Aug. 24, 2012
Lincoln, Neb. --- Sometimes in a tight game, one break is all that's needed, and right now, those breaks aren't falling the way of New Mexico. Meredith Skitt's long cross from 40 yards out somehow found the back of the net, and Iowa State's only second half shot was enough for a tense 1-0 victory over the Lobos in the Husker Classic.
The win pushed Iowa State to a perfect 3-0-0 mark on the year, while New Mexico dropped to 0-2-1 in suffering its second consecutive shutout loss.
The game was a tale of two halves, the first of which belong to Iowa State. The Cyclones owned a 6-1 shot advantage, and nearly went up 1-0 in the 35th minute when Ashley Johnson rang a shot off the post, but the ball bounded away and was cleared by UNM's backline.
After the half, it was a different story, as New Mexico owned a 7-1 shot advantage, with four of those being on net. UNM put plenty of pressure on ISU in the second half, and keeper Maddie Jobe was forced to make a pair of nice saves of Ashley Espinosa and Stephanie Rowe in the 77th and 78th minutes.
But in a cruel sport, as soccer sometimes is, a dominating performance can be outdone, and it was with just under six minutes left when Skitt got the ball about 40-yards out and sent a long cross that she was angling to get in the box. The ball had other ideas.
"They had the better of the first half, and we had the better of the second," said haad coach Kit Vela. "And we were playing really well, and then they took a long shot, and it's been raining and it skipped."
Skitt's ball seemed harmless enough, UNM's defense missed the clearance, and the ball bounced over everyone, surprisingly finding the back of the net for an improbabe tally and a 1-0 Cyclone lead with just 5:53 left. UNM mustered all they could, but all UNM could get was a header from Natalie Jenks, which went harmlessly over the bar with three minutes to go.
"It was very unfortunate as it was their only shot of the half. But, you know we got better today, we were better in the second half, and we have a lot of young players on the field getting important experience right now," said Vela.
New Mexico will now look to regroup and gain a split at the Husker Classic when it plays host Nebraska on Sunday at noon. Nebraska is facing off with Virginia Tech in the second game of the Classic on Friday.
NOTES: The Lobos were tied at 0-0 at the half for the third straight game ... the Lobos are two games under .500 for the first time since Oct. 21, 2005, when the team lost to Wyoming 1-0 in double overtime, dropping to 4-6-4. That team won its next four ... it's the first 0-2-1 start since 2003 ... UNM and its opponents have each committed just 16 fouls each over the first three games of the season ... UNM defeated Nebraska 3-0 in the only meeting between the two teams, back on Aug. 22 of 2010 ... Sunday's game is available on the Big Ten Digital Network.