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Women's Soccer: Lobos back on the road without pressure of ranked opponents

Another week brings another road trip for New Mexico.

This time UNM will head north to take on the Webster State Wildcats Friday night, and the Idaho State Bengals Sunday afternoon.

The Lobos played the Wildcats two years ago at the Colorado College Invitational and lost 2-1. The only other time the two schools met was in 1998, when Webster State beat the Lobos 2-0.

This will be the second time the Lobos take on the Idaho State Bengals as well. Both times the Lobos came out on top, the most recent matchup occurring  last season in Albuquerque, where the Lobos routed the Bengals 4-1.

This will be the first weekend that the Lobos will not take on an opponent in the top 25. New Mexico (1-2-0) has lost to No. 16 Texas Tech (2-1) and No. 21 Cal (2-0). UNM’s only win came against Pacific, where the squad put on a scoring clinic winning 5-2. Sunday’s game featured the most goals UNM has scored on the road since 2009.

“We played some really high level opponents, which I actually really enjoy. I’d rather play those teams and kind of test ourselves and not necessarily worry about the result, but worry about getting better,” UNM head coach Heather Dyche said at Monday’s media luncheon.

“We played Pacific, which is a strong California team in the West Coast Conference on Sunday. We were able to put five goals past them, which for us is a big deal because we failed to score a lot of goals last year,” she said.

Starting the year on the road has not been easy for the student athletes, especially with the soccer season beginning at the same time as the fall semester.

“It’s pretty impressive what they do,” Dyche said. “I don’t think that people understand sometimes the stress on the student athletes, it’s pretty unreal."

"Luckily we have a lot of upperclassmen that are good at showing the way to the younger players.”

The Lobos will play a well-rested Idaho State team on Sunday, due to the fact that they won’t be playing a Friday night game. However, Pacific also received a bye last Friday, and the Lobos came out victorious without that day off.

New Mexico had four different players score goals in the victory over Pacific on Sunday, one coming off an own goal. Three of those four scorers were freshmen, providing a huge confidence booster for the team looking into the future.

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Senior Claire Lynch was the other goal scorer. She is now approaching single digits on UNM’s all-time scoring list. She is two goals away from tying No. 10 Michelle Nowfel (1999-02) and three away from tying the No. 7 spot.

Lynch and the Lobos look to feed off of last week’s win and improve to over .500 this upcoming weekend.

The first match against Weber State is set to begin at 3:30 p.m. MT.

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

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