Melissa Crespo scored her first goal of the season against New Mexico
Nov. 2, 2006
SALT LAKE CITY - No. 1 seed Utah defeated No. 4 seed New Mexico 2-1 in overtime Thursday night, Nov. 2, in the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference Soccer Tournament. Utah's Adele Letro, the MWC Offensive Player of the Year, scored 2:54 into the extra session to lift Utah into the championship game.
Letro's 11th goal of the season came as she streaked down the right side. New Mexico's Amber Wetsch tried to control the ball with a header, but Letro ran past her and gained control. She quickly ripped a shot past and above New Mexico goalkeeper Shannon Adragna.
"You have to give credit to New Mexico. They are such a great defensive team that plays with passion and have great teamwork," said Utah Head Coach Rich Manning. "We expect Utah to come out with both barrels blazing. Not only do they have pretty much have nothing to lose and they have to win to get into the tournament, but they have a lot of championship experience on the team."
The Utes scored less than two minutes into the contest on a goal from Melissa Crespo. The goal was set up by a long cross off the foot of Amanda Feigt. Crespo headed it in from 12 yards out to put Utah on top, 1-0.
However, with just six minutes remaining in the contest, New Mexico evened things at 1-1. Asha Richardson scored for the Lobos on a header after Utah goalkeeper Ashley Mason deflected a direct kick off the foot of New Mexico's Wetsch. It was the first goal scored against Utah in more than nine games. It had been 939:20 since the Utes had allowed a score.
It looked as though New Mexico had taken a 2-1 lead just minutes later, but a potential goal was disallowed when it was ruled the Lobos had knocked the ball out of the keeper's possession.
The Utes' Mason made five saves, while Adragna recorded three saves for the Lobos. Letro had five shots in the contest for Utah, including three shots on goal. Kristine Sweat paced the New Mexico attack with four shots, two of which were on goal. Utah had 13 shots in the contest, while the Lobos tallied 12.
"I think we did everything we could to win this game," noted New Mexico Head Coach Kit Vela. "This program has taken huge steps in the last three years. We've had two great years in this one and the last and now we have a tradition."
With the win, Utah advances to Saturday's championship game against No. 3 seed UNLV. The Rebels advanced with a shootout victory over No. 2 seed BYU earlier in the evening.
Teams 1 2 OT F #4 New Mexico 0 1 0 1 #1 Utah 1 0 1 2
NM Goal 1: 84:00 Asha Richardson (Amber Wetsch assist) Keeper deflected free kick; Richardson header
Utah Goal 2: 92:54 Adele Letro(unassisted) Took ball away, scored high in the net