Thursday, November 5, 2015

5 November 2009 - Testing The Adage That The Only Bad Publicity Is No Publicity

On 5 November 2009, top-seeded Brigham Young University defeated fourth seed New Mexico 1-0 in the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference Women's Soccer Tournament. But the match made international headlines because of the actions of New Mexico defender Elizabeth Lambert.

After BYU took a 1-0 lead with a 31st-minute header from forward Carlee Payne, cameras caught Lambert (pictured, right) engaging in aggressive play with Payne and fellow BYU forward Kassidy Shumway (pictured, left). At one point, Lambert elbowed Payne in the back then later pulled Shumway to the ground by her ponytail. Surprisingly, none of those actions drew any attention from the referee, though Lambert received a late yellow card for a trip.

The story went viral as video of Lambert was shown on ESPN and the internet, resulting in her receiving severe criticism and, reportedly, one marriage proposal.

Following the game, Lambert apologized for her actions and was suspended for two games. She returned to the team in 2010 as New Mexico captured the MWC championship.

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