By Dave Wagner: Freedom Newspapers
The difference between a one-goal lead and a two-goal margin in soccer can sometimes be night and day.
On Friday, Eastern New Mexico University’s women team saw a 3-0 lead closed to 3-2 by halftime against Colorado Christian before surviving a scoreless second half.
Sunday against Colorado State-Pueblo, there were no such dramatics as junior forward Anna Funck punched in a goal in each half and the Zias’ defense did the rest in a 2-0 victory.
Funck, who had a goal and two assists against Colorado Christian, put the Zias ahead about 30 minutes into Sunday’s match by redirecting a left-footed crossing pass from Megan Dozier into the net. Then she scored from point-blank range on an assist from sophomore Kara Henderson for insurance about 10 minutes into the second half.
“Both were great goals,” ENMU women’s coach Travis McCorkle said. “On the first one, we had excellent movement, and Anna timed her run perfectly. The second was a picture-perfect pass from Kara, and it made it easy for Anna.”
ENMU (3-1) continued its solid play at home over the past two seasons, having lost only one and tied one in 10 matches.
“I thought we did a good job today of controlling the ball,” Henderson said. “(The second goal) helps you relax more and concentrate on winning balls out of the air.”
Her assist came on a throw-in by junior Megan Dozier. Henderson said Pueblo keeper Chrissy Mandarich committed to her and left Funck open.
“I took it on the right side,” she said. “I saw Anna and she just one-touched it into the goal.”
The loss was the first for the Thunderwolves (3-1-1), and coach Roy Stanley said his team couldn’t overcome a sluggish first half.
“I felt Eastern outplayed us in the first half,” he said. “We didn’t have the intensity we needed to match them. I thought we picked our play up in the second half.”
Unlike Friday’s match, the Zias never let Pueblo get in position to make a game of it, despite the absence of senior forward Karly Parkans (broken toe), who could be out up to two weeks, and limited play from junior defender Pam Campbell (kidney stones).