It was the second overtime of a semifinal game in the 2018 Mountain West Conference women’s soccer tournament.
Everything seemed to end with just one kick in the 102nd minute.
The University of Wyoming women’s soccer team was battling with the New Mexico Lobos in San Jose, California, when the Cowgirls suffered a heart-breaking loss.
After 90 minutes of regulation and one overtime period, the game was tied 1-1. New Mexico scored a goal in the second overtime to advance to the championship and ended the Cowgirls’ season.
“We had that game, but it just slipped away,” said senior forward Michaela Stark. “It was a tough one to get over.”
Although the Cowgirls didn’t reach their goal of winning the conference tournament, they did accomplish something that has never been done in program history.
They earned a share of the 2018 regular-season title.
Their 12 wins and seven conference wins provided them with a claim to the title, alongside Boise State and New Mexico.
The 2018 season was one of the best in program history. Their 12 wins tied for the most, and their seven conference wins tied for second.
Wyoming seemed to play great all year, but Stark believes the inconsistency that followed the team was the main cause of them coming shy of a few of their goals.
“The reason we weren’t where we wanted to be at the end of last year was due to consistency,” Stark said. “If we can be consistent this year, we’ve got it in the bag.”
Eighth-year coach, Pete Cuadrado, knows his team can accomplish even more after last season’s performance.
“The next part for us is to set higher goals. Now, can we win the conference tournament? Can we reach the NCAA tournament,” Cuadrado said. “It was a great season and we enjoyed the run. We didn’t finish the way we wanted to, but we’re very proud of (last season).”
The Cowgirls may not have achieved everything they wanted in 2018, but there are a few things they can be proud of.
They currently hold the longest non-conference home winning streak in the nation, dating back to 2013, which includes a big win over Iowa at the Madrid Sports Complex last season.
And not only do these student-athletes excel on the field, they also take care of business in the classroom. They finished 2018-19 with a 3.4 team grade point average.
There are new additions to the roster who have begun to adapt to the culture Cuadrado has built. Out of 27 players on the roster, 18 of them are underclassmen. Ten of those underclassmen are freshman.
The newcomers will look towards making an impact right away.
“Our incoming freshman will have to play a huge role this season,” said senior midfielder Summer Taube. “They’ll have to step up and find a role on the field. I don’t think the inexperience will be a big issue.”
Freshman or senior, the players appreciate the fun the opportunity carries with it and the memories they can make with one another.
“I love being able to be with my teammates and spend so much time with them,” Taube said, “They’re like my sisters and we just always have the best time together.”