West Texas A&M’s Katie Henley and Eastern New Mexico University’s Amy Barbour battle for control of the ball during Sunday’s Lone Star Conference women’s soccer match in Portales. Photo by Dave Wagner
By Dave Wagner
PORTALES — No matter how well you play defense, it’s tough to win when you struggle to score.
For the Eastern New Mexico University women’s soccer team, even getting shots is a tall order right now.
Sophomore forward Katie Henley punched in a pair of goals and West Texas A&M outshot the Zias 33-2 — including 21-1 in shots on goal — in cruising to a 5-0 Lone Star Conference victory on Sunday.
The Zias (2-7, 1-2 LSC) suffered their third consecutive shutout loss and fifth overall this season. Henley’s first goal, with 12:38 gone in the first half, gave WT (7-3-1, 2-1-1) a lead that was never seriously threatened.
“I thought we played pretty well today,” said Lady Buffs assistant coach Chad Webb, who ran the team with head coach Bill Lauffer coaching a match for the WT men’s squad on Sunday. “The girls were able to pressure them the whole game. They had a couple of chances for something to happen (early), but our overall system is such that we always try to play defense.”
ENMU coach Travis McCorkle said the Zias simply have to figure out ways to put themselves in position to score.
“Our passing has to improve, unless we just want to play kickball and have one of our forwards run under it,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s that we’re tired or lack confidence, but we have the ability to improve and we’ll work on that this week.”
WT upped its lead to 2-0 midway through the half on a goal by Kellie Garrett or a corner kick. Henley then knocked in a header from eight yards away for her second goal early in the second half.
McCorkle said he didn’t think WT gave the Zias much respect as a credible opponent, and he thought his squad let down a bit near the end.
“The intensity was good for probably the first 80 minutes,” McCorkle said. “In the last 10 minutes, we lost that. I think it was (because of) a little bit of frustration and a lack of experience for our players.”