Sept. 16, 2012
Albuquerque, N.M. --- Elba Holguin's first career goal certainly will go down as memorable, as she finally helped solve New Mexico State's compacted defense, scoring with just 1:51 left in double overtime, giving the New Mexico Lobos a 1-0 win, bumping UNM's record even at 4-4-1.
The win is the fourth in five matches for a suddenly streaking Lobo team, and that's despite a rigorous schedule that has seen UNM play seven of nine away from the UNM Soccer Complex. New Mexico State, bidding for a second straight double overtime scoreless tie, dropped to 1-6-2 on the season.
A result of at least a tie for UNM was never in any real doubt as NMSU musted just three shots, and none from any closer than 25 yards away. NMSU has struggled offensively this season, with just four goals in nine games, and they were no match for UNM's veteran backline. That backline was missing a key component as Brooke Ellison was given the game off to rest a sore ankle, allowing Alexis Leyba to get her first career start. She, along with Olivia Ferrier filled in nicely, and the rest of the backline; Lauren Irwin, Sinead Fleming, and Liz Nare was solid.
Keeper Kelli Cornell had an easy time in recording her 41st career win and her 35th career shutout. The win pushes UNM's unbeaten streak at home to 10 straight at 8-0-2, equaling the 9-0-1 mark from 2009-11. UNM is now 17-1-3 at home in its last 21 matches.
UNM peppered NMSU keeper Mikaela Bitner, who recorded eight saves including her best stop late in the first half on a header by Brianna Webster. UNM outshot NMSU 22-3 and 9-2 on net, but it wasn't until a long clearance by Liz Nare that UNM finally ended a long day of soccer at the UNM Soccer Complex.
Nare took a clearance from New Mexico State and from her own side of the half, she parked a ball that went right to Jordan Craig at the top of the box. Craig took a touch and found Holguin cruising right down the middle. Holguin took one touch and hammered home a shot that beat Bitner low to the left corner, just inside the post and touching off a mad celebration in the south goal mouth, the third such celebration of the day.
Prior to the women's game, the TLC Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Invitational wrapped up, with both matches ending in double overtime on goals in the waning moments into the south goal.
The assist was the first of the year for Craig, and it was Nare's second, tying her for the team lead with Rachel Montoya and Natalie Jenks. Montoya had an unlucky day, ringing a free kick off the cross bar in the first half, and then bending a corner kick that fooled everyone, but it clanged off the near post and bounded away in the second half.
The Lobo hit the road once again, playing a pair of games at the UC Riverside Tournament. The squad will face off with Riverside on Friday at 8 p.m. and then UC Davis at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
NOTES: UNM's 22 shots and nine on net were both season highs ... UNM is now 2-0 in overtime this season ... the win was the 97th for Kit Vela in her career ... Kelli Cornell dropped her goals against average to 1.18 ... NMSU was issued a pair of yellow cards, the first two picked up by UNM opponents this season.