Aggie Soccer earns first season win in battle of I-10

David White

More stories from David White

The New Mexico State Women’s Soccer campaign had a less than stellar start to their 2022 season, as they began with a record of 0-2-1. The Miners were not in a much better situation either, coming into the matchup with a 1-3 record to begin the season. With the home turf advantage NM State would solidify their first win taking the battle of I-10 2022 with a final score of 3-0. 

NM State wasted no time getting on the board, as veteran Xitlaly Hernandez scored a huge goal only 3:48 into the game off an impressive assist from teammate Sofia Beerworth. This would be registered in the stat sheets as the first goal and first assist for both of these players for the 2022-23 season. With such a quick jump into the lead, the UTEP Miners were forced to play “catch-up” for the rest of the game.

With such an early goal from the NM State offensive, the Miners showed a much tighter defensive effort throughout the rest of the first period. Although UTEP did not allow another goal in the first, defense was the only side of the ball where they were able to make a difference. The Aggies would attempt another six goals, while the miners would not score a single shot in the entire first half of play. The stage had clearly been set for what needed to improve for both teams as each would come out with a renewed energy beginning the final period of the match.

Starting the second, NM State wasted little time in trying to get back on the board, with a shot from Loma McNeese just over one minute in. This game quickly turned into a battle of the goalkeepers, as the Aggies continued to rain down shots from every angle, the majority of which being saved by UTEP goalkeeper Mariah Scott. NMSU shot a mind-boggling 12 shots on goal during the second period alone. This tenacity by the Aggies would finally result in two more goals before the end of the game, including a goal by Tania Tapia off of a Loma McNeese assist, and an unassisted goal by Sofia Beerworth.

The overall grit brought by this Rob Baarts team in continuing to push down the field and fire shots at the goal overwhelmed the UTEP defense and gave them very few attempts to produce any offense of their own. NMSU attempted 19 shots on the game, while UTEP would only register two in total. With this new found energy and a 1-2-1 record, the Aggies will host four more games at home. The first of these will be hosted against the 1-2-2 Portland State University Vikings Saturday at 7 p.m. This PSU team played to a draw against the University of New Mexico Lobos in Albuquerque, so this game will help to preview what the upcoming “Battle of I-25” could look like in a future match.

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