Nov. 2, 2006
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - No. 4 seed New Mexico dropped a 2-1 overtime heartbreaker to the No. 1 seed Utah Thursday night, Nov. 2, in the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference Soccer Tournament. The Lobos mounted a stellar comeback that was highlighted by sophomore Asha Richardson's goal in the 85th minute to tie the game at one and force overtime. Despite a tremendous effort by UNM, Utah freshman Adele Letro had the game-winner in the 93rd minute to end the 2006 season. The Lobos finish the year 8-7-5 overall and 2-2-3 in MWC play.
"Utah came out hard and scored a great goal but we expected that," said UNM head coach Kit Vela. "We quickly recovered and it was a very even game. Utah has a lot of special players and if you look at our roster we have a lot of hard workers. I'll take my team any day and it's truly a shame that we couldn't have won in regulation. Our seniors were amazing tonight and gave it everything they had. This team played their hearts out and has a lot to be proud of this year."
The Utes (15-4-0, 7-0-0) jumped ahead early and looked to be in control. Utah junior Melissa Crespo scored on a header in the 2nd minute on a cross from senior Amanda Feigt. The header was taken from 12 yards out and found the net for her second goal of the year.
UNM fell behind, 1-0, to the 10th ranked Utes on their home turf but refused to quit. The Lobos held strong defensively fielding 13 shots from Utah in the match and managed to create scoring opportunities. UNM had 12 shots in the match with six shots on goal.
The Lobos goal came on the Richardson header to tie the game at 1-1. Richardson scored on a rebound from a direct kick. It was the first goal scored against Utah in more than nine games. It had been 939:20 minutes since the Utes had allowed a score.
It looked as though New Mexico had taken a 2-1lead just minutes later on goal scored on a ball that was deflected by Utah goalkeeper Ashley Mason. The potential goal was disallowed when it was ruled the Lobos had knocked the ball out of the keeper's possession.
The match continued to go back-and-forth for the remained of regulation and eventually ended on the Letro goal.
The Utes' Mason made five saves, while Adragna recorded three saves for the Lobos. Letro had five shots in the contest for Utah, including three shots on goal. Kristine Sweat paced the New Mexico attack with four shots, two of which were on goal.
UNM finishes the year with its second consecutive winning season and have at least reached the semifinals of the MWC Championship in three of the last four years. The Lobos close out the year against the Utes and were led by seniors, Eryn Paetz, Kaela Kelly, Kristine Sweat, Bridgette Sanchez, Ashley Lowery and Alanna Abeyta. For more information about UNM athletics visit www.GoLobos.com.