NMSU Women's Soccer Falls 3-1 To Abilene Christian In Season Opener

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State women’s soccer team dropped its season opener, 3-1, to Abilene Christian at the Soccer Athletic Complex on Friday afternoon.

The Aggies came out strong, as they dominated possession for much of the first 18 minutes of the match. However, the Wildcats were awarded a penalty in the box in the 20th minute and Michelle Mulrooney converted for a 1-0 Wildcat lead.

Now playing with a lead, ACU ratcheted up the pressure and struck again in the 28th minute, with Christina Arteaga receiving a pass in the box from Emily Heidman and finishing to make it 2-0 Abilene Christian. The Wildcats nearly added another goal in the 29th minute but Dmitri Fong was there to make the stop.

NM State then had its first opportunity to score but Hannah Leitner’s shot from 18 yards in the 35th minute was blocked by a Wildcat defender. The Aggies continued to push, however, with Shea O’Connor ripping a shot that was saved by Erin Johnson in the 37th minute. The two sides held each other scoreless for the rest of the half and the Aggies entered the locker room trailing 2-0.

Following the break, New Mexico State jumped on the Wildcats early in the second half when O’Connor beat Erin Johnson near post off a feed from Emma Smith in the 46th minute to cut the deficit to 2-1.

ACU came close to extending its lead in the 63rd minute but Fong was there to stop a point-blank shot during a scramble in the box. However, the Wildcats struck again in the 66th minute with Ashley Stamps driving a shot into goal from the top of the box for the final tally of 3-1.

NM State recorded four shots to 14 from ACU and four corner kicks to the Wildcats’ nine. Fong wrapped up the match with four saves while Johnson had one.

The Aggies return to the pitch this Sunday, Aug. 25, at 12 p.m. (MT) when they take on Wyoming at the Soccer Athletic Complex. Students with valid student ID receive free entry to all NM State soccer matches.