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New Mexico women's soccer player Elizabeth Lambert turns soccer into MMA

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Today is not a good day to be Elizabeth Lambert.

The New Mexico women's soccer player has to wake up with the realization that a large portion of sports-loving America has seen her on-field antics against BYU on Thursday.

And by antics, I mean hair-pulling, punching, slapping, squeezing and anything else that would fall under the umbrella of dirty play.



I like that "SportsCenter" needed to trot out soccer expert Julie Foudy to tell us that this type of behavior is over the line. We may be largely ignorant on soccer, but it's pretty obvious that yanking someone down by their ponytail doesn't qualify as good sportsmanship.

If there's any silver lining to all this, we did find out what it takes for a collegiate women's soccer game to make the morning highlight show.

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146 Comments

Simply put, this player should be prosecuted for assault and battery. Competition in an athletic venue does not provide license for criminal behavior.

The NCAA needs to throw this girl out of college athletics! She's a discrace to not only soccer, but college sports as a whole!!

The NCAA needs to throw this girl out of college athletics! She's a discrace to not only soccer, but college sports as a whole!!

How is this girl not expelled from college, not just the game for unsports(wo)man-like conduct??

Elizabeth Lambert = dirty player

I hope the school's administration sees this and takes appropriate action- there is absolutely no room for this type of behavior at any level of soccer or any other sport

Set the example, fire her from the squad.

Lambert should be suspended for at least the first half of Utah's next game.

She obviously has anger issues and should receive counseling, in addition to being tossed from the team. And I don't like how this is compared to MMA. There is no hair-pulling in MMA and kicks to the head of downed opponent. MMA fighters also display much sportsmanship and camaraderie than this. I know MMA is viewed as being violent too many, but this is unfair.

Why was she never given a red card?


Looks like just another night at the Delta Gamma house! LOL LOL LOL


Linda S.

This is despicable. Where were the refs during all this? I do hope this young girl is so ashamed of her self and embarrassed by her I actions. I sure am. She should be kicked out of the planet.

Elizabeth Lambert should be suspended for the first half of New Mexico's next game.

University of New Mexico, America is watching. Is Elizabeth Lambert someone you want to represent your University? Her repeated violent behavior as witnessed by hundreds of thousands of people across the country more than warrants quick and severe punishment. At the very least she should be removed from the team, and have any scholarships revoked. Keep her at the University if you deem appropriate, but in no way should she be allowed the privileges she has enjoyed up to this point as a student athlete. 100% unacceptable.

This girl needs to be expelled from college and soccer. That's just ridiculous.

Great tactics, if your not cheating, your not trying! Kudos to you Elizabeth, are you related to Bill Bellicheck or Tom brady?

Get some perspective people. This happens all the time in the premiership over here in the UK. It's part of the game. Unsporting yes, but no worse than what you seem happy to condone in ice hockey fights, charging the pitcher in baseball and even worse in gridiron.

As for comments on expelling her, well that's ridiculous. That's got to be down to academics, not playing a sport on an amateur basis.

None the less, clean up your game Liz!

As a former Women's Soccer coach, I believe that she should not only be barred from any further soccer games, but the Refs should be also.

Hahaha! This is a complete joke, obviously none of you watched the game, as I did! Did everyone forget what the BYU players did to the UNM keeper? Is this not relevant? TWO BYU players blatantly took out the UNM keeper on two different occasions! An AUTOMATIC yellow card should of been issued, TWICE, not once, TWICE!!! This referees let this game get out of hand the FIRST time UNM played BYU, the second time, it got worse! The BYU players have awful and foul mouths AND the fans have awful and foul mouths. BYU is supposed to be a religious school? Another JOKE!
If you weren't watching the game nor were playing in the game, which I'm almost POSITIVE none of you were, you only have ONE side of the story! Fouling a UNM player and getting up with a smirk on your face? Fouling a UNM player and getting up, laughing out loud? Blatantly taking out the UNM keeper TWICE and laughing afterwards? There is ALWAYS two sides to a story, find the second one before you jump to conclusions.
Kind of like the saying goes, if you can talk the talk, you should be able to walk the walk! Props to Elizabeth Lambert for protecting her keeper and her team since the refs failed to do so!

She's AWESOME!

Finally something to make this dreary excuse of a "sport" half way entertaining!

I thought the booking was a bit harsh.

Her bio says she is seeking a degree in Occupational Therapy....Looks like she could use some sort of therapy herself.

kvela@unm.edu - Head coach
jvela@unm.edu - Ast coach
scross@unm.edu - Ast coach

This is only partially her fault. The play is clearly over the line, but the fact that she only got a yellow card, and didn't even get THAT until 76' is absolutely criminal. It is an abysmal failure of the referee and his/her linesmen. By their inaction, they implicitly stated that her conduct was acceptable in that game.

This was shameful...to the point I found myself laughing at the absurdity of the continual fouls. It reminded me of something I would see on one of those crazy video shows. I think the girl should be suspended from the team (not school) along with her head coach, and the referees should be suspended for however long ineptitude like this warrants.

so so embarrassing. . she could have seriously injured somebody. and for what? a loss? in college football u get suspended for eating on the bench and this baboon gets to run amok on the field? as hard as women have been striving for credibility and viewership in sports--this is what we see? she's worse than bruce bowen!! if she gets to play again within the next month--i will seriously lose what respect i have left for women's college sports. and the ref didn't see anything? fire that fool too!

Relax people, not many of you understand football do you. You do everything you can to gain an advantage and this girl has. How she wasnt sent off is beyond me (the officials should be looked at, not her) but she was doing her job, defending. Ive played the game as a striker and a midfielder for over twenty five years in the US and Canada and to say this girl needs to be thrown out of sport is just silly. She was not punished during the match and should not be suspended after. Its the officials fault for not sending her off. They should be the ones suspended if anyone should be. Collegiate sport is not your sunday league u-12s people. They are real competitors.To mention she should be up on charges for assault and battery is the most ridiculous thing Ive heard in years.

She needs to be charged with assault. Just because you're on the playing field, doesn't mean this is acceptable behavior.

This is ridiculous. Firstly, it is unacceptable that the refs turned a blind eye to this behavior. And secondly, her coach never held her accountable for her actions. By the looks of it, this young lady definitely needs help in the form of anger management or some kind of counseling. Someone has to explain to her that there is a difference between being competitive and being unsportmans-like. Definitely a low point in college sports.

What an ugly, ugly, ugly display. UofNM needs to suspend her immediately. What a bitch. She could have brokern this girls neck.

If she was a man, she would be appreciated as a tough central defender. Looks to me like BYU player picked a pissing match with the wrong person. See plays like this weekly in college soccer, Men's is more physical.

