Aug. 31, 2012
Austin, Texas --- Someone might want to get stock tips from New Mexico head coach Kit Vela, because her Tuesday press conference sure proved prophetic. Vela saw her Lobos score three goals in an 11 minute first half salvo, scoring in bunches just she said they would, and New Mexico picked up its first win of the season in resounding fashion with a 4-1 win over SMU.
The win was the first time in five meetings that UNM took down the Mustangs, who just two seasons ago defeated UNM 1-0 to hand the Lobos their only regular season loss in 2010. This time, the Mustangs, who entered the game 2-1-0, were no match.
The Lobos scored on their first shot of the game, as Brianna Webster headed home a Rachel Montoya corner kick at the 13:03 mark of the first half for a 1-0 lead. That goal was the start of a dominating 11 minutes of action that proved head coach Kit Velaa pretty good prognosticator.
At UNM's Tuesday press luncheon, Vela kids off the press conference by stating that all UNM needed to break a three-match shutout streak was a goal and a taste of success, and then the goals would come in bunches. Point taken.
Just 4:52 after Webster's goal, it was Montoya's turn to put one in the net. Natalie Jenksfound Rachel alone at the top of the box, and Montoya hammered one home to give UNM a 2-0 lead, and two goals on two shots.
UNM kept the pressure, and with Jordan Craig and Elba Holguin challenging keeper Lauren Bodden, but their three combined shots went wide, two by Craig. Craig, who had generated a bunch of offense on the season without a goal through the first four games, was finally rewarded. Annie Wheeler, who grew up about three hours away in Arlington, Texas, sent a perfect through ball to Craig, springing her for a one-on-one which she converted at the 24:03 mark, giving UNM three goals in exactly 11 minutes.
For Wheeler it was her first collegiate point, and the Lobos would hold that 3-0 lead for the next 50 minutes. Jenks, who assisted on the eventual game-winner, padded the lead to 4-0 with a nifty individual effort, beating a defender in the center of the pitch and slotting home a perfect shot into the lower corner past a diving Bodden at the 74:26 mark.
Bodden was replaced by Shannon Moroney with 13 minutes left, who was immediately tested by Brianna Martinez. The only drama was if UNM could shutout the Mustangs, but that ended with 8:12 left when Lissi Lonsberry took a Rikki Clarke pass and got through for a breakaway, beating Kelli Cornellto make the game 4-1, which is how it ended.
"We found our way through an outstanding team in SMU, and we made our fortune with some goals," said Vela. "We enjoyed seeing a lot of players finding some good playing time, and finding a way to get a win."
The Lobos, who were 0-4-0 against SMU in their previous four meetings, will now look for take down another big Texas foe, as UNM will face off on Sunday at noon against the Texas Longhorns. The game will be broadcast on the Longhorn Network. Texas lost to Virginia 3-0 in the second game of the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational.
NOTES: Olivia Ferrier and Katelyn Almeida both made their collegiate debuts for UNM, entering with eight minutes left in the first half ... Rachel Montoya now leads UNM with four points on a goal and an assist ... Webster's goal was the fourth of her career ... Montoya's assist was her eighth career assist, putting her one assist away from moving into the top 10 at UNM. Nicole Knutson had nine from 1993-97 ... UNM is now 23-0-1 in its last 24 when leading at the half ... Kelli Cornell recorded her 200th career save during the first half, the fourth UNM keeper to hit that milestone ... SMU entered the match 26-4-1 against the current configuration of the Mountain West.