The New Mexico State women’s soccer team came back from a 2-1 deficit at home to force overtime late, but eventually fell to Boise State, 3-2, in double-overtime on Sunday afternoon.
“Another great battle at the end of the day for our team who I think the mentality has to be built from what we’re doing,” said head coach Rob Baarts. “We’re creating a lot of great opportunities. If we can remove the mistakes that we’re making, mistakes that are causing goals, we’re actually giving goals anyway and not being scored on and if we can solve that, I really think we can do some damage.”
NM State (1-6) had a number of opportunities to jump ahead early but a shot from Kelly Burton in the 9th minute was saved by Broncos’ (5-2) keeper Tara Fisher while Fisher also stopped shots from Katie Martinez and Aileen Galicia in the 15th and 18th minutes respectively.
Boise State was then able to get on the board when McKenna Kynett found Raimee Sherle whose shot hit off the far post and bounced in to give BSU a 1-0 lead.
Fisher kept the Broncos in front thanks to two saves in the 26th minute, on shots from Samantha Afonso and Burton, while Corey Kizer nearly leveled the game in the 27th minute but her header went wide.
Then, in the 34th minute, Sherle forced a turnover from the Aggies’ backline and was streaking for a sure goal but Ashley Martin, who was making her first start of the season, rushed off the line and made a save to keep the score at 1-0.
After the break, both defenses came out strong with neither side allowing a shot until the 65th minute when Galicia missed just over the crossbar. Another chance to level the game came in the 69th minute but Alexa Barrera also missed high.
New Mexico State then tied the game at one in the 72nd minute when Emma Smith played an aerial through ball to Katie Martinez in the box who beat Fisher for her second goal of the season.
The deadlock was short-lived, however, as Sherle again broke free from the NM State defense and beat Martin to give BSU the 2-1 lead in the 78th minute. Sherle almost tacked on an insurance goal in the 84th minute but Martin made the save to give the Aggies a chance to tie the game late.
That chance came in the 89th minute after Fisher held onto the ball too long and was called for a delay of game, setting New Mexico State up with a free kick from 20 yards out. Barrera then played a short pass to Galicia who delivered her fourth goal of the season on a rocket to the left corner to force overtime.
Neither team threatened in overtime until the 97th minute but Sherle’s shot was saved by Martin to keep the game knotted at two. Afterwards, Galicia broke free from the Bronco’s defense and was streaking for a sure goal but a BSU defender recovered in time to block the shot before it could reach goal and the two sides headed for another overtime period.
Neither side was able to get off a shot in the second overtime until the 106th minute when Boise State’s Piper Flannery played a ball into the middle of the box for Sherle who capped off her hat trick with the game-winning goal.
“That’s a good team that’s going to be a solid team in the Mountain West and we scared them,” Baarts added. “We had a very good chance of actually winning that game and so for me it’s just about keeping the teams’ heads up and keeping them positive. These are all games that are preparing us for conference and conference is where everything starts. Until we get there, we’re going to keep building and keep trying things until we get the right mix.”
NM State was outshot 20-13 with Boise State holding a 9-7 advantage in shots on goal. The Aggies took eight corner kicks to the Broncos’ six while Martin made six saves and Fisher five.
The New Mexico State women’s soccer team is back in action on Friday, Sept. 14 at 7:30 p.m. (MT) as it travels to take on Battle of I 25 rival New Mexico. Fans unable to make it to Albuquerque can watch the rivalry match via the Mountain West Network.