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Katesigwa, Lobos Stun Washington with Late Winner 2-1

by Frank Mercogliano

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — At halftime of UNM’s soccer match with Washington of the Pac-12, former Lobo baseball coach Ray Birmingham praised Emma, a childhood cancer survivor for being strong and never giving up in the face of adversity.  Down 1-0 with under 10 minutes to go, the New Mexico Lobos took a lesson from Emma, and fittingly on a day that the team raised nearly $3,000 for the Childhood Cancer Fund of New Mexico, the team never gave up.

Jadyn Edwards tied the game with under 10 minutes to go and freshman sensation Zaria Katesigwa took a long pass from keeper Emily Johnson and scored the game-winner with 59 seconds left, lifting UNM from the ashes to a stunning and thrilling 2-1 victory over the Huskies.

It was a match that UNM was on the wrong side of the shot total, as Washington outshot UNM 16-11 overall and 9-3 on net, but UNM was able to put two of those three in the net, giving the Lobos their first win over a Pac-12 school  since September 25, 2007 when UNM defeated Arizona State in Albuquerque 1-0.  UNM had lost its last 10 matches to Pac-12 opponents entering the contest.

But tied with just over a minute to go, Emily Johnson corralled a cross into the box, and everyone dropped back.  Instead of a punt, she rolled the ball forward and moved up a good 10 yards before launching a kick down the middle that went right to Katesigwa, whose touch at the 18 opened up space.  She let go a right-footed shot that got past a diving Sekany into the lower left portion of the net, setting off a wild celebration.  UNM then was able to fend off Washington in the final 59 seconds, and when a last gasp Huskies shot fell into the waiting arms of Johnson, it was time for UNM to really celebrate.

It didn’t look like UNM was going to win this one, despite an even first half which saw each team with one solid opportunity.  Summer Yates of Washington nearly got the Huskies on the board in the first half when her dipping shot from the middle around 25 yards out was just tipped over the bar by Emily Johnson.  UNM’s best opportunity in the first half came off a service in which Alexa Kirton got a head on the ball, but Olivia Sekany was able to snatch it out of harms way for what turned out to be her only save of the match.

After the break, it was Washington that tallied first, as Katie O’Kane capitalized on a Johnson error.  Emily’s clearance towards the middle went right to O’Kane, and her long shot to the far-side post just did escape the reach of Johnson, giving Washington a 1-0 lead.  Johnson shook that off with perhaps the play of the match, as a minute later Yates let go a shot labeled for the upper corner but Johnson flew through the air and parried the ball just outside the post to keep UNM in the game.

The Lobos were able to tie in off a free kick that the squad had plenty of time to set up for.  There was a short break for a discussion of the clock, allowing UNM to set up a free kick opportunity.  Brynn Boeyink placed a perfect ball into the box near the penalty spot and Jadyn Edwards got a head on it and banked her shot in off the post to even the score at 1-1 with just under 10 minutes left.  That set up the frantic final moments and UNM’s eventual Johnson to Katesigwa game-winner.

NOTES: Johnson’s assist was the first by a UNM keeper since Malia Vanisi recorded a secondary assist on the eventual game-winner in a 4-2 win over Pacific on August 24, 2018 … Katesigwa leads UNM with three goals on the season.


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