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Aggies open up WAC play with a loss to Utah Valley

The New Mexico State women's soccer team couldn't score a goal in their conference opening loss at home Friday afternoon.

The New Mexico State women's soccer team couldn't score a goal in their conference opening loss at home Friday afternoon.

Mitchell Allred

The New Mexico State women's soccer team couldn't score a goal in their conference opening loss at home Friday afternoon.

Mitchell Allred

Mitchell Allred

The New Mexico State women's soccer team couldn't score a goal in their conference opening loss at home Friday afternoon.

With the team winning just one of their first 11 games of the season entering conference play, it hasn’t been an easy start for the New Mexico State women’s soccer team in Rob Baarts’ first year as head coach.

Those rebuilding pains continued Friday afternoon, as the Aggies dropped their WAC home opener 3-0 to Utah Valley, marking their fourth shutout loss of 2018.

Another display of offensive ineffectiveness was the story of this afternoon’s fixture for NM State, who failed to register what would be their first and only shot on goal unit the 60’ of play.

“We’re still trying to find that right combination of formation that gives us a good solid back line, at the same time as allowing us to be offensive minded. The change that we made to try and adjust to something — I just think we had a hard time really figuring it out, and when we stopped figuring that out, we lost our offense,” Baarts said. “The reality of it is — don’t overthink it, it’s not about overthinking it. We will be set to get our offense back, we just have to make sure to get our back line set.”

A tap-in at the 10’ mark gave Utah Valley the early advantage, which would be piled on in the second half off of a world class strike that just curled into the top-right corner of the goal in the 51’. The Wolverines would add another insurance goal in the 79’ minute to cap off their second win of the season.

The Aggies still have seven games left in conference play to start putting things together in Baarts’ new system, and the first year head coach maintains that the most important thing for his team going forward is to not dwell on their recent lows.

“You got to keep your head up. At the end of the day, you can walk away — and this is going to hurt — but at the same time, if you don’t keep your head up, we got know chance,” Baarts said when asked about the message he delivered to his team after the loss. “If we can just keep our head up, keep grinding, it’ll start clicking once we start figuring out what that lineup looks like.”

NM State takes the pitch again next Friday when they travel to Riverside, Calif. to take on the WAC’s newest member in the California Baptist Lancers.

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About the Writer
James Martin, Sports Editor

James Martin is a second-year sportswriter and a sophomore majoring in journalism. He was born and raised in Las Cruces, New Mexico and graduated from...

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Aggies open up WAC play with a loss to Utah Valley