The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Uncharted territory for ENMU women

 

September 15, 2019

PORTALES — Last season, Eastern New Mexico’s women’s soccer team made its first appearance in the Lone Star Conference tournament championship match.

Two weeks into this season, the firsts are still coming.

Three days, two shutout wins at home and all of a sudden, the Greyhounds are off to their first 3-0 start in the history of the program, which began play in 2003.

The Greyhounds, now idle until they visit Southern Nazarene on Saturday, topped Adams State 3-0 Thursday and Fort Lewis 1-0 Saturday in non-conference clashes at Greyhound Stadium.

Thursday — From the outset, the Greyhounds overwhelmed the Grizzlies and capitalized on miscues, starting 10 minutes in when an Adams State defender missed a clear-out chance on a Victoria Nunes corner kick, and Hayden Zuniga buried the loose ball into the net.

“I think once we settled down after the first 10 to 15 minutes of the game,” ENMU coach Joshua Smith said, “we held onto the ball really well, moved the ball really well and adjusted to their press. We created a lot of opportunities based around moving the ball.”

The Greyhounds outshot the Grizzlies 20-6, including 10-1 on goal, with goalkeeper Whitney Dockweiler only having to worry about a beautiful centering pass 25 minutes in that never found a striker and a pedestrian shot on goal with 10 minutes remaining.

“They moved the ball very quickly, which forced us to adjust and that opened up gaps,” Grizzlies coach Colin Baker said. “They did a good job coming out as the aggressor, exposing us as the young team we are right now.”

The Greyhounds added an insurance goal just under 35 minutes in, as sophomore Desiree Morgas went against a trio of Grizzly defenders, had her initial attempt blocked by defenders and scored after the ball rebounded back to her in open space.

“There’s been a lot more creativity, a lot more thought,” Smith said. “I think we saw that tonight. We saw a lot of great chances. We didn’t capitalize on as many as we would have liked, but I think at the outset we’re creating a lot more opportunities than last year.”

Baker considered it a victory in itself the Greyhounds only netted one goal after halftime — Morgas put a corner kick high in front of the net, and junior Keyara Zuniga headed it in past Grizzly keeper Corri Zaiger.

“I feel like I have a lot better opportunities,” said Keyara Zuniga, who as of Friday had netted seven goals in 41 career games for the Greyhounds. “I feel like, overall, our team has better chemistry and we’re technically and tactically better. This year’s looking really good.”

The victory over the Grizzlies was not without its costs, as the Greyhounds will be without the services of senior Samantha Fabela for the immediate future. Fabela, an All-LSC first-team selection at midfielder last season, suffered an apparent knee injury midway through the second half and did not return.

Saturday — Morgas added another tally just over 25 minutes in, taking the pass from Kinsie Mitchell before getting the shot past Britt Blomso.

From then on, the Greyhounds held on for a win on a day that would have suggested a Skyhawk blowout. The host Greyhounds were outshot 14-5 on the day, including 8-2 on goal. Seven of those shots were saved by Dockweiler, who will take a 270-minute shutout streak into Saturday.

The Greyhounds won’t be home again until 7 p.m. Oct. 3 against Texas-Tyler in their second LSC battle. The first will be Sept. 27 at current No. 10 West Texas A&M.

 
 

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