DEAR ELIZABETH LAMBERT,

I AM WRITING THIS IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS BECAUSE I AM SCREAMING IN FRUSTRATION ACROSS THE COUNTRY. NEWS FLASH MS. LAMERT: YOU ARE A BELOW AVERAGE SOCCER PLAYER WITH AN ATTITUDE PROBLEM. YOU CANNOT KEEP UP WITH THE PACE, SKILL OR ATHLETICISM OF ANYONE YOU ATTEMPT TO DEFEND, SO YOU MUST RESORT TO ASSAULTING THEM. GO JOIN THE RUGBY TEAM YOU IDIOT. IF YOU ARE ON ANY SORT OF SCHOLARSHIP I AM GOING TO PUKE. YOU ARE IN NO WAY AN ASSET TO YOUR TEAM, REGARDLESS OF YOUR RIDICULOUS ANTICS. YOU ARE 100% DISPOSABLE- THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF GIRLS OUT THERE WHO ARE NOT ONLY BETTER THAN YOU AT YOUR POSITION, BUT DO NOT FEEL THE NEED TO PUNCH OPPOSING PLAYERS IN THE FACE OR ATTEMPT TO PARALYZE THEM FROM THE NECK DOWN. I PLAYED SOCCER ON A MUCH BETTER TEAM THAN YOURS, ON A MUCH HIGHER LEVEL OF COMPETITION, AND THERE WAS NEVER AN ALTERCATION OF THIS LEVEL ON THE PLAYING FIELD. IF YOUR COACH HAS ANY HOPES OF KEEPING HIS JOB HE WILL KICK YOU OFF THE TEAM IMMEDIATELY, AND YOU WILL NEVER STEP ON A COLLEGE SOCCER FIELD AGAIN. I FEEL SORRY FOR YOUR CHILDREN, YOU ARE GOING TO BE A SOCCER MOM FROM HELL.

SINCERELY,
EMBARRASSEDBYU

The only thing I saw that was out of bounds in this clip was the hair pulling. Everything else is part of the game. If you played you would understand. If you played competively that is...not your "soccer mom" style of fooball played here in the US. One game supension is the most this true player should get. Everyone who wants her kicked out of college is an idiot!!!!! Please a little hair pull as opposed to an eye gauge from "American Football" does not compare. And the eye gauge only received a one game suspension. People get over it....Football will never be popular until you remove that "soccer mom" label from your brains. Football is a tough sport deal with it!!!!!!

If this didn't happen on an athletic field, she would be in prison for assault. She should go to jail. We don't need people like her in our society.

Wow. I hate to say it, but if hockey players can be charged with assault why not Lambert. Both UNM & BYU could be found responsible as well b/c, my guess is, the parents of the BYU player are LIVID!

Hello, NCAA?... time to step up and act, or be considered feckless.

I agree with dt...where was the red card? there were several offenses there worthy of a red card. Maybe the officials didn't see it because the women don't flop like the men do. Kudos to women's soccer. Men's soccer, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAPXGuRIXsA GET SOME NUTS!

This to the NM Athletic Dept: I just saw the replay of the women's soccer match with BYU....I think it's great that they lost....What a bunch of losers....Your supposed "young ladies" acted like a bunch of street whores arguing about who gets a particular street corner....

Your athletic dept should be so proud....Maybe you should put the cherry on the sunday and hire Dave Bliss back.....

I will officially root against NM athletics from now on in any university sanctioned sporting event.

I'm forwarding the video to all my friends and associates so we can all be disgusted with the NM athletic dept. I assume you sanction this kind of behavior as I have not seen any commentary from your dept otherwise.....

This to the NM Athletic Dept: I just saw the replay of the women's soccer match with BYU....I think it's great that they lost....What a bunch of losers....Your supposed "young ladies" acted like a bunch of street whores arguing about who gets a particular street corner....

Your athletic dept should be so proud....Maybe you should put the cherry on the sunday and hire Dave Bliss back.....

I will officially root against NM athletics from now on in any university sanctioned sporting event.

I'm forwarding the video to all my friends and associates so we can all be disgusted with the NM athletic dept. I assume you sanction this kind of behavior as I have not seen any commentary from your dept otherwise.....

Where were the referees during all this? It appears the Mountain West Conference has some work to do with regard to their officiating.

And what about New Mexico's coaching staff? Did they encourage this behavior? And why did they not remove this player from the game?

As for the player, her actions were obviously disgraceful. We can hope that anyone associated with the University of New Mexico finds her conduct outrageous and unacceptable.

Elizabeth Lambert has brought shame upon the Lobos.

Coach Vela's failure to require Ms. Lambert to play like an athlete instead of an animal is inexcusable.

Call/write President Schmidly and Paul Krebs to demand that UNM athletic department shape up instantly.

Was this game being officiated by anyone? If so, how did the referee miss all of this? The conference needs to suspend the official, and the school needs to corner kick the player right off the team. Nothing less is acceptable.

That was one of the most discrasefull thinks I have ever seen.She is a discrase to herself her team and her school.She should not be allowed to play and she should be stripped of all her scolarships.My daughter plays soccer and lookes up to people like her as a rollmodel.Not her not anymore.

And with the first pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select.....

It will be very interesting to see how the university and NCAA responds. Also, what do the refs have to say for missing her repeated fouls? Even if they missed the hair pull and punch, she easily could have gotten yellow cards for several other violations that took near the ball, meaning they were likely spotted. Very strange to see all this go undetected over 90 minutes.

Imagine if this was a black football player acting like this on the field... There would be TOTAL OUTRAGE!

With all due respect (to quote the great Ricky Bobby) those of you who feel she should be kicked off the team, have her scholarship taken away, or expelled from school are completely off base. College athletics are fast pased, competitive, and physical. Antics like these need to be kept in the proper context. I think a 1 or 2 game suspension would be warranted. Anything beyond that is just trying to make headlines.

Bet her parents are real proud of her too.

Elizabeth Lambert has embarrassed herself and her school. I agree that she needs to be bounced from the team, and even the school (U of NM needs to demonstrate that Lambert does not embody the University's values). A big question for me remains, where in the world were the refs? You mean to tell me that all of her (borderline criminal) antics only warranted one yellow card? Alright Mountain West Conference, what are you going to do? MWC you need to make a statement, a big statement!

The ref and coach should be the ones getting alot of the hate here. She should get suspended for the next season. Nothing more, she is a kid and should not be arrested or kicked out of school! What if she was your daughter!? Thats foolish talk peeps. You can tackle a player by their hair in the NFL so why is this girl going to jail in your eyes?

Elizabeth Lambert makes LeGarrette Blount look like an upstanding representative for NCAA sportsmanship.

Unacceptable!

1. She must be kicked off the team.

2. She should face criminal charges for assault.

Don't even try to tell me this is normal behavior!

Elizabeth Lambert should be on the Jerry Springer Show, not playing college soccer. In fact, I think people on Springer are more inspirational.

How is any of this acceptable? She clearly is not "sportsman like" in any of her confrontations.. has the rules of women's soccer changed that much that she is still on the team? Her actions had nothing to do with "Team Play" - BYU didn't even press charges?

Next BYU game should just flatten her so she is done with this sport. Is this the type of sportsmanship we are now teaching in college and to our youth? Good ole USA...

It wasn't all one way, 27 seconds in you see Lambert get elbowed. Lambert was only giving out as good as she got. There is a rougher side to this sport Lambert she showed passion and hard work. The pull on the pony tail was a little bit too much and waranted a red card but that is all.
People calling for bans and for Lambert to be kicked off the team and out of her school are over-reactionary fools who do not understand the sport. Where is this outrage and condemnation when hockey players have a MASS BRAWL.


http://www.golobos.com/mission-state/nm-mission-state.html

Mission of UNM Athletics
University of New Mexico athletics is committed to student athlete success and competitive excellence by creating an inclusive environment, through recruiting, developing, and retaining quality people, providing a great fan experience, inspiring community engagement, and serving as a source of pride for New Mexico.

