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Lobo Soccer Looks to Reignite Fire On The Road in California

by Alma Solis

“We’re going to get better and we’re going to continue to fight. Hopefully this weekend, we have a new bounce to our step.”

-- Head Coach Heather Dyche

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New Mexico is hoping to get back into the groove of things this week in California, after a hiccup on their Nevada trip which resulted in their first draw and loss in conference play this season. The Lobos face San Jose State on Thursday at 6 p.m. (MT) in San Jose, Calif., and Fresno State on Sunday at 1 p.m. in Fresno, Calif.

New Mexico ended its’ program record eight-game winning streak and nine-game conference winning streak, dating back to last season, in Nevada last weekend. The team ended in a 1-1 draw after both overtime periods against Nevada on Oct. 8, before falling 2-1 to UNLV on Oct. 10.

The last time the Lobos didn’t win a match was Aug. 29 in a 3-0 loss to Oregon State. After that loss, New Mexico went on an eight-game winning streak, in which they won every match they played for the entire month of September and the first weekend of October.

San Jose State (6-8, 3-3 MW) is coming home after a road trip to Boise State and Utah State, which resulted in a 2-1 overtime win over the Broncos in Boise, Idaho, and a 1-0 overtime loss to the Aggies in Logan, Utah. The Spartans hold the advantage in the all-time series record as the Lobos are 3-7-3 against them. Taylor Phillips leads San Jose State with 11 points, 16 shots (10 on goal), four goals and three assists. Autum Monty has 32 saves and has allowed 13 goals in 11 starts for the Spartans.

Fresno State (6-4-3, 4-1-1 MW) also went on the same road trip, coming back home with a 2-1 win over Utah State and a 2-1 loss to Boise State. The Bulldogs are tied with New Mexico for the top spot in the conference. The Lobos hold a 5-3-3 advantage in the all-time series against the Bulldogs. Kassandra Ceja leads Fresno State with 18 points, 18 shots (11 on goal), seven goals and four assists. Valentina Vivas has started 10 games as goalkeeper for the Bulldogs, notching 20 saves and allowing six goals.

Zaria Katesigwa is tied for first in the conference as the leading scorer with eight goals, after recording two goals over last weekend in Nevada. Jadyn Edwards continues to dominate in almost every other category in the conference, with 58 shots, 26 shots on goal and 19 points. In the shots category, she leads by 20 shots as the second best has 38 shots. Karlee Maes and Myah Isais are key components to the Lobos success on the defensive category. They constantly put themselves in the line of fire to block shots and prevent any opponents’ charges in the box. Maes and Isais have successfully taken part in blocks, team saves, and winning the ball for the Lobos.

Head coach Heather Dyche hopes the results of last weekend will reignite the passion in the Lobos for winning and playing their best going forward.

“Any time you lose, it kind of lights a little fire inside of you,” Dyche said. “Winning is fun, but sometimes you need a little reigniting of the fire to make sure that we do some little things right.”

As has been the theme for the program throughout the season, the Lobos are constantly looking to find ways to get better day in and day out.

“We’re going to get better and we’re going to continue to fight,” Dyche stated. “Hopefully this weekend, we have a new bounce to our step.”

Every team endures some heartbreaking losses and some miracle wins, and the Lobos know that they can never dwell on any result.

“If you want to win games you don’t dominate, you have to be willing to lose games you do dominate and that’s soccer,” Dyche said. “It can’t be this enormous rollercoaster; it just has to be ‘on to the next’”

To keep up with all things Lobo Soccer, follow @UNMLoboWSoccer on Twitter and Instagram.

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