Sept. 9, 2005
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- With rainy conditions drenching the UNM Soccer Complex, the University of New Mexico women's soccer team pushed on to a scoreless tie against Auburn University in the UNM Classic Friday night in front of a crowd of 1,327. The Lobos (1-1-2) fought through regulation and two ten minute overtimes with Auburn (1-3-1) to get their second tie of the season.
In the first half, the weather was calm and both teams looked dead even. The Lobos did dominate in shots in the first period, outshooting the Tigers 6 to 2. New Mexico's defense was on point as it held the speedy Auburn offense to only one shot on goal. The closest Auburn scoring attempt in the first half, came at the 19th minute mark when midfielder Sara Power headed the ball toward Lobo senior goalkeeper Kristen Winters who batted the ball away in a crowd of players. Auburn's forward Ashley Willis retrieved the deflected ball and took a threatening shot that went just wide.
The second half brought on the rain, but there was no cause to delay the game. The Lobos continued to battle, making four shots compared to Auburn's five. Another close scoring chance by Auburn came later in the half on a free kick attempt. Auburn's Willis fired a shot to the right of Winters who made a brilliant diving save.
The two overtimes had both teams fighting through constant rain and gusty winds, making it difficult for either team to get a good look at the goal. Auburn ended the second overtime with a couple of corner kicks, but was unable to capitalize.
Overall, New Mexico outshot Auburn 13 to 8, making it the fourth game in a row that the Lobos have outshot their opponent this season.
Auburn is the defending SEC champions this season and were NCAA participants in 2004.
The Lobos are back in action Sunday, Sept. 11 for the final game of the UNM Classic. They will face Syracuse at 3 p.m. (1-4-0). The Orange lost to Arizona State 3-1 earlier on Friday. Auburn will face Arizona State (3-2-0) in the 11 a.m. game on Sunday.
QUOTES FROM UNM Head coach Kit Vela on tonight's game: "Auburn is an awesome team and they are very athletic. Today we walked out here and said `Hey, let's just play them.' We're not as experienced as them, but we're just as athletic and we showed it. At times we showed our inexperience, but these kids played hard tonight."
(on the game ending in a tie): "These are the games we used to lose. We would find a way to give it to them in the last couple of minutes and we're not doing that anymore. Auburn had some very scary opportunities, but we did a good job at shutting them down. We couldn't do that in the past. Now we're able to close the gaps if they get by us. We're just so much better. We're not quite where we want to be still, but we're closer."