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Lobos Victorious in Big Match against Bulldogs, Tie for First in MW

by Alma Solis

FRESNO, Calif. – The Lobos snapped their three-match skid with a huge 2-1 victory over the former sole conference leader Fresno State on Sunday night. New Mexico and Fresno State are now tied for first place in the conference standings with 16 points and a 5-2-1 record in Mountain West play.

The first half didn’t see much offensive action as the Lobos only fired off three shots and the Bulldogs only recorded two shots. The majority of the half was played in the middle field and saw lots of defensive action. The Lobos earned three corner kicks, while the Bulldogs were awarded four corners, but not much came from them statistically. New Mexico stepped up to the plate defensively as they protected their side of the pitch, highlighted by a won ball by Madi Hirschman in the final five minutes and a boot by Karlee Maes to prevent Fresno State from scoring in the final seconds of the half.

Offensive production increased significantly in the second half as both teams fired off eight shots each. The Lobos finally broke things open and put a score on the board in the 53rd minute. Jadyn Edwards earned a penalty kick which she then launched towards the bottom left of the net to put the Lobos up 1-0.

The Bulldogs fired up their offense trying to even the score, recording four shots before finding the back of the net in the 63rd minute. The Bulldogs’ Kaelyn Miller tied the match at 1-1. Not wanting to go to overtime, New Mexico fired off five shots in the next 11 minutes. In the 75th minute, Alexa Kirton launched the ball from right outside the box into the left center of the net to give the Lobos a 2-1 advantage. Fresno State had a couple opportunities to score before the end of regulation with two corner kicks and two shot attempts, but New Mexico went home with a major 2-1 victory over the Bulldogs.

Defense dominated the action of this game, and the Lobos had no shortage of their own outstanding defensive showings. Maes highlighted New Mexico’s defense as she consistently shut down the Bulldogs’ attacks, even booting the ball in the final minutes of each half to prevent Fresno State from scoring.

Edwards led the Lobos with three shots (two on target) and a goal, while Kirton fired off two shots (one on goal) and a goal. Kassandra Ceja led the Bulldogs with three shots, while Kaelyn Miller scored Fresno State’s lone goal.

New Mexico improves to 10-4-1 overall and 5-2-1 in Mountain West play. Fresno State now sits at 7-5-3 overall and 5-2-1 in conference play. The Lobos and Bulldogs are tied for first place in the conference standings.

The Lobos return home for two matches this upcoming week. They will host Colorado College on Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. (MT) for Senior Day. New Mexico will then host Air Force on Oct. 24 at 1 p.m. in its last home game of the season. The Lobos will close out the regular season 0on the road, traveling to San Diego State on Oct. 29 at 8 p.m.

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