Aug. 19, 2012
Lubbock, Texas--- Freshman Alli Murphy converted a penalty kick barely five minutes into the second half as Texas Tech handed the New Mexico Lobos their first loss of the season, 2-0 in Lubbock. Jessica Fuston added a late goal on a rocket shot that ricocheted in off the crossbar with under three minutes left.
The win was the first for Texas Tech over New Mexico since the 2001 season, as UNM still leads the all-time series 4-2-1. In its 20th season, UNM is now 4-13-3 all-time in road.
For the second straight game, UNM and its opponent battled through a scoreless first half, and if not for the penalty kick, it might have stayed that way as the defenses were the stars throughout. The Lobos were limited to just three shots and only one on net, while UNM's defense allowed only seven shots, four on net.
After a scoreless first half that saw just three combined shots, Texas Tech took the play to UNM early, and they were rewarded when a Red Raider shot bounced off the hand of defender Liz Narewith 4:12 gone in the second half. Murphy, a true freshman, stepped up and beat Cornell on the spot kick for the 1-0 lead.
The Lobos looked to have tied it when Jordan Craig, a senior in her sixth year, flicked in a rebound off a corner kick, but she was ruled offside on the play. UNM had another chance to tie with 18 minutes left when Rachel Montoya chased down a ball in the corner, and slid a pass that eventually found Brooke Ellisonopen from 25 yards out, but her bending shot to the left of Victoria Esson was wide.
While UNM's defensive back line of Ellison, Nare, Sinead Fleming and Lauren Irwin were superb throughout, it was goalkeeper Kelli Cornellwho kept UNM in the game with a pair of key plays. With 16 minutes left she raced out on a breakaway and smothered a long through ball in the box, and then with 10 to go, Murphy let go a rocket from just inside the box that was labeled for the far side netting, but Cornell got airborne and got a glove on it to knock it away, and then chase the rebound down.
With UNM still pushing, Cornell could do nothing on Texas Tech's clincher. Murphy fed Jessica Fuston outside the box, and her laser into the corner bounced off the crossbar and dropped down inside the net, a perfect shot to clinch the 2-0 win.
Tech, who went 12-8-1 last year, is off to a 2-0 start.
"I thought our defense was pretty good, but we are not clicking yet," said head coach Kit Vela. "We are just young and feeling our youth right now, but we need these types of experiences to try to get better. Tech is experienced and a little bit older, and it showed."
The Lobos, who dropped to 0-1-1 against a pair of Big XII teams, now head to Lincoln, Nebraska to take on Iowa State and Nebraska in the Husker Classic on Friday and Sunday.
Notes: The goal by Fuston was the first goal this season for either UNM or its opponent scored during the run of play. The first three were all on set pieces or plays ... the last time UNM allowed more than one goal in a road game was in the 2010 NCAA Tournament loss to Notre Dame, a 3-0 defeat ... the last time UNM started the season without a win in its opening two games was in 2008, when UNM tied Northern Arizona 1-1 after a season opening 3-1 loss to Denver.