Elizabeth Lambert has been suspended from the New Mexico women's soccer program after a stunning series of cheap shots in a game against BYU. In the match, Lambert punched a BYU player in the back, threw a few quick punches at a player's head, and also executed a dangerous slide tackle on defense.
But the play that garnered the most attention was when Lambert grabbed an opposing BYU player's ponytail while behind her, and violently threw her to the ground by her hair.
In response to Lambert's rough play, University of New Mexico head women's soccer coach Kit Vela announced that Lambert, a junior defender, has been suspended indefinitely and prohibited from participating in practices, games and team workouts. In a statement released by the school, Lambert offered the following apology:
"I am deeply and wholeheartedly regretful for my actions. My actions were uncalled for. I let my emotions get the best of me in a heated situation. I take full responsibility for my actions and accept any punishment felt necessary from the coaching staff and UNM administration. This is in no way indicative of my character or the soccer player that I am. I am sorry to my coaches and teammates for any and all damages I have brought upon them. I am especially sorry to BYU and the BYU women's soccer players that were personally affected by my actions. I have the utmost respect for the BYU women's soccer program and its players."Vela referred to Lambert as "a quality student-athlete," but added that the suspension was necessary because "her actions clearly crossed the line of fair play and good sportsmanship."
UNM Vice President for Athletics Paul Krebs also weighed in on the situation, saying: "Liz's conduct on the field against BYU was completely inappropriate. There is no way to defend her actions."
Lambert's cheap shots took place in a Mountain West Conference Tournament game that BYU won, 1-0. The game was televised, and Lambert's highlights (or lowlights) were shown on SportsCenter and went viral on YouTube.
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