Vision Statement
UNM athletics aspires to be the premier institution in the Mountain West Conference and recognized as a national leader in intercollegiate athletics with an international reputation for excellence.

Core Values
• Student Athlete Experience - We provide an environment that promotes personal, academic, athletic, and social development. We prepare Lobos for Life!
• Integrity - We are honest, respectful, and accountable.
• Excellence - We maximize our efforts and talents to ensure success of the Lobos.
• Respect - We value the importance of diversity, fairness, goodwill and sportsmanship.
• Lobo Pride - We support an atmosphere that embraces school spirit, honors tradition, and develops Lobos for Life!


Yeh right...

UNM soccer web page says she's been suspended from the team indefinitely.

Says her coach: "Liz is a quality student-athlete, but in this instance her actions clearly crossed the line of fair play and good sportsmanship". Yeah right, buddy. So tell me this - why didn't you pull her out (please don't tell me you didn't see what was going on), or at least told her to stop pulling those antics? Without youtube, he would've given her a pat on the back instead of throwing her out of the team.

Says her coach: "Liz is a quality student-athlete, but in this instance her actions clearly crossed the line of fair play and good sportsmanship". Yeah right, buddy. So tell me this - why didn't you pull her out (please don't tell me you didn't see what was going on), or at least told her to stop pulling those antics? Without youtube, he would've given her a pat on the back instead of throwing her out of the team.

For those of you who say she should be charged with assault... You're ridiculous.
This was soccer that was way over the line. I played men's college ball and the game wasn't nearly this dirty. I fully understand the part of doing what needs to be done to get the advantage, but it is not nearly as reckless and dangerous as this. It was also not nearly as blatant.
There were at least 3 red card offenses in the video:
1) sliding cleats up, from behind.
2) hitting (fighting)
3) Pulling the hair. I don't know what that falls under, but i would place it same as fighting).

This is the NCAA, therefore many of the rules that are followed for football are followed for soccer in terms of postgame review. I am sure that the NCAA will make a statement, and hand down a suspension. This is especially due to the media exposure. I would not be surprised if she is kicked off the team by the UNM staff themselves. This is not an academic issue, and i don't think she should be kicked out of school, but i still wouldn't be surprised.
As for those who say, well what about BYU's players? I won't say that they didn't play dirty, but it is the ref's job to keep the game controlled, and they failed to do so. The ref's could also get reviewed for this, and they should.

You sound like a bunch of crybabies.

I want to make alpha babies with Elizabeth Lambert.

I think she takes it a bit too far. How does she not get suspesions or at the very least red cards for some of those plays!?

I don't see how unprovoked hair pulling and punches in the face are part of the game.

Apparently she was suspended indefinitely. http://www.golobos.com/sports/w-soccer/spec-rel/110609aaa.html

Some of these comments come from the same camp as Miss Lambert's playing style. Be kinder, people.

She rocks, this chick should be on a sports card at MacDonald's. Finally a player that doesn't put up with crap from others.
Good for you Elizabeth, keep knocking em down girl.

This is SICKENING!!! I hope that disciplinary actions are taken immediately by New Mexico. This "person" should not be allowed to play soccer ever again. What a disgrace!

kvela@unm.edu - Head coach
jvela@unm.edu - Ast coach
scross@unm.edu - Ast coach

1:We really do only know one side of the story.

2:Yes her play is dirty, but this play is common in mens soccer, and don't we constantly find ourselves comparing girls sports to guys sports? Kind of ironic, considering we hold our girls programs to the standards of guys programs.

3:Espn sucks for airing this and casting the light on it that they did.

4:I'd pick her to play on any rec, inter-mural, or league team I would happen to be a part of:)

5:"heck"(family safe, eh?), I hope she picks this blog to read so she can friend me on facebook and we can live happily ever after as best soccer friends. Seeing her play like that... I think it's a little hot:) ok, little is a giant understatement. That doesn't mean I condone it, it's just part of the game.

oh yah.
Joshwa Martin on Facebook.
26.
Male.
Fellow soccer player.
Enjoys music, the gym and long walks through urban sprawls.

I think there is a bit of a double standard. Male football players and basketball players cheap shot each other all of the time. Ever been on the bottom of dog pile. While what Lambert did was nasty it was in the heat of competition. If you ain't cheating, you ain't trying. We hold players like Deacon Jones, Teddy Bruschi, Bill Lambeer in such high regard, but they were just as dirty.

Honestly if more soccer games were like this I'd watch a little more.

mmmmm...cat fight.

She should definitely not be charged with anything! She was elbowed first! Those BYU GIRLS try to sneakily injure and hurt UNM's players but get no shame for it. I have seen more hate and name calling and dirty insults coming from the BYU players in defense than anything. If you feel it was wrong say it was wrong but don't go off insulting others who don't see things the same as you. The BYU team was playing just as dirty but was trying to give the image of good girls and like they were being angels. They were talking foully as well as pinching, pulling, and elbowing players. Good to Elizabeth for standing up and defending herself as well as her team. Don't let those girls push you around. The hair pulling was a bit much I'll admit that but when your being made to look like the bad guy for something everyone was doing and you're singled out. That's just ridiculous. Elizabeth should if anything be suspended from a game. That's it. She was standing up for her team and playing the game of soccer. The ball to the face of the one girl could have completely been an accident. In soccer players are hurt all the time in falls and kicks where the ball doesn't go where it was intended. She couldn't have planned on the girl falling to her face and being in front of her aim. This is all so ridiculous that people have gone so against her. She is just a player who is playing the game hard. The insults calling her slow are wrong because she obviously was fast enough to stop other players and get the ball back. She is a good player and strong athlete who was taunted herself and is unfairly being singled out. RIDICULOUS!

She should definitely not be charged with anything! She was elbowed first! Those BYU GIRLS try to sneakily injure and hurt UNM's players but get no shame for it. I have seen more hate and name calling and dirty insults coming from the BYU players in defense than anything. If you feel it was wrong say it was wrong but don't go off insulting others who don't see things the same as you. The BYU team was playing just as dirty but was trying to give the image of good girls and like they were being angels. They were talking foully as well as pinching, pulling, and elbowing players. Good to Elizabeth for standing up and defending herself as well as her team. Don't let those girls push you around. The hair pulling was a bit much I'll admit that but when your being made to look like the bad guy for something everyone was doing and you're singled out. That's just ridiculous. Elizabeth should if anything be suspended from a game. That's it. She was standing up for her team and playing the game of soccer. The ball to the face of the one girl could have completely been an accident. In soccer players are hurt all the time in falls and kicks where the ball doesn't go where it was intended. She couldn't have planned on the girl falling to her face and being in front of her aim. This is all so ridiculous that people have gone so against her. She is just a player who is playing the game hard. The insults calling her slow are wrong because she obviously was fast enough to stop other players and get the ball back. She is a good player and strong athlete who was taunted herself and is unfairly being singled out. RIDICULOUS!

Prosecuted? Oh for the love of... Lambert over-reacted but, did not in any way, permanently harm anyone. I've reffed woman's soccer games before. I've heard things said that would make a sailor blush, and seen things that'd do the same. My guess is that somebody got under Lambert's skin and everybody on the team started chiming in on her. It happens. I don't feel sorry for either side, but if I were on the pitch there would have been cards going in both directions until that noise was cut. I've only really ever seen one guy just go insane over nothing, so I'm absolutely positive my assumption is right. Just take a look at the BYU players faces right before Lambert does something "over the line"...

