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UNM women’s soccer upset of BYU in 2010 was a Lobo Classic

Editor’s note: The University of New Mexico athletic communications department is continuing a periodic series of features called “Lobo Classics,” a celebration of some of the best moments on Lobo athletic history. It’s largely the brainchild of assistant sports information director Daniel Gallegos, marketing director Joe Thuente and is fan-input driven.

The Journal is collaborating with its own coverage of this installment, a look back at the UNM women’s soccer team’s home victory over BYU on Oct. 16, 2010.

The rivalry between the Lobos and BYU was bitter in any sport, but what helped intensify this game was the presence of Lobo Liz Lambert. She instantly became a villain for video that captured her rough play – elbowing a BYU player in the back and pulling another player down by her ponytail – when the two teams met in 2009.

The Oct. 17, 2010 Journal’s story picks it up from there. See Gallegos’ account here.

And below is a University of New Mexico YouTube interview with Kelli Cornell Moline, one of the standouts on that 2010 UNM team.

Many of the 2,000 fans who showed up at the UNM Soccer Complex Saturday night came to see if embattled Lobo senior Liz Lambert would play. Lambert did not leave the bench.

That disappointment disappeared when the No. 25 UNM women stunned BYU, ranked eighth in the nation, with a dramatic goal in the second overtime period to win 1-0.

The goal came when another senior in her last home game, Kate Wyrick, volleyed in a head flick from Jennifer Williams.

When the ball slipped to the left of BYU keeper McKinzie Olson, all the Lobos, Lambert included, raced wildly toward Wyrick and in elation and created a pile of joyous bodies in front of the north goal.

“Oh, my gosh,” said Wyrick, still breathing five minutes after crawling out from under that mound of teammates. “I still can’t believe it.”

The two sometimes-bitter rivals had last played in November 2009, also a 1-0 affair, won by the Cougars. That game was marked by some extra-rough play and for Lambert a controversial suspension from the team that lasted 10 months.

Kate Wyrick, shown scoring a goal earlier in the 2010 season against Montana, had the game-winner in October 2010 against nationally ranked BYU. (Courtesy of UNM Athletics)

Saturday’s contest was marked by California girls. Said the happy Wyrick, a forward from Anaheim, Calif.: “Zaneta (Wyne, a junior midfielder from Laguna Niguel, Calif.) found Brook (Ellison, a freshman defender from Lake Forest, Calif.). I held my line and Jen (Williams, the junior forward from Moreno Valley, Calif.) sent me the ball and I put it in.”

Williams, who took a game-high eight shots on goal for New Mexico, said, “I saw Brook. She played an amazing ball. I heard Kate say something and I gave it to her.” What did Wyrick say? In the uproar, Williams said she forgot.

There was no rough stuff Saturday, no yellow cards. Just steady hard play on both sides. By the 100th minute, each team showed exhaustion on the cool evening.

“Because it was the second game this week for us (UNM defeated Utah 3-0 on Thursday night) that’s when you get tired,” Wyrick said. “I know I’ll be really tired later.”

Lambert played eight minutes in that Utah game – her first minutes at home this season. Many on hand Saturday thought she would play, even briefly, for her final home appearance.

“We were all hoping Liz would get in,” said Williams. “But there was a lot of chemistry on the field. Maybe that was why it did not happen.”

Kit Vela, UNM’s head coach, did not make herself available for a postgame interview with the Journal. BYU’s coach, Jennifer Rockwood, did not want to talk either. Earlier, Rockwood said that Kassidy Shumway, the BYU player who, as much of the free world knows, Lambert yanked by the hair and then pulled to the ground in November, would speak to reporters after the game Saturday. Rockwood turned down that request. “Nobody on the team wants to talk now,” she said.

Indeed, 10 minutes after the game numerous BYU players remained slumped over on the team’s bench, teary-eyed from the sudden-death defeat.

Lambert had told UNM media relations officials that she would not speak to reporters after the game.

Lambert did, however, gain the biggest ovation of the night – until Wyrick’s double OT goal – when she was introduced beforehand, to mark Senior Day.

With her smiling face appearing on the scoreboard screen, Lambert walked to the center of the field, accompanied by her parents. The stomping feet of fans on the metal bleachers created a near-deafening rumble.

Wyrick said the team’s unspoken vow was to win Saturday’s game for Lambert.

“Love that girl,” said Wyrick. “We knew what was at stake. It’s been tough. Look, I’m a journalism student. I know what happened to her.”

So does another UNM senior, Rachel Fields, from Amarillo. Fields has roomed with Lambert for four years. “I don’t know how she kept taking it this year, but she did.”

UNM moves to 10-1-3 and BYU is 12-2-1. The two teams will likely meet again in the league championship tournament next month.

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