Melissa Wayman had two of the Utes' nine shots on goal against New Mexico. (Credit: Russell Isabella)
Nov. 3, 2005
LAS VEGAS - New Mexico struck with quick goal and played excellent defense the rest of the way, eliminating 22nd-ranked Utah from the Mountain West Conference Championship with a 1-0 win in the semifinals on Thursday night at UNLV's Johann Memorial Field.
New Mexico (8-6-4), the No. 5 seed in the tournament, came out aggressively and worked to get some early throw-ins deep on Utah's end of the field. A throw-in by Katelyn Lee just one minute and 23 seconds in set-up the only goal of the game.
Lee's toss from the right side of the field was headed but landed among several Ute defenders and goalkeeper Ashley Mason. When nobody made a play on the ball, Terryn Granados came in and punched the shot into the back of the net.
The Lobos' early score allowed them to pack it in defensively, keeping seven to eight players on their end of the field the rest of the way. In fact, Utah managed just two shots in the second half.
The Utes fired seven shots in the second half but weren't provided with many clean looks at the frame. Melissa Wayman forced a save by Kristen Winters with a shot from the middle of the pitch in the 48th minute. She also hit the right post with an attempt in the 79th minute.
Adele Letro sent a 15-yard shot wide in the 71st minute, and then forced a save by Winters a few minutes later. Amanda Feigt, Katy Reineke and Melissa Crespo also had shots on goal, but were forced to settle for less than ideal tries against a compact Lobo defense.
Will their Mountain West Conference regular season championship and 14 wins be enough to get the Utes into the NCAA Tournament? They will find out on Monday afternoon when the 64-team field is announced.