Head coach Heather Dyche said she was looking for leadership from UNM’s offense. She got more than one leader in Friday afternoon’s 3-1 victory over San Jose State.
Dyche has said she thought her squad was too timid in the final third of the soccer field and said someone had to take control in the Lobo attack.
The Lobos found themselves in a hole early, having given up the first score in each of the three conference games played so far this season.
However, in contrast from other other Mountain West contests, UNM (5-4-2, 1-2-0) was able to come back from the early deficit to take the lead, one which the team never looked back from.
The scoring started with Alexis Venegas’ third goal of the year in the 13th minute of the contest off a throw-in from Carley McBeath, which bounced off the head of Dorthe Hoppius before finding Venegas’ foot.
SJSU’s goal was the only one scored by either team in the first half of the contest, but the Lobos would not stay dormant the entire game.
Junior midfielder Claire Lynch was the first Lobo to score on the afternoon, burying a cross in the back of the net from senior defender Olivia Ferrier in front of the box in the 54th minute.
Maddie Irwin was in the right place at the right time for her fifth goal on the year after a free kick from redshirt junior defender Emily Chavez slipped through SJSU goalkeeper Ana Calero’s hands.
The 77th minute goal gave New Mexico a 2-1 advantage, its first lead in MW play.
Irwin and Lynch weren’t done on the day.
In the 85th minute, Irwin was able to find Lynch on a lob in the box, who took advantage for her sixth goal on the year. The leading scorer for the Lobos was able to put an end to the Spartans’ five match unbeaten streak (3-0-2).
SJSU fell to 5-3-3 and 2-1-0 in the Mountain West.
“Every player here today played a vital role in the second half,” Dyche said. “We believed as a team if our energy and effort are right we can be great – and we got that right in the second half.”
Though Dyche gave credit to the entire team for the win, Lynch and Irwin took Dyche’s request for leadership to heart, taking all seven of UNM’s shot attempts in the contest.
Liam Cary-Eaves is the sports editor for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers volleyball, women’s basketball and baseball. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Liam_CE.