I played Division I soccer for four years and this never happened. Someone else hit the nail on the head when they said she is a below average player. Several of those fouls were simply her reaction to getting completely run over by the other team. As a defender she stabs terribly, get some position and play some real defense. She is a dirty player and no coach I've ever played for would have tolerated that kind of example on the field to represent our university. People like that carry the same behavior off the field as well. Worthless.

This chick plays the GAME! I am totally down with her. I am an ex-athlete, and aggression and intimidation is part of it... I used to smack other athletes while running track for God's sake, and in basketball, our coach used to yell that it was "War under those boards!"

She is making a point, get the hell out of her way.

I could start watching women's soccer now!

Bad ref's. Both teams unsportsmanlike. Bad ref's.
Say bye to the UNM coach. Say bye to Lizzy.
Let's see if the NCAA can step up and do the right thing (they won't).
Did I mention bad ref's? Say bye to them too.

@Big12 and the other executioners...u certainly take a lot for granted. Do you know this young woman personally? There are a lot of people who are crazed competitors and leave it there on the field. Your comment on her future as a Mother was as cheap a shot as Lambert shot on the BYU players and the BYU player who hit Lambert with an elbow to the chest.
Lambert should be suspended. However, unless it is proven that she plays like this regularly it is a case of bad sportsmanship in a competitive game. As for losing her scholarship, again, if Lambert is an otherwise good student then you don’t take her education for something that may have been out of character. One 50 second video should not destroy the girl’s life.

Hi all,

Someone said this happens all the time in the Prem but conceded Liz needs to clean up her game. Someone else said from their 25 years of playing in the USA and Canada, everything but the hair pull was okay.

I disagree. There was a punch (in someone's back) before the hair pull. And, there was a punch and a slap after a tackle, which happened after the hair pull. In the Prem, if the refs missed these events, the FA would review video evidence and sanction the player probably with a 3-game ban. The hair pull might earn a look-see by the local police, as well.

In any event, in the USA, Canada, and the Prem, punching another player (we see Lambert do this two times) is a red card offense, and the violent-hair-pull-the-player-to-the-ground is a red card offense. Period. Full stop.

Cheers,

Sean

I could have cared less about women's soccer up to this point.....Let em PLAY!

This was on the U of NM web site

11/6/2009

New Mexico Women's Soccer Player Suspended Indefinitely
University of New Mexico head women's soccer coach Kit Vela announced today that junior defender Elizabeth Lambert has been suspended indefinitely for her actions in Thursday's match against BYU in the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference Championship in Provo, Utah.

Elizabeth Lambert is the Happy Gilmore of Women's College Soccer. At least this sport is actually getting some national attention for once!

A question for those calling for assult charges. Would you advocate assault charges against BYU #7 for the elbow to the gut that preceeded the punch in the back? How about sexual assult charges against BYU #21 for trying to pull Lambert's shorts up her crotch just before nearly having her head taken off? Things like this almost never happen for no reason.

Lambert will undoubtedly be suspended, as she should be. BYU should do the same.

Some quick replies: Soccer (not "football", soccer) is not a "tough sport" and real Americans don't care about it. It's a sport for banana republics and English hooligans.

Yanking someone's head backward like that could cause severe injury and DOES constitute an assault. Were I the victim of that type of attack, soccer field or not, I would file a police report and prosecute to the fullest extent.

You can argue that the punches and so forth are part of the came, but to sneak up behind a player who is clearly unable to defend herself and viciously yank her head like that is disgusting, and so are the idiot soccer fans who are defending her.

Onegreatseason-Nice one.I laughed out loud when I read that. Too funny.

Most of you are very short sighted.
EPL Soccer matches make this look like a pee wee league match.
Just because a woman does it, it's blasphemy.
Second, If you actually watched the match, BYU players were provoking her and abusing her goalie. In baseball, football, etc- if your teammate gets attacked, you retaliate. It's sports- if you've never played one you wouldn't understand.
Lastly, every team has a player like this to be the equalizer. Sure she took it overboard. Nobody is arguing that. She was looking out for her teammates and acting as an athelete.

For some of you to say she needs treatment for anger management is laughable. Please don't pass judgements on situations you don't understand. You simply end up creating a double standard.

Would this have made such news if it had been a guy? How many of you heard about this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDOy-RMIpF0

I bet not many. It was hardly addressed in the news in comparison to Lambert's actions. More importantly, for trying to gauge out an opponent's eyes, Brandon Spikes received only a 1/2 game suspension!!!

Lambert was just suspended from the team indefinitely and half of you are arguing that she should be persecuted on the legal front as well. Anyone else have a problem with this?

I wonder if that kinda of behavior goes toward her "occupational therapy" studies in school...Not only is she an emotionally retarded soccer player, but she's a total moron. She just screwed herself. And I mean, come on! Hairpulling? She obviously is the kind of person that cant woman up and take care of business, so she has get someone when they have their back turned and pull some low-class stunt like hair pulling! I'd be ashamed to even know this girl!

I have never seen anything like this in organized sports. We are talking about numerous red card worthy actions here...and she remained in the game! This is truly an abomination to the game of soccer, and extremely embarrassing for the University of New Mexico. Not only should this player be banned from NCAA soccer, but the referees should be receive punishment as well. It was frustrating to watch the highlights from this game on Sports Center this morning. It makes you literally have hatred for Elizabeth Lambert. I hope she enjoyed her actions during this game, because her reputation is destroyed.

I do not need to see the game in context to say Elizabeth was out of control. Although I would like to see the whole game. Elizabeth punches one player in the back, but only after that player elbowed her to the gut. The hair pull, “violent” behavior, … no excuses there.

Soccer is a physical game, safe to say a contact sport. Player safety is one of the referee's responsibilities. A responsibility that is shared with the players on the field and the coaches. There is no excuse for a game to get out of control, at any level. U10 thru professional. For a game to get out of control we have players, coaches and perhaps referees not following the rules, or at least the spirit of the game.

We can blame many people, but the character of the player shines thru for good or bad. New Mexico University has an athletic code of conduct. Therefore, NMU will need to respond to this incident. Perhaps Elizabeth did/didn’t start this: but retaliation is never an excuse... if you played the game, you would know this.

I coach, referee, and play soccer. This is my informed opinion from years of FIFA / USSF experience.

She has been suspended indefinitely. Good. Hope she enjoys watching the games from the sidelines becuase that's the closest she'll get. Why do people that have the best opportunities in the world spoil it for absolute pity bs. She could have looked back on her life and a successful soccer career, but now all anyone will remember is that she's a hair pulling bitch with no sportsmanship. One game and one bad day of tantrums caused all that. Congrats Lambert! Thank you for setting the example and teaching the children that disgusting behavior like yours is NOT rewarded in this world.

"This is in no way indicative of my character," said Lambert in her response to her suspension. Not indicative of her character? REALLY? Well then, just what is it indicative of? Or was that her evil twin on the field?

Give me a break. She's a nasty, vindictive, violent person who just happened to get caught on camera. I feel for anyone who ever has to work, live or interact with her in any way. I wonder what else she does, or will do, to get ahead of the so-called competition.

