New Mexico 0, Utah State 0 (Match Report)
Logan, Utah – Cassie Ulrich had six saves, including a spectacular stop at the end of regulation, as New Mexico and Utah State battled to a 0-0 draw in the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
The draw kept UNM at .500 overall at 8-8-2. The Lobos picked up a point, moving to 6-1-1 in Mountain West play, good for 19 points. Utah State is now 9-5-3 overall and 5-2-1 in the Mountain West, good for 16 points. The draw made the Aggies the fourth team to qualify for the MW Tournament to be held at the UNM Soccer Complex Nov. 4-9. The Lobos also have secured a spot in that MW field.
The tie dropped UNM out of a first place tie with San Diego State. The Aztecs won 1-0 at Boise State and have 21 points (7-1) while UNM has 19 (6-1-1). Fresno State defeated Colorado State 3-0 and moved to 6-2-1 in conference play, tying UNM with 19 points, although the Lobos have a game in hand.
New Mexico picked up its third shutout in the last four matches, and second in a row, although keeper Cassie Ulrich had to work a little at times for her eighth shutout. It was actually UNM that had the run of play early, and the better opportunities in the first half, but two early shots were stopped, including a solid chance by Lindsey Guice.
In the second half, play was pretty even, but it was the Aggies with the closer chances. The first came early in the half when it looked like everyone got confused. After a collision, the center official ruled play on, but most everyone stopped. Utah State got a dipping shot off that Ulrich saved.
However, her best save came right at the end of regulation. After a UNM foul, Alexis Leyba was issued a yellow card with 13 seconds left, stopping the clock and allowing Utah State a chance to set up a final play. The Aggies sent players towards the net as a shot came through, and somehow Ulrich dove and got a piece of it despite being screened before UNM cleared the rebound.
In overtime, each team had one solid scoring opportunity, with Maddie Irwin of New Mexico dropping a shot just over the bar, and Taryn Rose heading a corner just outside the post.
The Aggies outshot the Lobos 12-8, including 6-4 on net. Utah State had six corners to UNM’s five. Cassie Ulrich had six saves in recording her eighth shutout, while Utah State’s Natalie Stoven had four.
New Mexico has its final road game of the regular season on Sunday, taking on Boise State at noon.
Shots: Utah State 12, New Mexico 8
Saves: UNLV 4 (Natalie Stoven 4), New Mexico 6 (Cassie Ulrich 6)
New Mexico Starters: Ulrich (GK), O’Connor, Guice, Viola, Bruciaga, Leyba, Nare, Holguin, Bri. Webster, Ellison, Espinoza.
First Half Subs: Irwin (15:04), Olguin (28:39), Hinman (33:05), Luna (40:46)
Second Half Subs: Ferrier (86:57)
Utah State Starters: Stoven (GK), Flynn, Larsen-Leavitt, Miyashiro, Harmon, Dibb, Rose, Hoskin-Killpack, Robison, Morgan, Henrie
First Half Subs: Brooksby (20:56), Shay Haddow (24:33), Hamblin (26:12), Ambry McCallson (26:15), Sara Lorscheider (26:20), Wilcox (38:12)
Second Half Subs: Terukina (58:42)
Quotes from Kit Vela:
It wasn’t one of our better off games as far as rhythm, but we had our chances in first half. Overall offensively we just weren’t sharp enough. We lost our rhythm in second half, but we bent but didn’t break and overall it’s a good result on the road against a very solid, athletic team in Utah State.
*Ulrich now has eight shutouts, tied for sixth-most in a single season, and she lowered her conference GAA to 0.71.
*The scoreless tie was the second of the season as UNM and UC Davis also tied 0-0.
New Mexico will travel to Boise State on Sunday at noon.