Cowgirls Play No. 17 New Mexico to 1-1 Tie

Oct. 24, 2010

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

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The Wyoming Cowgirl Soccer team (7-9-2 overall, 1-3-2 Mountain West Conference) played the No. 17 New Mexico Lobos (11-1-4 overall, 5-0-1 MWC) to a 1-1 tie on Sunday in Laramie.

"I think we were a little lethargic in the first half and gave up the early goal to New Mexico, but I think we really picked up the energy in the second half," UW head coach Danny Sanchez said. "We kept it tight defensively in the second half and we were able to get a goal of our own."

The first half saw the Lobos really come out applying early pressure on the Cowgirls taking two early corner kicks and putting one shot just off the crossbar. Wyoming got its first shot in the 10th minute when Nahiomy Ortiz had an opening in front of the UNM goal, but put it just wide. The Lobos kept the pressure on UW and would get the go-ahead goal 15 minutes into the game. Lobo Jennifer Williams stole the ball from the UW defense and kicked a through ball to Jael Fanning who put a slow roller low and past Wyoming keeper Courtney Merkle. The Cowgirls attempted a quick answer to the UNM goal taking two quick shots on goal. Cowgirls Carmen Blume and Chelsea Coddington both had chances in the five minutes following the UNM score putting both shots on goal, but UNM keeper Kelli Cornell had the answer on both. Wyoming and New Mexico traded shots to end the first half with UW's best chance coming in the 45th minute. Cowgirl freshman Ellen McCormick put a shot on goal with just 45 seconds remaining in the first half, but Lobo keeper Cornell kept the ball out. The score remained 1-0 in favor of the Lobos at halftime.

The Cowgirls began the second half applying early pressure to the Lobos. Six minutes into the half Wyoming's Jerrica DiVincenzo took a shot in the 52nd minute that hit the UNM crossbar. Wyoming was awarded two consecutive corner kicks and on the second kick, DiVincenzo put the cross on goal forcing Cornell to make the save. The Cowgirl and the Lobo defense stiffened as there were only three shots allowed for the next 30 minutes. Following a UW free kick, UNM's Roxie McFarland was awarded a yellow card for a tackle in the penalty area, giving the Cowgirls a penalty kick. Wyoming's O'Reilly took the penalty kick and put it low and left past UNM keeper Cornell tying the score 1-1. The strong defense by both teams continued as neither was able to take another shot before end of the second half. At the end of 90 minutes the score remained tied, 1-1, and the Cowgirls and the Lobos headed to extra time.

The strong defense continued for both teams in the first overtime period as only one shot was taken. At the 97 minute mark New Mexico's Amanda Collins took a shot at the UW goal that was blocked before it could get to Merkle.

The second overtime period saw the action increase and the Cowgirls had two very late chances to win the game. The first Cowgirls chance on goal came with less than one minute remaining as MaKenzie Meade put a shot on goal that went off the hands of UNM keeper Cornell and out of bounds giving UW a corner kick. Wyoming's DiVincenzo centered the corner kick with just 15 seconds remaining and Jenny Johnson put the header toward the UNM goal, but the ball went just wide as time expired. The final horn sounded and the Cowgirls and the Lobos remained tied, 1-1.

The Cowgirls outshot UNM 11-10 on the game and put six shots on goal, while allowing just one shot on goal for the Lobos. Freshman O'Reilly scored her second goal of the season for the Cowgirls. Wyoming currently sits in sixth place in the MWC standings ahead of TCU and Air Force, with one game remaining against Air Force to decide the Cowgirls postseason fate.

"We put ourselves in position to win against Air Force next weekend and we are in," added Sanchez. "We know Air Force is a very good team and we will have to bring it all next Saturday."

Wyoming Soccer will host its final game of the regular season next Saturday, Oct. 30 beginning 1 p.m. at the Louis S. Madrid Sports Complex.