Heather Dyche hears the knocking.
There is an opportunity at the UNM Soccer Complex on Saturday night – not just for her program to punch a ticket to the NCAA Tournament if it can beat San Diego State for a Mountain West women’s soccer championship, but to help continue a recent feel-good trend on South Campus for an athletic department that has gone through some rough times in recent years.
“It’s why I came here,” Dyche said Friday in a half-hour podcast conversation that can be viewed or listened to on ABQJournal.com/Sports. “And it (hosting and competing for championships is) something I think we should be doing every year, truthfully. I think this university is incredible. I think this state’s incredible. And I think we’re capable of great things.
“To me, it’s certainly a sense of pride because I’m from here, but to have the ability to host a championship game, it’s a huge sense of pride because it doesn’t happen very often. I think opportunity is a good word. It’s not ever guaranteed.”
UNM (9-1, Mountain Division winner) hosts San Diego State (8-2, West Division winner) Saturday with 25% facility capacity allowed in to watch.
The Lobos’ last league title came in 2011, though this will be the third time since Dyche took over the program the team has been in a title match.
Both teams were well represented in all-league honors with Dyche winning Coach of the Year and each team landing five players on the First Team All-Mountain West.