ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Wyoming soccer paired a stingy defensive effort with impressive offensive attacks to shut out the New Mexico Lobos and earn a 3-0 win on Friday night at the UNM Soccer Complex.
The Cowgirls (9-7-1, 5-4-0 MW) made the most of their chances on the road, managing to put away three of their five shots on-goal. Junior forward Shaina Ashouri got the offense going in the 14th minute after one-timing a pass from junior defender Alisha Bass into the back of the net. UW held off numerous Lobo attacks for the remainder of the half, looking to hold onto the lead. Sophomore defender Alyssa Murray pulled off some last-second magic just before the halftime whistle, firing in a shot from 25 yards out that found the left upper-90 to give Wyoming the 2-0 lead at the break.
Just over 10 minutes into the second frame, the Cowgirls created another opportunity from distance. Sophomore defender Taylor Burton took a free kick from UW’s half of the field, and sent it all the way into UNM’s 18-yard box. Freshman forward Michaela Stark flicked on a header that New Mexico (7-7-3, 3-5-1 MW) goalkeeper Tayler Hammack put a hand on, but could not keep out of the net. Stark’s goal, her sixth of the season, pushed UW’s advantage to three goals and effectively put the game out of reach for New Mexico.
“I think tonight was a total team effort and one of the better games we’ve played all season,” UW head coach Pete Cuadrado said. “We moved the ball really well and created good chances, and it was great to capitalize early and put them on their toes. I’m really proud of the team and obviously it really helps us in the standings.”
After Friday’s games across the MW, Wyoming moves into 5th place with 15 points. Boise State (5-9-4, 4-2-3 MW) also holds 15 points, and three teams are locked in a tie for seventh with 10 points each. There are two games remaining for each conference team, and the top six squads advance to the MW Tournament in San Diego, Calif.
Burton tallied her first assist of the season on UW’s final goal, and Murray netted her first goal of 2016 with her long-range strike. Ashouri has notched goals in each of her last three games, while Bass now has four assists in her last five matches. Junior goalkeeper Georgia Rowntree earned her sixth shutout of the season and third in conference play after a five-save night.
Wyoming returns home this Sunday for a matchup with the San Diego State Aztecs, slated for 1 p.m. MT at the Louis S. Madrid Sports Complex. The live stream will be available through GoWyo.com, and will also be available for viewing on the Mountain West Network at TheMW.com and on Campus Insiders at CampusInsiders.com. Live stats are available at GoWyo.com. Follow the Cowgirls on Twitter (@WYOSOCCER) for live updates throughout the match.