Chapel Hill, N.C. --- Goalkeeper Cassie Ulrich helped the Lobos weather a major first half storm, but Kaitlyn Kerr scored on a rebound nearly 20 minutes into the game, and that was enough as the No. 12 Duke Blue Devils edged New Mexico 1-0 at the North Carolina Nike Classic.
Ulrich was extremely busy, especially in the opening half when Duke peppered New Mexico’s goal to the tune of 19 shots, with 10 on net. Duke had 10 shots in the opening 14 minutes. Ulrich, who redshirted as a true freshman in 2011 and then didn’t see any game action in 2012, nearly doubled her season-high save total, racking up 13.
The only goal of the game came at the 19:38 mark when Kerr, a senior with 23 career goals, took a point blank shot that Ulrich made a diving stop on. The ball bounded back to Kerr, who slotted it home for a 1-0 lead. That was the only blemish for the Lobos, who were outshot in the opening half19-2.
The second half proved different, as UNM held a 5-4 shot advantage until late in the half. Liz Nare fired a shot on net that was stopped by Ali Kirshner with 30 minutes left in the game, one of her two stops. Ashley Espinosa and Alyssa Coonrod each had shots go wide early in the half as well.
The Lobos, who dropped to 1-3-0, have now lost three games to three nationally ranked teams, all by a goal, dropping a 1-0 decision to No. 24 Texas Tech and 2-1 to No. 1 North Carolina. The Lobos now return home when they will host Rice on Friday night at 5 p.m. and Michigan State on Sunday at 1 p.m., with both games at the UNM Soccer Complex.
NOTES: Ulrich now has 29 saves in four games and at this pace she would easily eclipse the UNM season record, and the Mountain West saves per game record … Brooke Ellison, Elba Holguin, Liz Nare, Brianna Webster, and Ulrich have each played all 369 minutes this season … the Lobos, who entered the game with just one yellow card, got four in the match, as Brianna Webster (her second of the season) and Brooke Ellison each got one, along with head coach Kit Vela, and assistant coach Jorge Vela.