RIO GRANDE VALLEY – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros women’s soccer team was defeated 1-0 by the State of New Mexico (NMSU) Aggies in the opening of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) on Friday at the UTRGV Soccer and Track & Field Complex .
UTRGV (2-8-0, 0-3-0 WAC) rookie goalkeeper Emma Iööv had a career night, adding seven defenses. NMSU Guardian (4-2-3, 1-0-2 WAC) Makenna Gottschalk also had a great night, making four saves to secure the shutout. Loma McNeese scored the only goal of the competition to give the Aggies their first conference win.
The Aggies kept possession of the ball and applied a lot of offensive pressure in the first half of the first 45 minutes, but the UTRGV defense held on. Lööv made a diving save on 11º minute, punching a shot for Gianna Valentithen thwarted another goal attempt by Valenti in the 27º minute. Redshirt’s junior midfielder Eliana Seppälä, freshman quarterback Rosey Bjorgvinsdottir and second defender Libby Beilfuss They were solid in defence.
The first half backend was more balanced. Both teams created chances and seemed to share the ball possession time. senior midfielder Ana Recarte-Pacheco and senior forward Jewelleen Reuille were catalysts for the Vaqueros attack. second year defender Nadia Colón and Seppälä showed his speed and dribbling skills to rush into the attacking third and make the UTRGV crowd raucous. The Vaqueros had three shots in the first half – Seppala sent one on goal in the 31stroad minute he was cornered after bouncing in the area, Recarte-Pacheco made a save and the freshman striker Caitlin Websteris shot in 44º minute was blocked by an Aggie.
Both teams were aggressive in the second half, each seeking their first WAC win. in 56º minute, Sydney Johnson sent a strange shot into the area that lured Lööv out of the goal, but the ball escaped her. freshman midfielder Alaina Granger was there to kick the ball away, making a clutch save.
Reuille and second-year quarterback Sydney Hammond sent good shots on goal in the 59º it’s 67º minute, respectively, when the Vaqueros increased the pressure, but Gottschalk made saves.
NMSU took charge in the second half and made the UTRGV defense work. Lööv recorded two great saves after free kicks in the 72na minute, setting a new career record. Both teams received a yellow card in a short amount of time as the match became more intense and physical.
The Aggies continued to build up the pressure as they played to win. in 77º minute they made two good shots, and the second finally erupted as McNeese escaped between the right post and Lööv.
Both teams kept pushing until the final bell rang, but the Vaqueros failed to climb the board. NMSU beat UTRGV 16-9, including 10-4 with shots on goal, and corners dominated with 10 to UTRGV’s three.
The Vaqueros remain home from four games at the UTRGV Soccer and Track & Field Complex on Sunday at 12pm against Sam Houston.
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