Sept. 23, 2012
Riverside, Calif. --- Well if the goal is to go into conference play on a hot streak, you can color that streak Cherry & Silver, and the Mountain West needs to look out. The Lobos got a pair of goals by Stephanie Rowe, he first career two-goal game, as UNM defeated UC Davis 2-0 on Sunday, giving the Lobos six wins in their last seven matches heading into the conference opener on Friday against Boise State.
Rowe provided all of the offense that UNM would need, scoring once in each half. She opened the scoring at the 8:18 mark when Liz Nare sent a down the right flank to Elba Holguin, whose cross found Rowe in front. The goal was a part of an opening salvo in which UNM peppered Davis' Taylor Jern with four shots on net in the first 14 minutes.
Rowe then got her second of the game and third of the season when Lauren Irwin sent a long clearance into the UC Davis end. A pass back to Jern went awry, and Rowe tapped the ball home in a yawning open net for an insurmountable 2-0 lead. The Aggies attempted to force the action to get back in it, but they could never solve the riddle of Kelli Cornell, who posted five saves on the day, including a pair of solid stops a minute apart not long after Rowe's second tally.
The late push for Davis evened up the shots, but it was UNM with 13 (eight on net) to Davis' 11 (five on net).
UNM improved to 6-4-1 on the season, and 6-1-0 in its last seven matches, the only loss in that stretch to No. 24 Florida 3-2 in a game that UNM led 2-1 before a lightning delay seemed to take the wind out of its sails. Key in the run has been UNM's defense, which has now recorded three straight shutouts, and the fourth in the last five matches.
It's that kind of hot streak that should bode well as UNM opens defense of back-to-back conference titles on Friday night at 6 p.m. against Boise State. UNM enters conference play with a 14 match unbeaten streak in the Mountain West (10-0-4), having not lost a MW regular season match since 2009. UNM also has a school record-tying 10-match unbeaten streak at home (8-0-2) that will be on the line on Friday night.
NOTES: Rowe's two tallies marked the third time in the last six matches that a Lobo posted two goals and four points. Rachel Montoya did it at Georgia, and Jordan Craigdid it at Texas ... Cornell recorded her 43rd career win and her 37th career shutout ... Cornell's goals against average lowered to 0.97 for the season, the first time this year it has been under 1.00 ... five different Lobos; Rowe, Montoya, Craig, Hoguin, and Dylann O'Connor have scored game-winners this year.
BONUS NOTE: UNM will be reviewing the final goal in conjuction with UC Davis to determine the goal and the assist on Monday morning. For now, Rowe is credited with the goal.