New Mexico University women’s soccer defender Elizabeth Lambert said she “deeply regrets” the physical, nasty style of play she displayed on ESPN’s national stage during her team’s 1-0 loss to Brigham Young University earlier this month.
“I still deeply regret it and will always regret it and will carry it through the rest of my life not to retaliate,” she told the New York Times Tuesday of the November 5 game, which prompted school officials to indefinitely suspend her. “I look at it and I’m like, ‘That is not me.’ I have so much regret. I can’t believe I did that.”
Lambert’s antics in game included: a barrage of blindsides and cheap shots to her opponents; grabbing the ponytail of Brigham Young’s Kassidy Shumway and yanking her to the ground; kicking one girl across the chest, and another one in the head.
She added that she felt the incident was exaggerated because she is a woman.
“It’s more expected for men to go out there and be rough,” she said. “The female, we’re still looked at as, ‘Oh, we kick the ball around and score a goal.’ But it’s not. We train very hard to reach the highest level we can get to. The physical aspect has maybe increased over the years. I’m not saying it’s for the bad or it’s been too overly aggressive. It’s a game. Sports are physical.”