By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer
Once they scored, the Eastern New Mexico University women’s soccer team was pretty much assured of winning.
Facing a College of the Southwest squad in transition, to say the least, the Zias were locked in a 1-0 dual before scoring three goals in a span of less than two minutes midway through the second half, eventually pulling away to a 7-0 victory on Friday at the ENMU pitch.
The Lady Mustangs (0-5), who came in with a 3-2 record all-time against ENMU, lost the bulk of their key players from last year’s squad. Using a number of softball players to fill in, first-year coach Angela Byrd opted for a defensive style which usually had 10 players in the box.
As a result, the Zias (3-2) fired off 54 shots, including 35 on goal, while CSW rarely advanced the ball past midfield.
“Angela told me (before the match) that she was just going to try to get as many girls in the box as she could and defend,” ENMU coach Travis McCorkle said. “Having said that, their team did well enough and we played bad enough that it was close for a long time.”
Sophomore midfielder Kimberley Anaya broke the ice nearly 24 minutes into the contest, scoring off a pass from freshman Hannah Dozier. Though they were close a number of times, the Zias didn’t score again until the 64th minute.
“It was an easy match, but in the first half we were kind of lackadaisical,” Anaya said. “Once coach told us a few things at halftime, I think we kind of picked it up.”
She admitted, though, that with all the bodies in front of the net it was sometimes tough to get a shot through. “It was pretty much three (versus) seven back there,” she said.
Six players scored a goal apiece for the Zias, while the other tally came on an own goal.
“We wanted to get some things out of this,” McCorkle said. “We got to play some players who wanted to get more time.
“We did get a few goals from crosses (crossing passes). It was good for us to work on that.”
The Lady Mustangs had to forfeit one of their earlier matches, and Byrd has obviously tried to piece a team together under difficult circumstances.
McCorkle said the Zias were glad to be able to play.
“It keeps us in that mindset,” he said. “We’d rather play than have the day off.”
Anaya said it was nothing like playing Southwest last year, when the teams split, adding that it was hard to stay focused.
“It was completely different team,” she said. “I didn’t recognize any of their girls.
“Technically, we should have been able to keep our passes crisp, but it did come down to concentration at times.”
The Zias face UT-Permian Basin on Sunday in Odessa, Texas.
ENMU men win SSC opener — At Joplin, Mo., sophomore forward Ryan McClanahan scored twice as the Greyhounds opened Southwest Soccer Conference play with a 2-0 victory over host Missouri Southern.
McClanahan, the SSC’s player of the week on offense, now leads the Hounds (3-1, 1-0) with five goals this season.
McClanahan scored with 5:34 gone on a penalty kick after he was fouled inside the Southern box. He found the back of the Lions’ net early in the second half for an insurance tally.
Both teams were ranked in the first Midwest Region poll, ENMU coming in eighth and Missouri Southern (2-3, 0-1) ninth.
The Hounds return to action on Sunday with a conference match against Northeastern State at Tahlequah, Okla.