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Sydnee Johnson, Mya Gonzales and Bianca Chacon lead NM State to 3-1 victory


LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KVIA) -- Through the Aggies’ first five matches of the season, the team has not produced offensively to their standards – producing just four goals in that span. That changed on Sunday afternoon as NM State (3-2-1, 0-0-0 CUSA) punched home three goals in a 3-1 win over Pacific (3-2-1, 0-0-0 WCC).

Sydnee Johnson tied the game 1-1 in the 21st minute, while Mya Gonzales recorded her first career goal, which would later become the game-winner. Bianca Chacon returned from injury to post her second goal of the season and comfortably put the game out of reach in the 81st minute.


Both teams started aggressively on offense, angling to test one another’s freshman goalkeepers. Loma McNeese produced the first shot for NM State just ninety seconds into the game, the Preseason CUSA Offensive Player of the Year eager to net another goal on the year.

With the Pacific offense on the attack, Jena Johannes’ play was deemed worthy of a foul inside the penalty box, giving the Tigers a serious scoring opportunity just 12 minutes into the contest. Jaida Nyby lined up to face Aggies goalie Karolanne Lafortune, getting the best of the young goalkeeper to give her squad a 1-0 edge after putting a shot through the bottom left portion of the goal.

Facing an early 1-0 deficit, the Aggies went on the offensive. Sydnee Johnson used speed to her advantage all afternoon, constantly testing the Tigers’ backline. In the 21st minute, she took advantage of a lackluster effort by the Tigers, lazily playing out a pass back to goalie Libby Davy. Handed a golden opportunity, Johnson wasted no time putting it through the back of the net for her first goal of the season (fifth career). In the 33rd minute, Johnson was called for a yellow card after jostling with a Pacific defender for position, though the Tigers were unable to capitalize.

Knotted up at one apiece, both teams turned up the intensity to try and take a lead into halftime. Freshman Shila Rasoul put up a pair of shots to challenge the Pacific defense, though both were turned back by the Pacific goalie. With the NM State offense on the prowl, Bianca Chacon launched a long pass to Mya Gonzales, finding herself dribbling the ball down the left touchline with plenty of room to operate. Attempting a cross to set up Sydnee Johnson with her second goal of the afternoon, the ball instead found the leftmost edge of the goal, curling around the Tigers’ goalkeeper.

The score put the Aggies on top 2-1 with minutes to go before the break and became Gonzales’ first goal for the Crimson & White in 23 matches with the team. With the assist, Chacon has now tallied 11 helpers in an NM State uniform, tied for second most in program history.


Despite sporting a 2-1 lead, the Aggies refused to let their foot off the gas against a dangerous Pacific squad that knocked off Oregon State of the Pac-12 in Corvallis. Mya Hammack and Jena Johannes launched a pair of shots at the Tigers within the first ten minutes of the second half, while the Tigers were struggling to find any answers for the physical NM State defense.

In total Pacific was called for an offsides offense eight times on Sunday, compared to one for the Aggies. Desperate for a goal, the Tigers’ lacked the stamina on the defensive end to keep up with an NM State squad that kept attacking from all over the field.

Valerie Guha came in to relieve Karolanne Lafortune in the 62nd minute, returning to the field after missing the past three games with injury. Just two minutes after entering the goal, the Tigers challenged Guha, who easily swatted it away to keep the Aggies on top 2-1.

Holding onto a one-goal lead with ten minutes remaining, Sydnee Johnson found herself racing down the sideline with teammates lurking inside the box. Launching a pass to Bianca Chacon, the junior from El Paso easily put it through the net to put the Aggies up by a sore of 3-1 and effectively ice the game.


11 – Bianca Chacon recorded her second assist of the season and 11th career helper in the win over Pacific, vaulting her from a tie with a trio of Aggies including current teammate Xitlaly Hernandez for fourth in Aggie history to a three-way tie for second all-time. 

6 – Six different Aggies have scored a goal this season following the first for Sydnee Johnson and Mya Gonzales. Gia Valenti, Loma McNeese and Xitlaly Hernandez have each tallied a goal for NM State, while Bianca Chacon leads the team with a pair of scores.

– Three goals scored by NM State on Sunday is their highest total of the season, and the most since scoring four goals in a 4-0 decision over Tarleton on September 29, 2022.

– Mya Gonzales recorded her first career goal for NM State, curling a shot from the far right side of the field into the left edge of the net. This would become the game-winning goal for the Crimson & White leading the Aggies to their second victory in the last three games.

For complete coverage of NM State Soccer, visit - the official home of Aggie athletics - and follow us on Twitter (@NMStateWSOC), Instagram (@NMStateWSOC), and like us on Facebook (NMStateWSOC).

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Rachel Phillips

Rachel Phillips is the weekend sports anchor and reporter

NMSU Athletics


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