Some here may think that all is fair in love and war (and sports). I do not

Big noise about nothing. Any defender in soccer is taught to use what ever means needed to get the upper hand - the clips focus on this young lady but their may have been just as much coming the other way. Defense is defense - she is charged with clearing an area and marking it. Same thing happens under the basket, you come down the lane you are going to pay the price.

The girl was a standout in California soccer and was recruited. This clip will be used by coaches through out womens soccer as a what TO do and (hair pull) NOT to do.

You want violence? Put a camera underwater at a mens water polo match...

I particularly like her official comment, "... no way indicative of my character..." Really? So actions are not reflective of character? Then what is character? "Character is what you do even when no one is watching" - so it doesn't matter what you do when people ARE watching? Crazy. Great future - perfect for Wall Street.

wow. this is the most craziest thing ive seen when it comes to abuse. this girl went out on this field and wasnt even playing soccer. more like wwe smackdown. i mean, come on. like think about it...why didnt she get a red card? she freakin kicked a girl in the face and almost snapped her neck off. i think those referees were in on it. thats the only thing i can think of right now. unless the are blind. i could see a mile away that, that was poor poor soccer behavior. She should be expelled from her school. I would never want to represent someone so violent on my campus. the school should suspend her from the school and she shouldnt be able to compete in soccer. and dude, seriously? i regret what i did out there? thats some total bs. i would have kicked her a** if she ever did anything to me like that. so uncalled for.

Someone made a comment earlier about Lambert protecting her keeper...what!!! Maybe some rough housing would have been appropriate. Obviously soccer is a sport that uses legs more than others, so use the legs. But what about that Austin Powers Judo Chop! "Knee to the back" and "Chop to the face" is definitely my favorite combo for a typical street brawl. Lambert needs serious help!

I'm kind of amused by all the "alpha" sports people defending this creep. It's like they've never seen what happens to an "alpha" ape or monkey who goes too far and enrages their little group. They're usually horribly disfigured and left for dead if not ripped apart outright. In a domesticated setting such an animal is usually shot.

Forget the whole anger counseling thing, this little monkey just need to understand reality.

Lighten up people... criminal charges? kicked out of school? I have never been happier to live in Canada than when I read some of these comments, oh except for the last time I was sick and had to go to the doctor's office and left without a 145,000 dollar bill.

To whomever keeps posting the email addresses of the coaching staff...you're a TERRIBLE person.

There is no double standard and if there would be any double standards it would be women would get off more easily than men. It's so more like women when something like that happens they come out and say "oh it was never my fault" or "she started it first" or something but women rarely own up to their own actions women mostly tries to put blame onto someone else even though they know they were the ones that caused the incident. Like in the NFL a player that would do that would obviously be ejected from the game, assault charges would be filed, he would be severely fined and quite possibly would not play for that team again or ever get to play in the NFL again.

I hope the student files criminal assault charges against her. OMG throw/kick this bitch off the team and quite possibly she needs to be thrown out of school for her behavior. The school also maybe needs to send her to anger management and have her admit that she has a problem!! She needs to be shown that she can't get away with it and simply say I lost my head/my temper is not good enough!!

It's obvious that the referees were not in control of this game. They should be suspended as well.

Girls - excuse me, "young women" - kicking, slapping, pulling on hair and shorts...
Yum!
I need to start watching this sport!

I saw this story on TV news. I was going to write to the UNM coach because I was so horrified. Then I watched the video. If you watch closely you will see that Lambert was provoked many, many times. BYU 21, (the one whose hair was pulled) earlier slid into Lambert from behind and upended her. BYU 7 elbowed Lambert before Lambert elbowed her back. BYU 21 pulled Lambert's pants up in a wedgie by reaching her arm behind her back and pulling up...hard. Lambert responded by pulling her hair...hard.

BYU also physically abused the UNM goalie. I think Lambert just lost it because BYU was so abusive. It reminds me of baseball when one team does something wrong to another, and the pitcher then beans the first team's batter.

But, BYU should certainly have been sanctioned, too.

Disgusting.

OK, I've looked at the videos and it seems to me Elizabeth was responding to harassment. Of the 2 most common clips, first you see her punch a player in the back after being elbowed in the breast, second she pulls the ponytail of a player after the player grabs at and runs her hands up her shorts.

This would be the equivalent of a brush-back in baseball. She is saying, back off; don't mess with me.

I'm amazed that some of these videos actually cut the precipitating events making it look like Elizabeth did all of this unprovoked.

These sportscasters, pontificating about the atrocious behavior in Lambert. This is about ratings and that's atrocious.

Go find the videos on youtube that show at least a few seconds before each event, and see what you think...

The apology attributed to Elizabeth Lambert passes the actions off as "heat of the moment" stuff. When I hear "heat of the moment" I think of Brandon Spikes, Woody Hayes, Christian Laettner, etc. When I see the Lambert video I think, "90 minutes of unbridled rage."

Perhaps incidents such as this do serve a purpose: to finally outrage American society as a whole so that offenders are properly dealt with and some sense of civility is regained. This young woman and other young women and men like her have no place in sports or in academia. My hope is that the New Mexico's Student Code of Conduct mandates her dismissal from the university. Zero tolerance for bullying.

I liked what I saw. I wonder if she is single?

Meh. I've never even heard of women's collegiate soccer before this, now I'd probably stop and watch if I were flipping the channels.

I say let her play and hire some refs that do their job.

I was completely appalled and incredibly disturbed by Elizabeth Lambert's uncontrollable aggression. Her VIOLENT behavior was CRIMINAL. Assault charges would be completely appropriate. Where were the referees? Elizabeth's inappropriate violent behavior should not be dismissed; female soccer players and aspiring young athletes are watching...what will they learn from this?

She need to NOT only never be allowed to play again but the girl that was assulted should charge assult charges. This girls needs her scholerships stripped away and kicked out of school. There is no tollerence for this behavior. Also if there is any double standards it would be that women in sports get's away with so much more then men. For instance if a player from the NFL pulled down Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers by his hair, tripped him, kicked him the player would be severly fined, ejected, suspended, assult charges would be filed and quite possibly that player would not play for that NFL team again or play in the NFL. The double standard is that most women cry, whine and complain and don't take full responsibility for their own actions. They blame others then say like "oh it wasn't my fault I did nothing wrong" Then so many women get so mad even though it's their own fault. Just own up to your fault and take responsibility. The school also should make this player go to anger management classes. But I think this warrants and scholorships taken away, kicked out of school and assult charges. No actions like this should be tollerated period!!

All of the vitriol over a sport most of you all don't even understand, (or watch) and passing judgement on a woman you do not know. What the hell is wrong with you people?

1. BYU player elbows UNM player in the sternum. UNM player responds with a forearm to the back. So what?

2. BYU player grabs at crotch of UNM player and pulls forcefully. UNM player repsponds by yanking the girl down by ponytail. OK, Yellow card...and stern talking to. So what, BYU player was milking it by being on the ground for so long, and she initiated illegal contact in the first place. It's SPORT, both sides are filled with athletes, not little girls sitting in the sand box. Give both sides the respect that they are tough enough to take it.

In both instances the BYU players should also be suspended, as they aren't innocent in either scuffle.

And the morons talking about assault and battery, college expulsion and other nonsense, you all are the same people responsible for such silly and frivolous lawsuits as kindergarteners being charged with sexual harrassment for giving hugs and kisses to one another.

