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Women's Soccer: Ranked opponents give UNM winless start

The University of New Mexico women’s soccer team looked to bounce back after their 2-1 loss last Friday at Texas Tech but fell short in a 2-0 loss to No. 21 California on Friday to remain winless in the young season.

The Lobos came out of the gate aggressive, finding opportunities early. During the first 15 minutes of the game the Lobos outshot the Bears 4-2. However, the Golden Bears goalie stood tall, not allowing a single New Mexico goal and creating some momentum for her team.

Cal went on to dominate the final 20 minutes of the half, outshooting the Lobos 7-3. Lobos goal keeper Tayler Hammack had a stretch of five straight saves, but couldn’t take the pressure any longer.

With 30 seconds remaining in the first half, Golden Bears redshirt junior Kelly Fitzgerald stepped into a shot and scored from the top of the box on an assist from Kayla Fong.

Cal didn’t lose momentum going into the second half of play, scoring eight minutes in. Ifeoma Onumonu scored on a rebound following a Tayler Hammack save. No Lobo defenders were home as California increased its lead to 2-0.

The Lobos didn’t go down without a fight as they registered a few more shots in the second half.

Even though the Lobos lost 2-0, the outcome could have been much worse. UNM was outshot 18-11 for the game and Cal had a huge advantage in corner kicks, getting rewarded eight, compared to New Mexico’s one.

The Lobos were held scoreless for the first time since tying Wyoming on October 9, 2015, breaking a streak of nine straight matches with at least one goal.  

UNM (0-2-0) is now 0-2 all-time against the Golden Bears, against whom they also lost 2-1 in 1999.

The start of the Lobos' 2016 campaign isn’t much different from last year’s. The squad started 2015's fall season losing its first two matches against No. 1 Florida State and No. 15 Texas Tech. They then went on to finish in third place in the Mountain West Conference tournament.

The Lobos will now travel an hour and a half east to Stockton, California, where they will take on Pacific (0-1-0) at 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

Nate Taglialegami is a sports reporter for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers women's soccer. He can be reached at or on Twitter @NateTag21.

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