Earlier this morning, we showed you video of New Mexico women’s soccer player Elizabeth Lambert going full berzerker on the Lobos’ opponents, BYU. Despite repeated blatant offenses against the Cougars (no, not them) - not the least of which was yanking a competitor to the ground by her ponytail, as seen below, Lambert only got a yellow card for her actions in the 1-0 loss.
Thanks to the highlights hitting the national airwaves, though, school officials had no choice but to address Lambert’s repeated instances dirty play; she has now publicly apologized and has been, of course, indefinitely suspended. Apology is after the break.
Effective immediately, Lambert is prohibited from participating in all team practices, competition and conditioning activities.
“I am deeply and wholeheartedly regretful for my actions,” said Lambert. “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.”
In case you missed it, here’s Lambert’s, um, “highlight reel”:
In her defense, it’s apparent that the very first instance of extracurricular behavior is the Cougar elbowing Lambert in the sternum; this wasn’t an entirely one-sided affair, and BYU brought some of it on themselves with rough play of their own. The hard tackle - like American football tackle - that preceded the hair pull was also of questionable merit, and it seems like Lambert’s yank was more retaliatory than random.
That’s not to excuse her, though, as she still put together one of the most frightening sustained displays of unsportsmanlike conduct that we’ve seen in a good long while. And while we’re casting stones, where in God’s name were the referees? There are no fewer than six cards to be handed out (about three of which are automatic reds) here, and that Lambert was allowed to play 90 minutes is an outright travesty. It’s good that Lambert has been punished and has apologized; those are the necessary first steps. But don’t the refs have to do a little better than that as far as keeping order in the game? We’re amazed a full-on fistfight didn’t break out.