The UNM women’s soccer team had a rough start in its exhibition Monday night at the UNM Soccer Complex, but the Lobos hit their stride as the game progressed and took a 3-1 win over Fort Lewis.
The Lobos kept the ball on the offensive side of the field for much of the first half, taking 14 shots with five fired on goal. They also attempted six corner kicks in the opening 45 minutes, to Fort Lewis’s one.
Despite the offensive pressure, however, UNM only made one goal in the first half, and a defensive lapse allowed Fort Lewis to tie just before halftime.
“It wasn’t the way we wanted it to go initially … but they fought through it and ended up putting together a good game,” head coach Heather Dyche said after her first game behind UNM. “You go into the game hoping that you’re sharp and you’re ready,”
Redshirt senior forward Madisyn Olguin took the game’s first goal for the Lobos at the 30:30 mark. Junior midfielder Maddie Irwin found Olguin at the top of the box, and Olguin turned and shot, converting the goal past Skyhawk goalie Caitlyn Esponosa.
UNM's pressure continued through the rest of the half until an unfocused defense allowed Fort Lewis forward Renee Terrell, a freshman substitute, to score a tying goal. Terrell picked up the ball from the outside of UNM’s box and fired it past redshirt senior Lobo goalie Cassie Ulrich to the far post.
Midfielder Jordan Hix, an Albuquerque native, had the assist on Terrell’s goal. She is the sister of Lobo freshman Justin Hix, who plays for the men's soccer team, and daughter of Lobo soccer alum Jason Hix.
UNM kept Fort Lewis’s offense at bay in the second half, this time maintaining its success. Sophomore midfielder Claire Lynch netted an unassisted goal at the 74th minute after a Fort Lewis defender blocked a Lobo crossing pass attempt.
Four minutes later, freshman defender Bailey Webster took an Irwin pass high toward the net from the right side. The ball sailed over Espinosa, bounced once and slipped just past the far post.
Dyche gave her bench quality minutes in the exhibition. In all, UNM played 25 players, and three substitute players – freshman midfielder/forward Jennifer Munoz, senior forward Korynn Blanksma and sophomore midfielder Ashley Ballantyne – played at least 30 minutes.
UNM opens its regular season on Friday with the Lobo Invitational against No. 1 Florida State. The game starts at 7:30 p.m.
J.R. Oppenheim is the managing editor for the Daily Lobo. Contact him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JROppenheim.
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