Nov. 4, 2012
San Diego, Calif. --- No. 6 San Diego State got a goal in each half, and UNM couldn't break through the Aztecs' stout defense, and SDSU won the Mountain West Tournament title with a 2-0 victory over New Mexico, as UNM's season will end without a trip to the College Cup for the first time since 2009.
The Lobos ended their season 11-7-2, while San Diego State improved to 19-1-1. The Aztecs earned the Mountain West's automatic berth into the NCAA College Cup.
The Aztecs got on the board first at the 22:11 mark off a corner kick. Carli Johnson was able to get a head on a corner as Kelli Cornell came out to try and knock it away. The ball bounded up, and UNM's Brooke Ellison was able to head it away from the net, but Kelsey Booth outjumped another UNM defender and headed it into the open net.
From there, the Aztecs nursed the one goal lead as UNM attempted a comeback, forcing the action in the second half. UNM's best chance occurred when Lauren Irwin raced in and sent a rocket from 30 yards out towards the net. However, the dipping ball dipped too early, and keeper Rachel Boaz, who recorded her fourth straight shutout, easily made the save.
Her counterpart Kelli Cornell had several big stops to keep UNM in the contest, including a tough sliding save late in the opening half, and then a diving stop to her right in the second. However, after saving a point blank from Megan Jurado, Sarah Halverson cleaned up the rebound with 17:05 left to give SDSU an insurmountable 2-0 lead.
The loss ended the careers of seven UNM seniors in Cornell, Rachel Montoya, Sinead Fleming, Natalie Jenks, Stephanie Rowe, Lauren Irwin, and Jordan Craig. Those seniors led UNM to four straight seasons of at least 11 wins, and they will go down as perhaps the strongest and best senior class in school history.
Certainly, Cornell established records for goalkeepers that might never be broken at UNM. She ends her career number one in games played (82), games started (82), consecutive games started (82), minutes (7,702), wins (48), shutouts (41), and goals against average (0.69).
Cornell, Irwin, and Montoya were named to the All-Tournament team.
NOTES --- Cornell's start broke a tie with Eryn Paetz for most career starts. It was her 82nd ... Rachel Montoya ended her career with 77 games played, good for a tie for ninth on the career list ... Montoya also finished ninth in career assists with 11 ... UNM's 51 corners allowed was the second fewest in school history, behind the 49 allowed last year ... UNM's goals against average was 0.87, the seventh time in eight seasons that UNM recorded a GAA under 1.00. Those are the only times in school history that UNM has recorded goals against averages under 1.00 ... the 163 fouls by UNM was the fewest since 1999, and the 132 fouls against was the fewest in school history.