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San Jose State goalkeeper Bente Pernot had nine saves in regulation and two more in a PK shootout to help the Spartans sneak past New Mexico Wednesday night.

Spartans advance past Lobos in PK shootout

by Evan O'Kelly

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Despite a dominant, one-sided performance on Wednesday night through 110 minutes at the UNM Soccer Complex, the New Mexico women’s soccer team was edged in a penalty kick shootout by San Jose State University after a 0-0 double-overtime draw in the Mountain West Championship semifinals.

The Lobos out-shot the Spartans 30-2 and had 13 corner kicks throughout the game, but could not find the back of the net in the scoreless draw. San Jose State goalkeeper Bente Pernot saved two penalties and her team converted all four of its tries to earn a spot in the MW championship match on Saturday night against top-seed Wyoming. San Jose State moved its record to 7-6-6 on the season after the draw.

“I don’t think they could have tried any harder or played any harder,” said UNM head coach Heather Dyche. “To have 30 shots against two and not come away with a goal is just gut wrenching. We found that fire in the second half, and normally when you do that you get a result.”

New Mexico ended its season in record-breaking fashion, with its sixth consecutive shutout and closing the year with a run of 602 consecutive minutes without allowing a goal. Both figures are the highest in program history. UNM closed the 2022 season with a record of 7-3-9.

The closest shot of the match came off the foot of Paige Satterlee, who’s on-target strike in the 95th minute was deflected by the San Jose State back line off the goal line and the bottom of the crossbar as it somehow stayed out of the net.

The Lobos nearly struck first on a fourth-minute free kick, but a shot by Jaelyn Hendren from 10 yards out carried wide of the far post. Spartan defender Jada Wilson had a big intervention in the 18th minute, when she slid at the last second to knock the ball away from Sophia Roberts who nearly broke into a one-on-one inside the goal box.

The Lobos won their first corner of the match in the 32nd minute, which resulted in a pair of harmless shots. Leilani Baker followed with her first shot on frame of the night moments later, but Pernot smothered it to keep the score tied.

A dominant start to the second half nearly paid off on a corner kick in the 62nd minute, when Natalie DeGagne’s close-range shot was knocked away by Pernot and Edwards’ follow-up try was just wide of the post.

A near giveaway by Mackenna Havenor turned into a near goal, as she quickly won the ball back and then fired a left-footed shot from 25 yards out that missed just over the crossbar.

The Lobos kept the barrage of shots coming with a 16-0 advantage in the category throughout the second half, but despite having a howling wind at their back couldn’t push across a decisive goal. “You have to take all of these in stride, and we have been on the other end of these matches too,” Dyche said. “It is something that has to ignite a fire in the returners, and I hope the way that they played today it is something the seniors can be proud of.”

Hendren started the 93rd match of her career, establishing the school record for starts. Edwards finished her illustrious career as the Lobos’ all-time leader in matches played with 94 and in assists with 24, and finished third in goals with 31. Baker, the longest-tenured Lobo as she began her career in the fall of 2017, played in her final match as did Havenor and Karlee Maes.

LOBO NOTES: UNM had posted five consecutive shutouts on two previous occasions; from Sept. 18-Oct. 7, 2012 and Sept. 4-Sept. 23, 1993 – the first five games in the history of the program…the previous scoreless minutes record was 545, established during the shutout string in the 2012 season…Wednesday was the seventh postseason meeting between the teams, with San Jose State holding a 3-1-3 all-time record…it was the third time the teams met in the MW semifinals, with each team advancing to the championships on penalties once in the previous two meetings…it was the second meeting of the season between the teams, who tied 1-1 on Oct. 9 in Albuquerque…the 47th-minute goal scored by San Jose State in the draw was the last time MSUB allowed a goal…San Jose State leads the all-time series between the teams 8-3-5 and is 3-1-2 in matches played in Albuquerque.