Hnida Kicks Her Way Into Record Book
Aug 31, 2003
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Katie Hnida knelt under the south goal posts at University Stadium, silently reflecting on her journey into the record book.
The senior walk-on from Littleton, Colo., became the first woman to score in a Division I game, booting a pair of extra points in New Mexico's 72-8 win over Texas State-San Marcos on Saturday night.
Minutes after the game was over, Hnida emerged from the Lobos' locker room, rested her hands on one knee and put her head down.
"I was just kind of taking it all in," Hnida said. "It's been a long time that I've been waiting for this."
Hnida, a 5-foot-10, 140-pound senior, entered the game with 5:05 left in the fourth quarter after New Mexico scored on a 20-yard touchdown pass from third-string quarterback Tali Ena to Hank Baskett.
Hnida, her long blond hair protruding from the back of her helmet, split the uprights with her kick to give the Lobos a 65-8 lead, then waved her hands in the air.
Hnida also kicked a low extra point after the Lobos' final touchdown with 1:21 left.
"I've been kicking for a long time and this is something I've been working for since my freshman or sophomore year in high school when I knew that I wanted to go to Division one and kick," Hnida said. "It's never been about making history or records. It's just about kicking. I love football so much."
Hnida made history last December by becoming the first woman ever to play in a Division I game when she entered the Las Vegas Bowl to attempt an extra point against UCLA with 8:20 left in the first quarter. That kick was blocked by the Bruins and Hnida had to wait eight months to get another chance.
Hnida was on Colorado's roster in 1999 as a walk-on, but never got into a
game. Earlier this month Hnida alleged she had been the target of verbal abuse
by some of the Colorado players in her time there. She alluded briefly to that
again Saturday night.
"I'm sometimes humbled by how wonderful my teammates (at New Mexico) are after I had such a negative experience elsewhere."
By the time Hnida entered the game, only a fraction of the kickoff time crowd of 35,331 remained.
New Mexico scored on all six of its first half possessions, with Moore scoring three TDs in the first quarter on runs of 16, 2 and 14 yards. Kelly took over in the second quarter with scoring passes of 14, 32 and 6 yards.
Moore and Kelly both left the game in the third quarter. Moore, who rushed for 1,134 yards last season, had 109 yards on 20 carries and Kelly was 12-for-16 for 165 yards.
Kelly made it 27-0 with a 14-yard scoring pass to tight end Mike Augustyniak on the first play of the second quarter and Texas State then got its only score of the night when Barrick Nealy threw a 70-yard touchdown pass to John Tyson.
By PETE HERRERA