No. 2 San José State Downs No. 3 New Mexico in MW Semifinals

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – No. 2 seed San José State and third-seeded New Mexico played to a 1-1 draw after 110 minutes of soccer in the semifinal round of the 2015 Mountain West Women’s Soccer Championship with the Spartans advancing on penalty kicks, 3-2, on a chilly afternoon at SDSU Sports Deck. The decision pushed the Spartans into Saturday’s title game.

In the penalty kick round, UNM took a 2-1 lead after goals from Madisyn Olguin and Brooke Webster. Following a Lobo misfire, SJSU evened the score with a goal from Carley McBeath. New Mexico and San José State both missed in the fourth round, and UNM was unsuccessful on its fifth try. The Spartans’ Darriell Franklin, however, provided the winner on the match’s final attempt.

SJSU, which controlled the pace for a majority of the game, created its own opportunity while pressuring the Lobos late in the first half. After an empty Spartan possession, UNM goalkeeper Cassie Ulrich took a goal kick that SJSU’s Dorthe Hoppius headed back toward the Lobo cage. The ball went directly to Maricruz Chapa, who chipped it from eight yards out past Ulrich for her third goal of the year.

The second half featured more of the Spartans’ offensive attack and despite numerous chances, SJSU could not find the back of the net. The lack of San José State offense, however, was not an issue as its defense continued its stellar play from the conference campaign when it allowed the fewest goals among the 12 MW teams. But in the final minutes, SJSU’s defense was tested and after bending slightly, it broke in the 90th minute when Lindsey Guice scored the equalizer from Alyssa Coonrod. For Guice, the goal, which came UNM’s first shot on net for the day, was her fifth of the season.

Neither team scored in either of the 10-minute overtime periods, but it was New Mexico that had all the momentum and nearly had the game-winner on two occasions if not for two outstanding saves by SJSU goalkeeper Zoe Makrigiannis. The stalemate led to the aforementioned penalty kicks.

San José State finished with advantages in shots (19-9), shots on goal (10-3) and corner kicks (4-1).

SJSU will now await the winner of the second semifinal of the day featuring fifth-seeded Colorado College and No. 1 seed San Diego State. The Spartans and Aztecs/Tigers will vie for the Mountain West title and the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA tournament on Saturday at 7 p.m. PT atop SDSU Sports Deck.

--mw--