New Mexico State’s lone win in eight tries against New Mexico in women’s soccer came last year in Las Cruces, a 1-0 decision keyed by Audriana Chavez’s stunning goal in the last minute.
The Lobos (3-3-0) have had roughly a year to metabolize that loss, which “still stings a little bit,” admitted UNM coach Heather Dyche earlier this week.
But the rematch is tonight at 7:30, and even if the Rio Grande Rivalry is only a thing anymore to those who want to keep track – which is usually the side that’s winning – there is a bigger picture in focus when the two teams battle at the UNM Track and Soccer Complex.
Both the crimson-clad Aggies and the cherry-accented Lobos will be incorporating “yellow, in some fashion,” Dyche said, at tonight’s game. It’s an awareness-raiser for a Gofundme for “Kickin’ Childhood Cancer,” the goal of which is raising $10,000. It’s a collaborative effort between Dyche and NMSU first-year coach Rob Baarts.
“We will be rivals on the field, and when the game is over hopefully everybody is happy,” Dyche said.
Between the lines, the Lobos have been happier so far than the Aggies (1-6), especially at home, where they are 3-0 and have scored 11 of their 12 goals. The most recent conquest was that of UTEP, 2-1. Sophomore Cami Floth scored her first career goal and assisted for the Lobos on the game-winner.
NMSU is 1-6 and coming off consecutive 3-2 losses to Abilene Christian and Boise State the last two Sundays. Aileen Galicia had goals in both of those losses and leads the Aggies with four.
Chavez, meanwhile, has been quiet so far offensively. The senior from Cleveland High in Rio Rancho has only shot twice and has yet to score. But if she’s hovering near the goal mouth late in a close game, the Lobos no doubt will be attentive.
“I love it when kids from this state are doing well so it’s cool to see (Chavez) doing that,” Dyche said.
“But not against our team. She can be good against other teams.”