ve done enough,” she said. “We can’t even think that far ahead, then we’ll kind of look at the next game. Last week wasn’t an anomaly, but that wasn’t our Lobo team on Sunday, but travel, wear and tear. It just is what it is.”

Vela said that in retrospect the streak was an achievement, considering the level of talent in the MWC.

“I think being undefeated for 17 straight games was unbelievable for any team in the conference,” she said. “I really don’t look at streaks because it gives your opponent a little more ammo.”

The Lobos face Air Force today at the UNM Soccer Complex at 5 p.m. for the team’s annual “Think Pink” game, in which UNM dons pink jerseys to support breast cancer awareness.

Air Force (5-6-3, 0-4-0) has fallen off since conference play began, with zero wins in the MWC so far. The Falcons haven’t claimed a road victory yet this season.

Senior forward Stephanie Rowe said the team prepares for every game by not looking forward or back, and instead focusing on the game that’s ahead.

“I think that we’re doing the same thing we’ve done all fall,” she said. “We’re preparing the same way, learning every day, and just working hard and looking forward to the game.”

Junior midfielder Brianna Webster said the Lobos want to finish their last home stand of the season on a high note.

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“We’re really excited to have home games this weekend and breast cancer awareness night,” she said. “It will be a good turnout, especially because it’s a double-header.”

Sunday’s game against Wyoming is senior day for the Lobos, and Vela said she will miss the seven seniors because of how they’ve helped shape the program.

“I think every senior game is so emotional,” Vela said. “They all have their personal stories and it will be emotional for all of them.”

Women’s soccer
vs. Air Force
5 p.m.

vs. Wyoming
11 a.m.

UNM Soccer Complex


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