ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (Sept. 16)-In another defensive strong hold, the New Mexico State soccer team fell to in-state rival New Mexico, 1-0, in the final minutes of double overtime.
The rivalry match was the second consecutive double overtime game and the fourth extra time contest for the Aggies (1-6-2) in 2012.
Junior goalkeeper Mikaela Bitner anchored the Aggie defense with a game-high eight saves. Senior defender Courtney Irwin, junior midfielder/defender Olivia Sierra and freshman defender Mikaela Bitner assisted with the defensive effort and played all 108 minutes.
"It's frustrating right now," head coach Blair Quinn said. "The kids are playing very hard, and we're defending very well. We're just not catching a break right now."
The first half was a scoreless 45 minutes for the Aggies and Lobos (4-4-1), and Bitner collected a pair of saves. In the second half, NM State forced overtime with three saves. Following an offensive stalemate in the first overtime period, New Mexico scored with less than two minutes remaining in the second overtime.
"They are doing what we ask them to do," he said. "They're trying. They're playing really hard. They are playing really well for the most part. They are defending really well. Mikaela Bitner was awesome again. Courtney Irwin was awesome again. It's just not coming together for us."
The Aggies continue non-conference action at Texas Tech, Sunday, Sept. 23 at 12 p.m.