New Mexico ended the NAU Mountain Classic and its grueling seven game road trip with a 0-0 tie against Northern Arizona on Saturday night.
The Lobos (3-2-2) played the Lumberjacks in a tight and equal match on paper.
In regulation, the Lobos had some golden opportunities to break the 0-0 tie, but couldn’t capitalize on them. However, a big time defensive save allowed UNM to walk away from the tournament without a loss.
The major play came in the 105th minute when NAU had a breakaway forcing junior goalkeeper Tayler Hammack out of the goal in a one-on-one situation. At the top of the penalty box, Hammack was able to fall on the ball and prevent any overtime heroics from the Lumberjacks.
“Tayler was very good today and kept us in the game a few times,” head coach Heather Dyche said in a release. “Her save in overtime was huge. She’s improving each week.”
For UNM, the good looks came in the second half. Claire Lynch had a promising shot in the 64th minute before Meghan Dickmann made the save out of NAU’s net.
Senior midfielder/defender Maddie Irwin nearly netted her fifth goal on the year, but it was to no avail as the free kick awarded to her went off the crossbar.
In the final moments of regulation, UNM’s corner kick nearly prevented the game from going into overtime, but redshirt junior defender Emily Chavez overpowered the ball and ended the threat.
After dropping the first two matches of the season, UNM has gone undefeated (3-0-2) in the last five games of the near month-long road trip.
“I felt we were good enough to win this game and we were disappointed not to put one away,” Dyce said in the statement.
UNM recorded 18 shots (six on goal) to NAU’s 11 (five on goal), but the Lobos were unable to take advantage of the four corner kicks, while the Lumberjacks only had one.
New Mexico will finally be able to play in front of its home crowd this weekend as in-state rival New Mexico State (2-6-0 overall, 1-5 on the road) comes to town. First touch is scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m.
Liam Cary-Eaves is the sports editor for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers volleyball, women’s basketball and baseball. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Liam_CE.