NM State soccer drops third straight in 3-1 defeat to CBU

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Mitchell Allred

Hernandez nets her fifth goal of the season in the Aggies’ loss to Cal Baptist.

After picking up wins over Cal Baptist in back-to-back years, the New Mexico State women’s soccer team struggled to snap back into winning form this season coming off of back to back losses to UTRGV, giving up an early lead to the Lancers, who pulled the series opening win out with two late goals to improve their winning streak to four with a 3-1 victory.

Head coach Rob Baarts’ team seemed to figure out the Lancers’ style of play right after the whistle, setting the tempo despite a messy back-and-forth with no real conviction from either side. NM State managed to break through, rocketing forward on the counter, were they were able to capitalize on their first real offensive opportunity of an earned corner kick. After the cross in, Xitlaly Hernandez was able to get on the end of it and find the back of the net off the cross bar, giving NM State a 1-0 lead with her fifth goal of the season.

The Lancers looked to equalize, hitting Aggie keeper Makenna Gottschalk with a barrage of shots on target in the ensuing attack — most of which were met with a save on the other end. However, with some momentum on the offensive, Lancer defender Faith Lee got some ground up the line and was able to set up a beautiful cross to Karley Weeks, who found herself all alone and unmarked, needing only to tap it in to pull back even just five minutes later.

For the remainder of the first, it was all Lancers, with the Aggies seemingly attempting to catch up and build numbers but being unable to keep possession. Neither team took control in the middle of the park, with a lot of hoofing and running creating whatever chances did mount.

Most of the opportunities for both squads in the match where off of set pieces and corner kicks, with each showcasing their skillful play off of cross balls. The Lancers provided a dominating spike on the attack with their two top scorers Amy Aquino and Rola Badawiya, converting those shots on goal throughout the second half.

Aggie defender Emma Smith did a respectable job shutting down the flank and clearing most attempts that snuck into the box, but she wouldn’t be able to prevent everything, with Lee was up the left wing and crossing it in to Ari Coronado, who got it in the net in the 79.’ This breach of the headlock by Lee and Coronado only fueled the Lancers, as Badawiya continued the momentum with a solo run goal in the 86’ securing the win for the Lancers.

The two teams will meet again on Saturday at 2pm PT to fight it out yet again in sunny Orange County, California. With few games left in the season, this NM State (3-8, 3-5 WAC) will be looking to get some wins under their belt as they head back to Las Cruces and take on Dixie State Thursday the 25th.

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