Sept. 26, 2008
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.-- The University of New Mexico women's soccer team beat the Utah Valley University Wolverines 3-1 this afternoon at the 4th Annual High Tournament in hosted by Northern Arizona. True freshman Jennifer Williams scored the game-winning goal for the Lobos in the 65th minute to put the Lobos on top for good. New Mexico improves to 4-2-4 on the season. Utah Valley falls to 4-3-1.
"I was real pleased with the character and class of our team," said head coach Kit Vela. "My kids fought against more than just playing the opposing team. We were on a little bit of a dry spell for scoring goals there but we got some great ones today. Jael Fanning's first goal was brilliant, a great goal by Jennifer Williams after they tied it up and then Alexis Ball in the last second had a great goal.
I'm really proud of these kids they fought tooth and nail," said Vela. "We were getting physically manhandled and not getting a lot of calls for it. That was the chippiest I've ever played. There were some emotions involved for a variety of reasons. I think my girls played with a lot of class. They just kept playing and came away with a 3-1 win."
Williams showed how big her heart was inside her 5' 3" frame. While chasing a through ball from fellow freshman Roxie McFarland, Williams sacrificed her body as she collided with the Utah Valley goalkeeper. Williams left the game but not before the ball rolled into the back of the net. The goal was the fourth of the season for Williams and her first game winner of the season.
The Lobos proved to be the aggressors in the first half and put constant pressure on the Wolverine goalkeeper. The Lobos fired off seven shots in the first half with four shots on goal and held the Wolverines to three shots with three on goal.
Jael Fanning scored the Lobos first goal of the match when she received a cross from senior Hannah Hand and banked the ball off the right post past the keeper. The goal was the second of the season for Fanning. Hand picked up her seventh assist of the season, which ties her own single season record for assists in a season.
The Lobo defense held the Wolverine offense to only 8 shots with 6 shots on goal. Senior keeper Shannon Adragna made 5 saves that were all worthy of making the local sportscasts' highlight reels.
The Lobos never stopped pressing the entire match. With 20 seconds left on the clock the Lobos started an offensive attack lead by freshman Nicole Reed. After a few nice touch passes, sophomore Katie McKernan put one through to sophomore Alexis Ball who ripped one from the top of box with one second left to play. The goal was Ball's second on the season. McKernan nets her first assist of the season.
The Lobos will take on Central Arkansas this Sunday at 12:00 p.m. MDT. New Mexico will start Mountain West Conference play this Saturday, Oct. 5 when they travel to Fort Worth to take on the TCU Horned Frogs at 2 p.m. MDT. For more information visit www.GoLobos.com.