Seek help.

Sucks to be you girlie...nowadays, mess up like that and your acts of stupid non-sportsmanship are there for all to see on youtube, cable tv, satellite...try hiding that when you find yourself applying for a soccer spot in another school. (Hopefully no one will want you.) I'm just glad you didn't take out another real player's knee permanently...someone who respected the sport and had more skills than you, and who may have needed the scholarship to afford college, you loser. Wonder if the shame will teach you a lesson. If not, what about roller derby?

She shouldn't play for the rest of the season. She needs help with her temper so she won't hurt another player.
Make her coach U6 soccer, this will remind her how fun soccer can be. I live in Utah, I believe that there were players (BYU) that pushed the right buttons, the buttons that put her in demolition mode. However that's sports, you have to control it and be a roll model.

Soccer Dad

Where was the referee what game was he watching She should have been red card for any of the offenses I saw on tape. I know she is suspended and I hope she is off the squad permenitely

Was she abused as a child? Didn't anyone teach her the rules of sportsmanship? Who wants to watch her bad behavior? Please, college athletics, give us someone to admire!

I think this is a really one-sided video. Most of the things I saw should have been fouls (which I'm probably sure they would) and MAYBE a few yellows (which there was one), the hair-pulling was uncalled for, but apparently those BYU players had been running their mouths the whole game, plus most of it was a reaction, not just an aggressive assault.

The punch - the other girl had just finished elbowing her in the stomach, you can clearly see it happen, the punch was a clear result of that.

The hair-pulling - the other girl was in the middle of pulling down her pants, at that point she must have been fed up with them running their mouths and the attacks on the keeper, etc (those two teams are clearly not friendly)

It may seem like im trying to defend Elizabeth, and I kinda am, it's like those movies where one person curses and provokes a charecter, and just as they decide to retaliate (most likely by physical means, since that's the only thing they can do at that point) an authority figures walks in and sees that.

The person who provoked just walks off with a smug smile and the charecter is left in trouble.

Most of these "horrible assualts" are common in soccer games anyways; the comment about kicking the girl in the face with the ball "on purpose": ridiculous.

I don't know at what point in the game she was elbowed in the midsection, but that set the tone for the rest. The elbow was an obvious reaction to that elbow. It's sports people, just let them play. She should sit a game out and be right back next week.

This girl should be arrested and prosecuted for assault. As far as the sport is concerned, she should be banned for life. No excuse is valid for trying to hurt someone on a sporting field. Shame on her coach, her teammates and her school for not stopping her abhorrent behavior.

The University must stand up and do the right thing. She needs to be removed from the team forever. Period. If the university allows this without penalty should be fined and sued as well. I hope the NCAA bans this girl out of college athletics, her and her actions are disgraceful and no allowance or forgiveness for such behavior. Not to penalize this is ruining our kids. Your actions are yours and need to be dealt with appropriately. It needs to start at home and it all levels of sports as a whole.

Learn for the University of Oregon, they removed the football player.

THIS TURNS ME ON!!!!

Did anyone see the elbow thrown by the BYU player? How about the grabbing of Ms. Lamberts groin and shorts by the pony tailed player BEFORE the hair pull by Ms. Lambert? I saw it and retaliation is expected by me. I applaud her efforts NOT to be bullied in Utah. The BYU players are the problem and no one in the press seemed to pick up on their infractions but I certainly saw it and feel that physicality is part of all sports so get over it. Unless the BYU players are also held accountable she and her tough, go get 'em attitude should be allowed to continue playing at U of NM. She can play on my teams any time. The Coach.

Can you imagine if she would be blessed with children? What she would do to them if she ever lost her temper. She has no control or no conscience. She has probably always been the school bully-only this time she has gotten caught!! I hope there will be people always watching her actions...especially if she does ever have children!!!

Elizabeth should be banned from participating in sporting events until she attends ANGER MANAGEMENT classes & learns how to control her temper. She also needs to learn about sportsmanship. This is pathetic. She should be disciplined by her COACH!! How sad to allow this to go on. Obviously the Officials were not watching the same game as everyone else was watching. Thumbs DOWN to them as well!!!

We have become so inticed by sports figures that we allow this type of action in just about every age group. It needs control by the NCAA and our professional groups. We need to quit allowing anyone that behaves like this or those that have been convicted of crimes to gain the rewards of playing professional sports. We need to hold our sports figures accountable as they should understand that playing is a privilege. This should include Tiger Woods. He is the best golfer that hit the planet but should we have to listen to his cursing and watch his childish behavior of slamming clubs after bad shots? Come on, Professional Sports step up and make these guys and gals walk the line..

the refs are to blame , for not controlling the game!

All i have to say about this little puke is if she would have done that to my daughter she would have had her teeth knocked through her mouth. I can bet you one day she will do this to the wrong one and someone will teach her a good lesson!

We should rename that penalty move as "Elizabeth Lambert" to remember this womans shameful act. When you hear the name or term "Bobbitt" everyone know its meaning.


This is not a praise, this is to remind them of their shame for a life time and beyond. That act of violance is a criminal act. You would be arrested for assault if you did this out on the streets, whats the difference now other than they are playing a game we love and charish so much.


Maybe but hopefully not, someday someone else does the same thing to another player and the announcer yells out through the mike (" Player #1 just did the Elizabeth - Lambert to the player #2 and down he goes" )

Let it be known from now on that act of violance be known as

"ELIZABETH-LAMBERT"

This woman's response to a competitive and stressful situation was pathological. She should never be allowed to have children.

FYI, the UNM assistant coach (Mr. Vela, the head coach's husband) was suspended a few years back for throwing a chair onto the pitch during a conference game against Wyoming. I have also seen this same coach try to fight other coaches during and after youth soccer games. He is a class act.

As a referee, what Lambert did goes beyond the boundaries of physical soccer. The punch in the back after the elbow was one thing, but there were at least three instances of violent misconduct -- the tripping incidents should have merited instant red cards -- before the ponytail incident. Futbol player and anyone else defending this woman, you are out of your mind. I played, I coach, and I referee. There is no way as a coach I would allow a player to get away with this. There is no way, as a referee, I would allow a player to get away with this. I've seen broken bones as a result of games that were physical but clean. They happen. But Lambert was deliberately seeking to injure other players.

She should never be allowed to play the sport again. No matter what happens, you as a player must maintain your self control. If you can't -- regardless of what the other team does -- then you don't belong on the field.

The concept of sportsmanship is dead. It faded away many years ago, instead now replaced by "win at all costs", walking around the bases after hitting a home run, and asinine dance parties after touchdowns.

The player is the least of the problem. The referees should be fired as they didn't control the game. The coaches should be fired as they either turn a blind eye or perhaps encourage that level of play. I've played competitive sports including water polo. Yes, there is plenty of jostling and other festivities. But blatant actions designed only to injure another player are completely unacceptable.

This is a sad commentary on how society accepts and even celebrates a total lack of class.

Why isn't anything being said about the elbow that hit her and then she retaliated with a hit in the back and then the hair pull, watch the black haired girls left hand pulling at the shorts of her, possible a scratch on the leg, i think she just had enough and decided to take matters in her own hands , good for her. If the referees cant do the job do it yourself.

