Late overtime goal sinks Aggies against California Baptist

David White

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The Aggies soccer team entered this matchup with a sense of enthusiasm and high energy. Coming off of a tough 2-1 win over the formidable Seattle University Redhawks, the Aggies looked to continue their success in Western Athletic Conference play as they traveled to Riverside, California to face the California Baptist University Lancers on their home turf. 

NMSU entered the game with an even win-loss record, standing at a respectable 7-7 on the season and 3-2 in conference play. CBU shared a similar record, heading into the matchup with a 5-6-1 regular season record and also 3-2 in conference play.  

The game started slowly for the Aggies, as they were called for two offside penalties within the first two minutes of the game, and each within thirty seconds of the other. From that moment on, however, there was little excitement between the two teams for several minutes. GCU managed a corner kick in the fifth minute to no avail, and even got a shot-on-goal in the fourteenth minute but were unable to capitalize against this tenacious Aggie defense. 

A slow tempo of the initial start for CBU was quickly reversed, as they managed to unload six shots on goal between the nineteenth and twenty-sixth minute of the game, two of which from Forward Amy Aquino. Thanks to four spectacular saves by Aggie keeper Makenna Gottschalk, the score remained empty despite the offensive onslaught from the charging Lancers. 

The first half of the game concluded with an empty scoreboard of 0-0. The CBU Lancers headed into the locker room 0-9 on shots-on-goal, compared to the less aggressive approach by the Aggies, holding a 0-2 shot-on-goal statistic. These aggressive and non-aggressive approaches by both teams would continue heading into the second half of play. 

It was more of the same in the second half, as the defenses of both teams continued to thrive. A couple shots-on-goal were traded back and forth throughout the early goings, but neither team was able to capitalize. This slower offensive pace continued until the fifty-sixth minute, when an offensive surge by the Lancers quickly began. CBU rattled off seven more shots on goal within three minutes of play, but thanks to a strong defensive effort by both the keeper and the Aggie defense as a whole, the Lancers were still unable to turn the tides in their favor.  

Shots continued to be traded throughout the game, as the slower offensive tempo returned for both teams. However, a yellow card called on Aggie defender Landy Williams in the eighty-second minute set the Lancers up for success. The Lancers would use this to create another shot on goal a minute later, but keeper Makenna Gottschalk continued here success and registered yet another save. After one more desperation shot by the Lancers, this game headed into the first overtime period. 

Four minutes into overtime, the Aggies looked to end it early with a shot from forward Loma McNeese, but this attempt was snuffed out by a stout Lancer defense. Six minutes later, after a great show of ball movement and agility from the CBU offense, forward Morgan Witz put the ball in the back of the net, ending the game with a 1-0 victory for the Lancers. 

The Aggies will look to improve their offensive approach and continue their defensive tenacity as they head into the rest of the season. 

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