Oct. 10, 2004
Albuquerque, N.M. - The University of New Mexico women's soccer team showed tremendous drive and determination Sunday afternoon as it battled to a 2-1 victory over the Air Force Falcons at the UNM Soccer Complex. With the win, the Lobos (5-6-0) are 1-0 in Mountain West Conference competition.
In the first 45 minutes of the game, New Mexico and Air Force looked dead even with the Lobos getting off four shots and the Falcons answering with three. The closest Air Force came to taking the lead in the first half was at the 37th minute mark when Melinda Mokos went one on one with Lobo keeper Kristen Winters and fired a threatening shot. Defender Nicole Pitcock came out of nowhere to make a brilliant defensive play by blocking the ball.
The second half was the key 45 minutes UNM needed to take home it first conference win of the season. At the 74th minute, sophomore Kristine Sweat was taken down in the box which resulted in a penalty kick. Rio Rancho, N.M. product Bridgette Sanchez stepped up for New Mexico on the penalty kick and scored her first goal of the season, giving UNM a 1-0 lead over Air Force. The Lobos kept the pressure on the Falcon defense and at the 81st minute freshman Anna Neu came through with her first career and game-winning goal of the season with a powerful shot from the top of the box. Sweat collected her fourth assist of the year.
Air Force had a spark of offensive power when Elaine Tatarek scored from 15 yards out at the 86th minute mark, but it was not enough as the Lobos held strong for the victory.
New Mexico has returned to a winning style of play and will look to keep it going next weekend as it takes on two more conference competitors. First up will be UNLV on Friday, October 15 in Las Vegas, Nev., game time 7 p.m. The Lobos then travel to San Diego, Calif. where they will take on San Diego State on Sunday, October 17 at 1 p.m.
Quotes from UNM head coach Kit Vela (vs. Air Force): "The good thing is we never gave up. We weren't very consistent for the 90 minutes, but we did what it took. The second goal by Anna (Neu) was brilliant. We were disappointed that we gave up that goal in the second half. We shouldn't have, we dropped off and we didn't do the right things, but unfortunately it happens. We're still young. The bottom line is that we are a young team. This win should give us more confidence."