I've never read so much crap on one blog sight for quite sometime. Anyone who things what went on in this game is so different from what goes on in many games in many sports needs to wake up. Cheating always happens,and will continue to happen as long as sport is played by human beings. Threee game suspension and thats it!! All you do gooders get over it!!!

Hair pulling needs to stay in the bedroom

What is with the comments that Lambert was "just doing her job"?

That is essentially saying that if the other team's player is a faster runner than you, you are justified in trying to slide tackle her in a way that injures her ankle in order to stop her out-running you?!!

While I did see some elbowing and such by BYU players, none of it came close to the force and purposeful assault commited by Lambert.


Lambert should be permanently removed from college soccer, and at least the victim of hair pulling should press charges of assault (with clips of the other hits as evidence to support that this was her consistant action, not an isolated incident).

New Mexico head coach should be fined for allowing that gross mis-conduct and not stopping it by pulling Lambert off the field and substituting in someone else.

Referee and Line Judges should be suspended for a number of games without pay and re-trained (if there is a shortage for these positions, otherwise fired outright).

The BS moral posturing by 90% of the people posting here is just ridiculous. Criminal charges? Get off your pedestal.

You're going to get upset about an athlete playing dirty in an already dirty game? This riles up your outrage? Haha my god, take your anger and direct it at the much more blatant abuses in society where it is much more needed.

Look at the video closely. UNM's #15 instigates this from the beginning. She throws punches at the head of the BYU player on the shot at the far side of the field. And look at the hair pull incident. Yes, the BYU player gives a tug to Lambert's shorts (which is nothing, it happens about 200 times a game) but look at Lamberts arm and hand before the shorts tug. Lambert ALREADY is holding the BYU players hair BEFORE the shorts tug. So it is obvious the BYU player was telling Lambert to get off her back and get her grip off her pony tail by tugging her shorts. Lambert reacts to the shorts tug, which Lambert starts by grabbing her pony tail in the first place, by yanking her head so hard she knocks her off her feet.

Lambert is angry, mean, and out of control. She lacks basic skills and tries to make up for it by playing dirty.

And cynicalme62. BYU was up 1 nothing for much of this so they didn't need to incite Lambert in order to win the game by getting her kicked out. If you are going to make a leap of faith like that with absolutely no evidence whatsover then maybe you believe the moon is made of cheese and the earth is flat! Your annalytical skills are very limited if that is the best you can come up with. BYU made her do it? Unbelievable!

How about the obvious. Lambert is angry, a poor sport, undisciplined and out of control.

You people are stupid if you think she should be prosecuted, this is soccer im sure every one on the field is talking crap and shes the one trying to end it.

Well, most of the world has now heard of that nasty soccer player Elizabeth Anne Lambert of the U. of New Mexico (the news made BBC World sports—repeatedly—as well as Italian news).

Rob Hughes, whom I consider to be, at least in the English language, one of the finest journalists on the subject of international soccer, dedicated an entire article to Ms. Lambert’s shenanigans in the November 11th edition of the International Herald Tribune with a splendid and large picture of Lambert taking down opponent Kassidy Shumway of Brigham Young University. The picture is sooo big that on the very same page at the bottom there’s a pic of perhaps THE world’s most famous male soccer player, David Beckham, and it’s about 1/8 the size of Lambert’s. Hard to believe!

The saddest thing though of Lambert’s escapade, at least for someone like me who has been living for 20 yrs in one of THE most chauvinistic countries in the world when it comes to women’s soccer, is the mere fact that women’s soccer, whether it be in the U.S. or in Italy, HAS to actually get reported on either because of “odd” episodes such as Lambert’s or when, many yrs ago, a somewhat “exasperated” (male) president of a women’s club in northern Italy had closed down the shop because practically all the players were lesbians!

We rarely will hear or read about the exquisite prowess of players like Brazil’s Marta, considered by the very same FIFA as the world’s greatest dribbler of the women’s game (I have a video of one of her international matches. At age 50 and counting, I’m still playing the game after some 40 yrs. Admittedly, what she did in that match out-dribbling a few players, well, I could certainly never do!). I also believe that my good friend Aaron Heifetz, the press officer of the U.S. Women’s National Team, has also stated in the past that she’s one helluva dribbler (considering the Athens’s gold medal final in 2004 was also against Marta’s Brazil, a match which had been won by the U.S.).

And what to say about Mia Hamm whose quasi 16-yr career with the U.S. national team inspired thousands of those “pig-tailed hooligans” out there to pick up the game (I actually analysed her as a role model for the American game in my MA thesis on both U.S. and Italian women’s soccer: why the former works so well whereas the latter doesn’t. A copy of that thesis was also sent to FIFA president Joseph Blatter seeing that his now-famous words, "The future of soccer is feminine", was used for the thesis title), or Antonella Carta, Italy’s captain during the splendid Women’s World Cup held in the U.S. in 1999 (I was Italy’s interpreter at that wonderful event)? Antonella was 32 and counting in 1999 and had had 117 international caps going into that event, something that the average male soccer player can only dream of (and what to say about America’s Kristine Lilly whom I think topped the 300 cap-mark!). And what was her normal job occupation? A bank employee? A teacher? A babysitter? No, she drove a delivery truck up to 9 hours a day, hauling, loading and unloading heavy weights all day. After a long and tedious day at work, she’d show up for evening practises in the Italian Serie A women’s championship. While for most North Americans, including Canucks like yours truly, 32 degrees (or less) Fahrenheit in the evenings is nothing, for the average Italian though anything below that is considered to be “Siberian-like temperatures”! Well, there would be Antonella and her team-mates, training in cold and rainy evening temperatures, quite often until 11 in the evening and on frozen soccer pitches too (not much fun being a goalkeeper and having to dive on a frozen pitch during practise). No journalist out there, including Mr. Hughes, will tell us about the enormous sacrifices that these female players will . I’ve often said after some 20 yrs coaching the game both in Canada and in Italy that female soccer players are even more “gutsy” and enthusiastic for the game than their male counterparts, for the simply reason that unlike the Ronaldos of the world—both of them—these women on average are paid a mere pittance to play the game (contrary to popular belief, Italy’s women’s championship isn’t professional. It’s semi-professional with some players perhaps getting as much as 2.000 Euros per month in the form of reimbursements. In the minor leagues they’re even lucky to see a single dime, if they’re lucky at all).

