NM State soccer suffers seventh-straight loss in chippy battle with CBU


Anthony McKenna

Alexa Barrera jostles with the CBU defender for possession.

The New Mexico State women’s soccer team fall to 1-9-2 after suffering their seventh-straight loss this season to WAC leading California Baptist University (9-2-1, 2-0 WAC) Sunday afternoon at the NM State Soccer Complex.

Shots were flying all game, with a total of 27 spewing from each side. The Lancers played with their foot on the gas, being responsible for 18 of those, but the true story of the game was the physicality of both teams, with 23 combined fouls, one yellow cared and a pair of reds, leaving each side with just 10 on the pitch by the final whistle.

In one of the most intense halves this season, neither team could establish an advantage, splitting possession right down the 50-50 line and almost registering an identical amount of shot opportunities.

“We, as a coaching staff, said we have to constantly be raising the bar…,” head coach Rob Baarts said. “It was by far our best half, since I’ve been here… now it’s just bringing that competitiveness and then bringing the ball playing we want to do.”

With three minutes left in the first half, a swinging fight broke out between Jordan Gregory and California Baptist’s Ari Coronado resulting in a red card for the NM State defender and a yellow for CBU.

“It’s frustrating, but at the end of the day, we didn’t let them use it as an excuse, and we went into halftime and said at the end of the day, it is what it is. You’re at ten men — deal with it.” Baarts said.

The Lancers opened up play in the second half filling the Aggie’s territory with pressure —ricocheting a ball off the post in the 54’, having 4 shots in the first nine minutes and a good number of crosses in from the wing.

“We had a couple of good opportunities in the second half to actually score, down a man, and at the end of the game, we moved a defender out, went more attacking.” Baarts continued.

The pressure finally conveyed as a shot from CBU’s Rosa Badawiya swept past NM State’s goalie Dimitri Fong, resulting in a goal — Badawiya’s sixth of the seasonn— and a 1-0 lead for the Lancers.

In the 76’, another red card was dished out to CBU Madeline Milby for tripping a breakaway attack from NM State Shea O’Connor. The Aggies were unable to take advantage of the even even, resulting in a hard-fought loss to to keep the squad winless in conference after dropping their opener to GCU last Friday.

“This team is one of the better teams in the conference. We can compete like this in every game, we can start winning a few games,” Baarts said. “If you win three [WAC] games, you might make the tournament, you can sneak into the sixth spot.”

NM State continues WAC play against Utah Valley this Thursday in Orem, Utah, hoping to take the first step in securing one of those important conference games.

“We’re going to fight until the very last game… It’s going to be a cold war, we are going to bring the same war we just brought, and see if they’re ready to match it.” Baarts said.

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