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Parker Shines Again, Lobos Advance to NCAA 2

Published: November 18, 2016
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- The University of New Mexico men's soccer team (12-6-3) remains undefeated at home after knocking Portland (12-5-2) out of the 2016 NCAA Tournament in a shootout at the UNM Soccer Complex on Thursday night. Redshirt-freshman Ford Parker made his second post-season appearance in net after the teams finished two overtime periods, saving three to help the Lobos to a 6-5 PK advantage after nine rounds. The Lobos will travel to Washington on Sunday for the NCAA Second Round.
 
Parker, who has tallied just one save in the run of play in his career, has now tallied seven penalty kick saves to advance the Lobos past the first round of the C-USA Tournament and now the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The last time the Lobos tied an NCAA Tournament game was on Nov. 27, 2011 when the Lobos traveled to No. 7 USF in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. The teams tied 0-0 before South Florida advanced on a 6-5 PK advantage. Thursday night's game marks the first time the Lobos have come out on top of a 6-5 penalty-kick outcome in the program's NCAA Tournament history.

Coach Fishbein's post-game remarks:


Penalty Kick Summary:
Round 1: Senior Chris Wehan kicked it off for the Lobos, scoring to gain a 1-0 advantage. Portland's Rey Ortiz matched it to tie it 1-1.
Round 2: Senior Chris Gurule scored to put UNM up again, 2-1 before Parker notched his first save of the night, turning aside Gio Magana-Rivera's attempt at the bottom left corner, 2-1 Lobos.
Round 3: Senior Josh Goss found the back of the net to give UNM a lofty 3-1 advantage followed by a wide-left miss from Portland's Malcom Dixon.
Round 4: Senior Nick Rochowski had the opportunity to win it for UNM in the fourth round of PKs but Pilot keeper Paul Christensen made his first PK save of the night to keep Portland in the hunt. Kris Reaves followed for Portland, scoring in top right corner of the net to make it 3-2 Lobos.
Round 5: Once again with the chance to win it, junior Luke Lawrence lined up, but his shot was saved. Matthew Coffey followed with a shot that Parker nearly punched away, but it rolled over the line to tie it up 3-3.
Round 6: Senior Niko Hansen missed his shot before Parker saved Reid Baez's shot to keep it knotted at three apiece.
Round 7: Sophomore Aaron Herrera scored again for the Lobos to put UNM up 4-3, but the Pilots' leading scorer, freshman Benji Michel, registered a goal in the left side of the net, 4-4.
Round 8: Junior Sam Gleadle found the back of the net but was matched by Erik Edwardson, 5-5.
Round 9: Sophomore Simon Spangenberg lined up and scored in the final round after having failed to find the back of the net all season in the run of play. Spangenberg's goal proved to be the difference when Brandon Zambrano's shot was saved by Parker, and then ricocheted off the left post to send the Lobos to Washington.

Watch Parker's final save here:
 

Despite the final outcome going in the books as a tie, the Lobos have not lost in their last eight games, since UNM fell to No. 5 Denver on the road by a score of 2-1 in double overtime. The loss marked the end of a three loss streak and UNM has yet to look back.

The Lobos weren't without their chances in the first half of Thursday night's matchup, outshooting Portland 5-1 in the first period with a 3-2 corner kick advantage. Goss was the lone Lobo to register a shot on goal to send the teams into the half tied 0-0. 

UNM focused on the attack in the second half, posting 10 shots, four on goal, to just four shots and two on goal for Portland. The Pilots did have a quality attempt with 13 minutes left in regulation when Portland dribbled up the center right and fired a shot from the right side of the box with keeper Jason Beaulieu drawn out of the net. It looked to be the eventual gamewinner for Portland before Herrera headed the ball out of the net in a spectacular defensive effort keeping the teams tied.

Despite UNM's statistically dominant offensive performance in the second half, neither team was able to find the back of the net and the squads went to overtime. 

In the second overtime the Lobos had a close chance that looked like it could win it for UNM around the 102-minute mark. Herrera fired a hard-angled, quick shot from the right corner into the six-yard box where Hansen was waiting to fire on goal. Hansen's effort was thwarted in an athletic performance by Christensen in net as the teams headed to PKs.

Overall UNM outshot Portland 18-5, breaking the Lobo program record in shots allowed by a team in an NCAA Tournament game. The previous record was seven shots which were posted by Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the NCAA Second Round on Nov 22, 2005, and again by Clemson in the College Cup Semifinals on Dec. 9, 2005.

Offensively, Hansen led the Lobos with four shots, three on goal, while Beaulieu was forced to make just one save between the posts for UNM. Portland totaled just two shots on goal in the match as Christensen tallied six saves for the Pilots.

The Lobos will advance to the NCAA Second Round against No. 11 seed Washington on the road on Sunday at 6 p.m. (MT). Washington earned the bye in the first round. For more details about live stats, live video and more for Sunday's game, stay tuned to GoLobos.com.

Beaulieu, Wehan and Parker talk about Thursday's win:

 

 
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