Mens Soccer: Lobos Drop Evansville in OT to Remain Undefeated
Albuquerque, N.M. - The University of New Mexico mens soccer team defeated Evansville today, 2-1, in overtime at the UNM Soccer Complex. The match featured two undefeated and regionally ranked teams, with the Lobos ranked 5th in the Midwest Region and the Purple Aces ranked fourth in the Great Lakes Region. The Lobos gave up a quick goal early in the game to the Purple Aces Mike Lavergne, but UNM answered back when freshman Ben Ashwill tied the game in the first-half. Sophomore Danny Bills scored the game-winner in overtime off a penalty kick to extend the Lobos best ever start to 6-0-0.
Falling behind for just the second time on the season, the Lobos gave up a quick goal to Evansville (4-1-1) in the first minute. The Purple Aces opened the game by playing a perfect ball in the corner to a streaking Casey Stevens who fed Lavergne for the score just 31 seconds into the game. The score quieted the 1,073 fans in attendance, but it wasnt long before the crowd and the Lobos were back in the game.
In the seventh minute, senior Junro Narita stopped a clearing attempt by Evansville and fired a shot from 20 yards out that caught the crossbar and just missed ricocheting in for the score. Not to be denied, the Lobos mounted another attack in the sixteenth minute that included a give-and-go from senior Javier Carrasco to sophomore Eric Carlson and back to Carrasco. Carrasco then fed Ashwill who beat Purple Ace goalie Ed Moore for his team-leading sixth goal of the season. Ashwill scored two goals and had an assist in the tournament, earning the Offensive MVP Award.
The Lobos dominated the entire game but had a difficult time getting the ball into the net. UNM out shot Evansville 27-9, including 11-4 in the on-goal category. However, Evansvilles defense kept UNM from putting the game away. Moore made nine saves on the afternoon, including four in the last ten minutes that forced the game into overtime.
While Moore was facing shot after shot, Lobo goalie Andrew Weber made the three most spectacular saves of the match. First, early in the second half, Lavergne broke away and had a one-on-one with Weber who made a diving save to keep the score tied. In the 84th minute, Weber turned away back-to-back wide open shots by the Purple Aces Marc Burch and Andre Talley, both of which came from just outside the penalty box. The first ball (Burch) shot was fading away and I didnt think I could catch it so I just hit it and got up quickly, stated Weber. (Talley) was right there and I was able to get in front of it and hit the second one away also. Webers one goal allowed and nine saves in the tournament earned him the Defensive MVP Award.
In the overtime period, the Lobos Carlson broke into the box and was about to fire a shot when he was fouled by an Evansville defender. The infraction gave the Lobos a penalty kick for a possible game-winning score. Bills stepped in and fired a low-left bullet past Moore for game-winner and the first goal of his career. When I got up to take the shot, there was a little scuffle on the side which took some time to sort out, stated Bills. Usually on a PK you want to get it over as soon as you can, but I started thinking too much which is not good. I knew I was going left, and because the grass was so short, I knew it was going low and hard. The goalkeeper couldnt get it and we got a big win.
The win was the first overtime game for UNM since the finals of the 2001 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament when the Lobos defeated Fresno St., 1-0, in one overtime. UNM is now 6-0-0 on the season, the best start in school history. The Lobos are approaching the longest win-streak in school history which is nine straight wins in the 1992 season.
Other all-tournament team selections include the Lobos Carrasco and Narita, Evansvilles Moore, Lavergne, and Burch, Cal Polys Francisco Marmolejo and Brian Reed, and UNLVs Alex Hernandez and Kristian Paananen.
UNM next hosts Georgia State (2-3-0) in the second game of the Lobo Invitational on Friday, September 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the UNM Soccer complex. Action starts Friday with the neutral match between Air Force and Southwest Missouri State at 5:00 p.m. (M.D.T.).
|Score by Period|1st|2nd|OT|OT|Total| |Evansville|1|0|0|-|1| |New Mexico|1|0|1|-|2|
Scoring Summary: Evansville- 0:31 Mike Lavergne, Assist Casey Stevens UNM - 15:52 Ben Ashwill (6), Assist Eric Carlson (4), Javier Carrasco (1) UNM- 93:07 Danny Bills (1), Penalty Kick
|Shots on Goal|11|4|