NMSU Soccer Loses 2-1 To Pacific In Home Opener

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State women’s soccer team dropped its home-opener to Pacific, 2-1, on Sunday afternoon.

“At the end of the day, if we don’t finish our chances we’re going to be facing the same challenges every time,” said head coach Rob Baarts. “The girls are working hard, they’re starting to get concepts but we’re also getting moments where when we get tired we make monumental mistakes as opposed to mistakes that we can deal with.”

Both teams came out firing with NM State (0-4-0) getting shots from Aileen Galicia in the first and third minutes with both tries missing high while a shot from Pacific’s (1-3-0) Kendall Bietsch was blocked in the fifth minute. Freshman Mia Montano kept the Tigers off the board with a save immediately following the block, also in the fifth minute.

Pacific then fired three shots off from right in front of the Aggies’ goal in the 10th minute but the defense was able to recover and block all three, with two blocks coming from junior Kaitlyn May.

NM State’s next chance came in the 21st minute but the shot from Audriana Chavez went wide. Then, in the 37th minute, Alexa Barrera appeared to have an open look at goal but the Tigers’ Regan Heslop recovered to save Barrera’s header at the near post.

With the teams locked at 0-0 coming out of the half, Abigail King converted a free kick for Pacific in the 47th minute to put the Tigers up 1-0.

Galicia then got a great look in the 55th minute off a pass from Rebecca Mazzie but Heslop again made the save for the Tigers while another shot from Galicia in the 56th minute missed wide.

Pacific was able to stretch its lead to 2-0 in the 68th minute after the Aggies were unable to clear the ball from the 18-yard box and Sigrid Aas headed it into the back of the net. NM State threatened with a shot on goal from Micaela Milavec in the 73rd minute but Heslop was again there for the stop.

Samantha Afonso then cut into the Tigers lead in the 89th when she scored her second goal of the season but New Mexico State was unable to even the score before time ran out.

“In fairness, we’re putting a lot of pressure on people and a freshman goalkeeper coming in and having to deal with a Division I level is pretty tough,” Baarts added. “But again, it comes down to us finishing. We had three or four point-blank opportunities to score and if you score those goals you win 4-2 and at the end of the day, when you don’t finish, you lose 2-1.”

Both teams took 17 shots on the day while Pacific held a 6-4 advantage in shots on goal. NM State took two corners to the Tigers’ four while Montano made four saves for the Aggies.

New Mexico State women’s soccer is back in action on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018 when it plays host to Northern Illinois in Las Cruces at 4 p.m. (MT). As always, kids 12 and under as well as students with a valid student ID receive free entry to all Aggie home games.