OREM - Utah Valley University brought its season-long four-match homestand to a close Sunday, battling New Mexico State to a 2-2 draw at Clyde Field. UVU held a 2-0 advantage at the break, but NMSU stormed back in the second half to leave the WAC match without a winner.
"We started off really well, but we've got to play a complete game," head coach Brent Anderson said. "We had a mentality in the second half that we had the game in the bag and we relaxed and let the game slip away. It was disappointing to see a great first half spoiled by a bad second half."
The Wolverines (6-7-1, 4-2-1 WAC) outshot the Aggies (4-9-2, 1-5-1 WAC), 14-4, over the match's first 45 minutes. The home side also held the edge in shots on goal, 6-0, and corner kicks, 5-1. As a result, Utah Valley forced much of the action down in front of the NM State goal where Aggie keeper Jessica Schutter was busy. The senior made six stops in the first half, including a leaping effort that pushed Lexi Robison's right-footed blast from the top of the penalty area off the crossbar.
UVU would break through not long thereafter, though, with the introduction of substitute Kali Stubbs. Entering the match in the 30th minute, the sophomore needed only about 30 seconds to supply the opening tally when she put away Haley Curtis' headed pass from 10 yards. Maddie Adams initiated the scoring chance, crossing the ball to Curtis in the center of the box where the senior nodded on to Stubbs.
The Curtis-Stubbs combination wasn't finished there, though, as Curtis got her head to another dangerous cross in the 34th minute. Schutter was able to stop Curtis' powerful header from eight yards away, but the deflection fell to the timely feet of Stubbs. The sophomore coolly laid the ball back across the mouth of goal and into the left hand corner for her second strike in five minutes' time and team-leading sixth of the season.
The 2-0 advantage stood into intermission, but the second half would look vastly different than the first. NM State outshot UVU, 10-7, in the second half and nine of those attempts were on frame. Junior forward Jennae Cambra played hero for the Aggies, scoring twice to bring things back level. Her first score came in the 54th minute when she completed a long run by depositing a low shot past Wolverine keeper Lauren Sack. She then doubled her money less than 15 minutes later with a running header that bent away from Sack and into the goal's left side.
Cambra's second goal was the final of the game as a scoreless stretch of 42 minutes ensued. The match wore on into two, 10-minute overtime periods where NM State fired six shots compared to just two from Utah Valley. In fact, the Aggies nearly had the win at the 106:25 mark when Cambra was again through on goal. Attacking from the left side, Cambra tried to beat Sack near-post, but the senior's kick save pushed the shot wide and out of play.
Sack, along with four other Wolverines, played all 110 minutes for Anderson on Sunday. Defenders Lexi Felis, Caitlin Mortensen and Sara Ranck as well as forward Curtis went the distance. It was just the second overtime match of the season for UVU which last required extra time against Weber State on Aug. 29. Meanwhile, NM State played in its third consecutive double-overtime match Sunday having just come off a 2OT loss at Bakersfield on Friday.
The Wolverines will play four of their final five matches on the road, a stretch that begins next Friday at league-leader Seattle University. From there, UVU travels to face Idaho on the following Sunday and returns home to Clyde Field on Oct. 25 to host Grand Canyon.
Kellen Hiser is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.
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