DENVER, COLO. --- With just eight seconds left in double overtime, The University of New Mexico men's soccer team fell to No. 5 Denver by a final score of 2-1 on Wednesday night on the road. The game marks the fourth time this season that the Lobos have fought, but fallen to a ranked team by just one goal.
After falling behind early in the second half, senior Nick Rochowski netted the equalizer with just 1:05 left in regulation to tie up the game and force overtime. In the 109th minute, Denver scored the gamewinner to clinch the win.
The Lobos (7-6-0) and the No. 5 Pioneers (13-0-2) fought throughout the match and it was clear early that the teams were evenly matched. The first 45 minutes were relatively uneventful. In the 10th minute, the Lobos earned a free kick opportunity, taken by senior Chris Wehan, who sent the ball across the six-yard box. The Denver defense deflected the shot, however, to keep the teams tied, 0-0.
UNM had another chance at the net in the 34th minute when senior Josh Goss picked up the ball at midfield and drove past the defense. Goss unleashed a shot, but it rose above the crossbar to keep the teams tied heading into the half.
At the break, both teams had tallied just two shots and one corner kick. One of Denver's shots landed on goal, but junior keeper Jason Beaulieu turned it aside to prevent the Pioneers from taking the lead. New Mexico's two first-half shots came from Goss and senior Niko Hansen, who leads the Conference USA in points (19) and goals (9).
Denver threatened to break the tie just over one minute into the second period when Andrew Shinyashiki took the ball up field and sent a pass to Blake Elder in the box. Beaulieu came out to the front right post to collect it just before Elder, who leads the Pioneers with 13 points on six goals and one assist, could bury the ball into the left side of the net and take a lead.
The Pioneers did claim the lead in the 51st minute, however, when Karsten Hanlin took a cross from the corner and finished from 15 yards out. Hanlin shot the ball over the UNM defense into the right side of the net for the go-ahead goal, 1-0 Denver.
The Pioneer offense continued to attack in the second half, but the UNM defense, and Beaulieu, held strong until the Lobos could tie it up in the 88th minute.
Prior to the equalizer, sophomore defender Aaron Herrera nearly tied it up for UNM with 15 minutes left on a long shot from the far right wing. Herrera, who has scored two goals this season, nearly found the top left corner of the net to tie it.
It wasn't until there was just 1:05 left on the clock that Rochowski netted the equalizer. He collected a rebound off of a blocked shot and fired from two yards out to tie the game and send the teams into overtime. The goal marked the defender's second of the season.
Both teams had chances in extra minutes, but neither found the back of the net. The game looked headed for a 1-1 tie when, with just eight seconds on the clock, Shinyashiki sent a shot that Beaulieu nearly caught above his head. The ball fell, however, into the net to close the match.
Overall the Lobos outshot the Pioneers 11-7 while Denver posted six corner kicks to five for the Lobos. UNM posted two shots on goal (Rochowski and junior Luke Lawrence) while Denver tallied four.
In net, Beaulieu falls to 7-6 on the season after collecting two saves in his 109:52 between the posts. Denver's Nick Gardner is 13-0-2. Gardner has totaled nine shutouts on the season, but could not shut out the Lobos.
UNM is back in action on Saturday, Oct. 22 as they resume C-USA play against Marshall at home. The Lobos are a perfect 6-0 at home and look to get back on track for their remaining four conference games.