Sept. 9, 2008
By Richard Stevens
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Lobo midfielder Amanda Collins said the plan was to catch the Hawaii Rainbows Wahine keeper "off guard." What Collins didn't expect was that a Hawaii player would do the same thing to her own keeper about ten minutes later.
At the 77:08 mark in the second half, Collins lofted a long shot high into the center of the Hawaii net to pull the University of New Mexico within one goal at 3-2. At the 87:38 mark, (2:22 left to play in regulation) Wahine Chelsea Deptula cleared a ball from the front of the Hawaii net, directly into the Hawaii net. The Wahine "own-goal" gave the Lobos a 3-all tie and it stayed that way through the double-overtime period.
"A goal is a goal," said Lobos coach Kit Vela, whose Lobos are back at the UNM Soccer Complex Friday and Sunday in the Nike Invitational. The Lobos might have deserved that freebie especially considering a number of UNM fast breaks, and a goal by sophomore Alexis Ball, were taken away by off-sides flags. Said Collins: "Some of those were pretty close. I thought it was great the way we showed the composure and confidence to hang in there and come back. It's nice to come back from what could have been a loss."
Collins had a huge second-half shot for the Lobos. She received a pass in the midfield from Hannah Hand. Collins' lofted a high shot over the Hawaii defense and toward the center of the Hawaii net. The Rainbows' goalie, now 5-foot-6 Nicole McClure, leaped up to knock the ball away, but failed to touch it as Collins' shot settled high into the enemy's net. The assist for Hand allowed her to take over the No. 3 spot on the UNM career assist list with 14.
"I knew we needed a goal bad and the outside shot was open and we hadn't been shooting that much outside," said Collins of her first goal this season. "So, I thought I should take it. I thought maybe their goalie wasn't expecting it and I think maybe I caught her off guard.
"It wasn't a perfect shot, but it was a good one." The Lobos took 14 shots during the Tuesday night game with seven on-goal. Hawaii had 13 shots and five shots-on-goal.
"We weren't getting enough shots off, as much as we were around the goal," said Vela. "But we did have some great chances. Hawaii is a very, very good team and we matched them. It's a great preparation game for conference."
Hawaii scored first at the 8:26 mark in the first half. Hawaii's Taryn Fukuroku blasted a hard shot at UNM's keeper Shannon Adragna, who made a nice save. The ball rebounded past one Lobo and one Rainbow and came to the feet of Rainbow Kristyn Shapka, who drilled the ball into an open corner.
Lobos knotted the score at 1-1 when a corner kick from Hannah Hand came down nicely in front of the Hawaii net. The ball was deflected wide left to UNM's Samantha Bevis, who lofted a high shot back across the Rainbow net and deep into the far, upper corner. Hand got an assist on the play which moved her into a tie for the No. 3 career assist spot at UNM at 13.
Hawaii didn't waste much time recapturing the lead. A couple of long passes beat the Lobos' midfield defense and then Hawaii's Ambree Ako blew past the back end of the UNM's defense and punched a shot past the left side of Adragna a minute and three seconds after the Lobos equalizer.
The tie with Hawaii, the defending Western Athletic Conference champions, puts UNM at 2-1-2 on the season. UNM beat the Drake Bulldogs 1-0 Friday in the Lobos' first game of the UNM Classic.
The Lobos had a superb opportunity to score near the 41st minute of the second half when Nicole Reed got a breakaway down the right side and spotted Ball breaking open on the left side. Reed crossed the ball to Ball, but Ball's shot was batted down by Hawaii goalie Kori Lu.
The Hawaii took its 3-1 lead at the 64:50 mark. UNM cleared a ball deep from its right corner but the ball came right to Hawaii's Taryn Fukuroku. Fukuroku dribbled a few feet and then sent a hard bouncing ball at the Lobos net and to Adragna's right. Adragna could not run down the shot.
UNM had another sweet oppotunity near the 20-minute mark when Hand found herself in a breakaway down the right side. She went one-on-one with the Hawaii keeper, but her low, hard shot missed to the right of the net.
The Lobos appeared to have created a 3-3 tie in the 10-minute mark when a beautiful cross found Ball racing hard toward the net. Ball slide into the ball and drove it into the net, but UNM was flagged for being off sides on the play.
Hawaii gave UNM the gift at 2:22 when UNM kicked the ball in front of the Hawaii net, but there was no Lobo to receive the ball. However, when Hawaii 's Deptula cleared the ball, she booted it past McClure and into the Hawaii net.
The Lobos next action is against the No. 24th ranked Wisconsin-Milwaukee at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the Nike Invitational. The tourney at the UNM Soccer Complex also features the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights. The Lobos play the Knights at 3 p.m. Sunday.