Sept. 26, 2010
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming Cowgirl Soccer team (6-6 overall), gave up two second half goals to the New Mexico State Aggies (6-2-2 overall), falling 2-1, on Sunday at the Louis S. Madrid Sports Complex.
"I felt the first 30 minutes we played some great soccer, we got some early chances and scored a very good goal," said UW head coach Danny Sanchez. "The second half New Mexico State just took it to us, we fell into a shell and they deserved to win this game."
Wyoming began the game quickly by applying early offensive pressure putting its first shot on goal just 42 seconds in. Freshman Ellen McCormick took UW's first shot forcing the Aggies to make a team save that went out of bounds leading to a UW corner kick. Cowgirl Liz O'Reilly took the UW corner kick putting it on goal but the Aggies goalkeeper Mikalea Bitner kept the ball out. The Cowgirls took the first three shots of the game putting all of them on goal, but each was saved by the Aggies. New Mexico State would answer the Cowgirls offensive tempo taking the next three shots, forcing UW keeper Courtney Merkle to save two of the three. Although the Aggies attempted to answer they could not slow the Cowgirl pressure and it led to an early goal for the Cowgirls. In the 20th minute of the game UW's O'Reilly passed the ball behind the Aggie defense to a streaking Carmen Blume who put the ball in the back of the Aggie net for the UW goal. The Cowgirls and the Aggies traded shots for the next 25 minutes but each was only able to manage one shot on goal and none in the net. The halftime score held, 1-0 in favor of the Cowgirls.
The second half action began quickly as NMSU was able to take the first two shots of the half forcing UW keeper Merkle to make an early save in the 50th minute. New Mexico State controlled the ball for much of the next 10 minutes and was able to get its first goal of the match. In the 64th minute NMSU's Crystal Burns kicked a through ball behind the UW defense to teammate Lauren Cope who put the ball in the top right corner of the UW goal just above the outstretched Merkle. The Cope goal tied the game, 1-1, early in the second half. Cowgirl Blume had a chance to take the lead back for the Cowgirls just two minutes later but NMSU keeper Bitner had the answer keeping the ball out. Wyoming kept the offensive pressure on New Mexico State with their best chance to score in the 72nd minute just after a Jerrica DiVincenzo corner kick. DiVincenzo took the corner kick and the ball was kicked around inside the Aggie goalie area, but eventually the ball was kicked out and UW's MaKenzie Meade put the ball on goal from 25 yards out, but again Bitner made the save. The Cowgirls were able to manage three more shots on goal in the next 10 minutes, but they could not show down the Aggies offensive attack allowing the second NMSU goal of the game in the 80th minute. NMSU's Crystal Burns took a shot from 30 yards out putting in the top left corner of the UW goal over a diving Merkle. Wyoming was able to get three more shots off in the next 10 minutes but none found the back of the NMSU net. The final score held, 2-1 in favor of the Aggies.
"We need to refocus because we begin conference play Saturday and it is against BYU," added Sanchez. "We are going to work hard this week and be prepared and focused for BYU."
The Cowgirls will begin Mountain West Conference play next weekend taking on the 19th ranked BYU Cougars, on Saturday Oct. 2 at the Louis S. Madrid Sports Complex, with the match beginning at 1 p.m. Mountain Time.