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Lobo Soccer Wins Regular Season Outright With Draw in Final Game of Regular Season

by Alma Solis

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – New Mexico ended the regular season with an intense matchup against conference rival San Diego State on Thursday night. The Lobos and Aztecs ended in a 2-2 draw after both overtime periods.

Because of New Mexico’s 2-1 win over Air Force on Oct. 24, the Lobos had a three-point advantage over Fresno State. This gave the Lobos a cushion for today’s result. A draw equals one point in the standings so despite Fresno State’s 3-1 victory over San Jose State tonight, the Lobos earned the outright regular season conference champion title by a single point over the Bulldogs.

The Lobos got the best of both worlds in the first half. Two goals in the first 40 minutes of the match gave New Mexico some nice insurance. The Aztecs were offensive heavy in the first half with 11 shots but five outstanding saves by Emily Johnson and some great plays by the Lobos’ defenders kept the Lobos safe.

New Mexico got on the board first as Jadyn Edwards set up a ball perfectly for Brynn Boeyink to launch to the left side of the net and put the Lobos up 1-0 in the 25th minute. This goal marks Boeyink’s first goal as a Lobo.

The Lobos then added some insurance as Zaria Katesigwa was fouled in the box. Edwards then took the penalty kick and fed the ball straight to the bottom left past the Aztecs’ goalkeeper in the 39th minute. Edwards’ 10th goal of the season made the Lobos’ advantage 2-0 heading into halftime.

Both teams lost a little momentum, quantity wise in the second half as the Lobos fired off only five shots, although four of the five shots were on target. The Aztecs recorded six shots but were able to produce more from them. Less than 10 minutes into the second half, the Aztecs’ Emma Gaines-Ramos found the back of the net to make the score 2-1, still in favor of UNM. About 30 minutes went by and a few shots by each team before San Diego State scored the equalizer. Taylor Moorehead scored the game-tying goal for the Aztecs in the 87th minute. With not much time to score before the end of regulation, the Lobos fired off a couple more shots but were unable to find the back of the net.

In the first overtime period, San Diego State turned on the jets with two shots on goal but Johnson was right there to save both of them. The Lobos countered with one shot of their own in that overtime period. Going into the second overtime period, New Mexico was awarded a few extra opportunities with two corner kicks, but didn’t get much out of them as the Aztecs’ defense fought back. The closest the Lobos got was a breakaway shot on goal by Katesigwa in the 103rd minute, but San Diego State’s keeper got right in front of the attack to halt her.

The Aztecs had one shot on goal in the second overtime period but gave the Lobos a run for their money as Johnson made an outstanding over the shoulder grab to prevent the close attempt for the golden goal. After an intense 110 minutes played, the Lobos and Aztecs ended the match in a 2-2 draw.

Edwards led the Lobos with six shots (two on target), a goal and an assist. Johnson notched eight saves and kept the powerful Falcons to one goal. Defenders Karlee Maes, Mackenna Havenor and Myah Isais played the entire 110 minutes, proving to be essential against the Aztecs’ strong offense.

Gaines-Ramos led the Aztecs with four shots (three on goal) and one goal, while Moorehead scored San Diego State’s game-tying goal. Cameron Illingworth notched four saves and allowed two goals.

The Aztecs slightly outshot the Lobos, 21-17 (10-7 on target). San Diego State, known to be aggressive on the pitch, had almost twice the amount (13 fouls) of New Mexico’s 7 fouls. The Lobos notched eight saves, while the Aztecs countered with five saves. New Mexico had a few extra opportunities with six corner kicks throughout the match, while San Diego State had four corners.

New Mexico is now 12-4-2 and 7-2-2 in Mountain West play while clinching the outright regular season conference champion title by one point. San Diego State now sits at 7-10-2 overall and 5-4-2 in conference play.

The Lobos move on to the Mountain West Conference Tournament next week. After securing the No. 1 seed with their 2-1 win over Air Force on Oct. 24, New Mexico will face the winner of the No. 4 seed Utah State/No. 5 seed Colorado State. The semifinal match is set for 11 a.m. (MT) on Nov. 4 at Boise, Idaho.

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