Boise State 2, New Mexico 1 (2OT) (Match Report)
Boise, Idaho – Baylee Blaser scored with 2:06 to go in double overtime, giving the Boise State Broncos a 2-1 double overtime win on Senior Day, and that result, combined with San Diego State’s 2-0 win over Utah State handed the Aztecs the regular season championship.
The loss dropped the Lobos into a straight up second place tie with Fresno State at 6-2-1 in the Mountain West, and the Lobos dropped to 8-9-2 overall. The Broncos are now 10-6-2 overall and 5-3 in the MW. Boise State, which sits currently in fifth place, could finish second with wins in a make-up game against Air Force and at Utah State.
The Lobos and Broncos played to a scoreless draw through the first half, but UNM finally broke through at the 49:13 mark as Dylann O’Connor attempted a cross that was deflected by Mikhaila Bowden and past Maddy McDevitt for a 1-0 lead. The goal was credited as an own goal.
Boise State wasted no time tying the game back up as Katy Oehring’s corner kick was tapped in at the 6-yard line by Brooke Heidemann for her eighth goal of the season. That goal was just 2:30 after UNM’s goal.
BSU applied pressure and couldn’t solve the riddle of Cassie Ulrich, who would ultimately make 11 saves on the day. Their best chance came with 8:23 left, when BSU was awarded a penalty kick, but Ulrich for the second time this season, made a diving stop on a spot kick. Heidemann took to kick for BSU and was 1-for-1 entering the match on PKs.
The teams went to overtime, for UNM its third MW road OT in the last four matches. Unfortunately, for the second time this year, the closing minutes were unkind. Blaser caught up with a loose ball in the box after a shot attempt was smothered, and she beat Ulrich for the game-winner.
With the new conference format featuring byes for the third and fourth place teams and double-byes into the semifinals, finishing in the top two positions is of utmost importance, and right now only San Diego State is assured of its spot as the No. 1 seed. UNLV’s 3-2 overtime win over Wyoming clinched a first round bye for the Lobos and Fresno State, and Nevada’s win over Air Force 2-1 means that UNLV and Nevada are the final two teams to clinch spots in the tournament.
New Mexico has the tiebreaker with Fresno State, and would be guaranteed the No. 2 seed and the double-bye with a win over San Diego State, or with a Fresno State loss and at least one tie or loss by Boise State against either Air Force or Utah State.
New Mexico will host San Diego State on Friday night at 5 p.m. at the UNM Soccer Complex. While UNM will host the conference tournament, it will mark the final regular season home games for six UNM seniors, Liz Nare, Elba Holguin, Brianna Webster, Brooke Ellison, Ashley Espinoza and Shelbie Luna.
1. 49:13 NM Own Goal (Dylann O’Connor cross deflected in)
2. 51:43 BS Brooke Heidemann (8) (Katy Oehring)
3. 107:54 BS Baylee Blaser (2) (unassisted)
Shots: New Mexico 12, Boise State 25
Saves: New Mexico 11 (Cassie Ulrich 11), Boise State 1 (Maddy McDevitt 1)
New Mexico Starters: Ulrich (GK), O’Connor, Guice, Viola, Bruciaga, Leyba, Nare, Holguin, Bri. Webster, Ellison, Espinoza.
First Half Subs: Irwin (24:37), Trujillo (39:25), Coonrod (39:25)
Second Half Subs: Olguin (60:09), Ferrier (70:37)
Boise State Starters: McDevitt (GK), Heidemann, Bowden, Tucker, Oehring, Devries, Hruby, Clayton, Schueren, Garcia, Blaser
First Half Subs: Wolverton (22:22), Banks (25:59), Drobney (39:25)
Second Half Subs: Carrasquer (57:16), Hruby (60:09)
Quotes from Kit Vela:
It just wasn’t our day today. I think we showed a little bit of fatigue and a little bit of our youth. It was a long trip with lots of lessons, but we live to fight another day.
*The Lobos finished the season 3-4-1 in road matches.
*The own goal was the second off the foot of Dylann O’Connor. She set up an own goal against Wyoming.
*New Mexico has allowed just four goals in the first half this season.
*Cassie Ulrich now has 82 saves on the season, three away from moving into the single-season top 10.
*Liz Nare is now tied for third with 80 career games played, and she is second in career games started.
New Mexico will host San Diego State on Friday in the regular season finale at 5:05 p.m.