* University of Wyoming press release

LARAMIE -- The University of Wyoming soccer team opened Mountain West Conference play Thursday at the Madrid Sports Complex. The Cowgirls’ opponent was the defending regular season and tournament champions, New Mexico.

The task was tall, and Wyoming showed up in every facet of the game. The Cowgirls matched the Lobos’ physicality, matched the speed of the game and when the clock hit zero, matched them on the scoreboard.

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The game ended in a 1-1 draw. That moves Wyoming to 1-3-4 on the season and 0-0-1 in league play, while New Mexico sits at 2-2-4 overall and 0-0-1 in MW action.

“New Mexico is a great team,” head coach Colleen Corbin said. “They are well coached, well managed and well organized. They have a very real understanding of what they’re trying to do. I felt like all year we’ve been trying to be the same, and today I truly felt that our entire team showed up in a big way. We were committed to our rolls and invested everything we had to come out and compete.”

Thursday’s match, in a word, physical. The game featured a combined 26 fouls and seven yellow cards.

The game felt like a MW boxing match in every quadrant of the pitch. The Cowgirls countered every punch from New Mexico – which has won three of the last four regular-season crowns – and delivered one of their own.

“Ever since conference ended last year, we were very intentional about getting bigger, faster, and stronger and competing at a high level. That’s a physical, strong, and gritty New Mexico team, and I felt like we showed up and went toe to toe with them.

“I’m super proud of our effort.”

Junior Alyssa Bedard landed the largest punch of the day for Wyoming. She scored off a beautiful free kick from senior Jamie Tatum, which represented the game’s first goal in the 60th minute.

The score marked Bedard’s second of the season. The assist was Tatum’s first of the year and 10th of her career, which moved her to within a tie for sixth all-time in program history.

The Lobos responded with their lone goal of the game during the 66th minute. Jaelyn Hendren found the back of the net off a feed from Zaria Katesigwa.

Wyoming won the shot battle 13-8, six of those being on frame versus New Mexico’s four. Tatum logged a season-high six shots, while freshman Alyssa Glover and junior Nikayla Copenhaver fired two each.

Cowgirls’ goalkeeper, freshman Allyson Fischer, making her fourth consecutive start, made a career-high three saves. Lobos’ goalie Alli Davis registered five saves.

Wyoming hits the road for the first time in nearly a month. The Cowgirls travel to San Diego State on Sunday for a 1 p.m. match at the SDSU Sports Deck.

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