And what to say about all those “saints” out there of the men’s game? Anyone remember that famous pic of Vinnie Jones (I believe he went on to become an actor) literally grabbing Paul Gascoinge’s balls? Or the first “pit-bull” of the men’s game, Nobby Stiles of the 1966 English World Cup team, or our very own Romeo Benetti (1978 World Cup member and former Juventus player. I actually had his yrs ago as an instructor at one of my coaching courses. He was Italy’s first mean ol’ bugger of the Serie A), or his “heir”, Claudio Gentile, who literally tore Zico’s shirt in that epic Italy-Brazil match of the 1982 World Cup game (by the way, Zico was here in Udine the other day for a special award. He had played for Udinese 2 seasons and was simply amazing with his free-kicks). Gentile’s tackles in 1982 were worthy of several red-cards, including the way he had totally “annihilated” a very frustrated Diego Armando Maradona in the match against Argentina. And what to say about the “Butcher of Bilbao”, Goixochea, and what he did to Maradona in the Spanish liga when the Pibe de Oro was playing for Barcelona? He broke his leg and almost put an end to Maradona’s career (from film footage Goixochea’s slide tackle on Maradona’s leg appears MORE than intentional. I have a video of him training after that incident to get back in shape. It’s only a miracle what his doctors did, enabling the man years later to not only perform true soccer miracles with Naples but also with Argentina at the 1986 World Cup!). Thanks also to the brutality of many Italian defenders, perhaps the best in the business anywhere in the world, the great Marco Van Basten (only a three-time Golden Ball award winner with all three titles won in during his days in the Serie A) finally had to abandon his brilliant career due to a hacked-up and unusable ankle (some also put the blame on less-than brilliant orthopaedic surgeons)!
Or what about St. Marco Materazzi? Few know what Giovanni Galeone had said about him. Galeone had coached Perugia and Materazzi had been one of his players. Given his less-than “saintly” spirit both on and off the pitch (and this was well before 2006), Galeone had said that “Materazzi is someone who can ruin the dressing-room spirit”! As coach a few yrs ago of Udinese, on the eve of the match here in Udine against Materazzi’s Inter, he again repeated his comment, but without mentioning Marco’s name. As a result, he was deferred by the Italian soccer commission for his statement.
Having undergone the same experience when I was playing the game in Canada at age 16 with a player who had taunted and insulted me for the entire match (I eventually decked him with a punch worthy of Mike Tyson!), I can only imagine in THE most important match of your life (journalists say that had Zidane won the 2006 World Cup final, they would have crowned him THE greatest player of the game! Don’t believe them? Here’s what Marcello Lippi, Italy’s current head coach of the men’s squad and the winner of that 2006 event, once said of him as he had coached him at Juventus: “The greatest player I’ve ever coached, so great that HE would come up with the tactics before I did”! (n.b. for Lippi the greatest of them all has been Maradona). You’ve got only 2 billion people watching your every move, not to mention France’s entire population as your hoping for a repeat of the 1998 miracle against Brazil, and for the entire match some son-of-a-you-know-what calls your mother, sister, grandmother and what not EVERYTHING in the books, and then you finally explode and you head-butt him! Pure Italian “furbizia” (shrewdness) in this case (let’s face it: it was better for Italy WITHOUT Zidane on the pitch that with him ON IT as he was literally carving up the Italian defence, including captain Fabio Cannavaro, one of the best defensemen in the world!).

I leave you all though with some pre-Lambert episodes, just in case that the world will now begin to say that America’s game is somewhat tougher and meaner than the average (admittedly, it is more physical than say the Italian game, but then again, when the Italians are merely “brushed” by an opponent, they fall on the ground, first of all calling into action every Italian saint ever beatified by the Catholic Church and secondly they act as though they’ve just had one of their limbs amputated!): I think it was 2003 (circa). I was again, for the 3rd yr in a row, at the Algarve Cup tournament in Portugal (after the Olympics, World Cup and European championship, it’s THE most important female soccer event in the world). I was the only photographer on the pitch for the Italy-Finland match. Carolina Morace, perhaps Italy’s most famous player, was Italy’s head coach (she’s now coaching Canada). Patrizia Panico, her heir on the national team (at 34 she’s still playing), nicknamed by yours truly “The Scorpion” for her quick-action goals, was on the pitch. Morace started in with the insults against the Portuguese female ref. It finally escalated to every swear word ever heard in the Italian language* (and also NOT heard!). Finally exasperated, the ref red-carded her, something which has rarely occurred at this event. The “fun” didn’t end there. Out of the blue and perhaps with after a nasty word or two from a Finnish player, there was Panico socking the same Finnish player with a nice punch to her back, this time worthy of the former great Max Bear (who had only killed two opponents on the ring during his career. One poor chap ended up having his brain detached from his cortex! Baer is also the fellow who only knocked down a record 12 times Primo Carnera, Italy’s only-ever world heavyweight champion of the 1930s, in the world title match that he has lost against Bear!).

Upon boarding my return flight to Rome from Lisbon, I saw the Finnish head coach. I asked him for an opinion on his match against Italy. He looked at me somewhat disgusted and said, “Oh, just forget it”! (memorable instead was April Heinrichs’s comment right after the Italy-Finland match. She was America’s coach and her match against Sweden followed Italy’s. Having played briefly in Italy, Heinrichs had faced Morace in the Serie A in her youth and so knew somewhat well her vivid language and tactics. I asked her for an opinion on Morace’s expulsion from the match. She looked at me and with a smile on her face said, “Hey, she’s Italian”!).
No, female soccer players aren’t certainly made of “sugar and spice and everything nice”, but it would be nice, in the famous words of comedian Rodney Dangerfield, that they got a “little more respect”!
Mario

*Yrs ago here in Udine I met a former female player. She had in her youth played against Morace. She told me that during the match a) Morace, with her back to her, would stand with her cleats firmly on her toes in order to block her moves and b) swore sooo much that day that this poor player, up until her encounter with Carolina, hadn’t even ever heard of all those swear words before in her life (Morace is Venetian-born and the folks of the Veneto region, where Venice is to be found, are also famous for being perhaps Italy’s greatest “swearers”)!


Wow, here's a way to get millions of dollars fast by being the right color, get all the attention and all you get is a slap in the hand and do not do it again. All others do not try this you would probably be arrested for all and any violations.

I am an american who has come to love the sport but wow not a college place I would want my child to be at. It is just simply wrong in all aspect.

Kassidy Shumway was tugging at Lambert's crotch giving her a front wedgie! Shumway should've got knocked harder! She totally deserved it!

I guess I am the only one that notices this girl getting "adjusted" before she retaliates....she even stated that she was retaliating due to the many "adjustments" that she took...look at the video closely...
girls are very sensitive to being "adjusted" in certain areas...
I am not justifying here actions but the retaliating person ALWAYS get caught whereas the initiator does not....look at the video again

Elizabeth Lambert? Oh yeah! Very nice legs. Does she have a boyfriend right now?

I believe Miss Lambert should be suspended from the soccer team indefinitely. I also believe that the player elbowed her in the ribs/breast intentionally (#7) and the player who was controlling her by holding her shorts (#21) should also be suspended for at least a game. I understand that she was frustrated and was retaliating against the players she thought were fouling her, but that does not justifies her actions. These types of behaviors need to be removed from non-pugilistic sports.
If we let these actions and reactions continue then these wonderful games will be lost to those teams that are willing to give up their dignity to score one more point than their opponent.

This comment is for those who feel the need to make a big deal out of the issue. Soccer is an agressive sport period. In all the video footage I've seen, you can clearly see her retaliating after she makes her adjustments. Who cares that the video footage seems to agressive. So is hockey and war. All the people saying Elizabeth is a mean player cracks me up. If you have a daughter or are a female who likes to provoke other players on a soccer field your days are numbered. Im sure you will find a female who refuses to be provoked. People need to let this women play the game she loves and bewarned for those who play against her. She has already proved she will not put up with your dumbness.

Beckham back to Manchester
Great news that David Beckham is going back to Manchester United to play against his old club. Personally, I can't wait to see Becks on the field in an AC Milan shirt scoring a goal against Fergie's team. Some of the online sports sites listed at Dozensports.com say that if Becks plays he will be booed by some, but I think he is still one of the best players England has ever produced.

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This page contains a single entry by Kyle Koster published on November 6, 2009 9:13 AM.

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