San Diego State 1, New Mexico 0 (2 OT) (Match Report)
Albuquerque, N.M. – With all the crazy endings in the NFL and the World Series, it only seems fitting that New Mexico’s regular season ended on a similar odd and controversial finish. Haley Locker took a pass from Kelsey Booth and beat a helpless Cassie Ulrich at 7:38 of the second overtime to give San Diego State a 1-0 win at the UNM Soccer Complex, spoiling UNM’s senior night, although UNM contended that the ball was over the end line.
The ending marred an otherwise entertaining game, despite the lack of scoring. The Lobos held San Diego State to just two shots in regulation, despite the Aztecs averaging over 20 shots per match in conference play. The game also saw San Diego State keeper Melanie Vaughn make a pair of acrobatic saves, including a first half leaping block of a dipping Brooke Ellison shot. The Lobos also had several offensive counters thwarted by Haley Palmer, who is a strong candidate for Defensive Player of the Year.
San Diego State controlled the first overtime, firing off four shots, the best of which was a drive by Hannah Keane, but Ulrich dove to her right and just knocked the ball out of harms’ way.
The Aztecs broke through, and got the break they needed when Booth attempted to split two defenders. She got through, but the ball seemingly traveled too far. With several UNM players slowing up as Booth passed to a suddenly wide open Locker, she settled it and beat Ulrich to the right for the game-winner.
San Diego State had already clinched the No. 1 seed in the Mountain West Tournament, and the all-important double-bye, but the loss forces UNM into the No. 4 slot, meaning the Lobos will play the winner of the No. 5-No. 8 game on Tuesday night at the UNM Soccer Complex.
1. 102:22 SDSU Haley Locker (2) (Kelsey Booth)
Shots: New Mexico 12, San Diego State 7
Saves: New Mexico 1 (Cassie Ulrich 1), San Diego State 5 (Melanie Vaughn 5)
New Mexico Starters: Ulrich (GK), O’Connor, Guice, Viola, Leyba, Nare, Holguin, Bri. Webster, Ellison, Espinoza, Luna.
First Half Subs: Bruciaga (22:22), Irwin (27:37)
Second Half Subs: Olguin (72:21)
San Diego State Starters: Vaughn (GK), Booth, Barba, Millynn, Metz, Johnson, SPotts, Hauke, Locker, Palmer, Keane
First Half Subs: Skinner (33:58), Helmer (33:58), Darling (33:58), Perry (35:41)
Second Half Subs: Rupey (72:21), Platter (90:00)
Quotes from Kit Vela:
It is what it is, but it is frustrating for sure. I thought we did a good job of limiting their opportunities, and we had some chances. We struggled in that first overtime a little bit, and they had a pretty good opportunity. We just have to go out on Tuesday and play like we are capable of.
*A review of the video after the game appeared to show the ball out-of-bounds when passed by Booth.
*The Lobos lost all three conference games in double-overtime.
*New Mexico will always play the late game in the conference tournament, meaning Tuesday at 7. The first round of the tournament will be played on Monday at 4 and 7.
New Mexico will play either Utah State or Nevada on Tuesday at 7 p.m.