Andrew Wolverton had stopped every shot he’d faced in the postseason, but the Penn State goalie couldn’t stop a hungry pack of Lobos on Sunday.
New Mexico ended Wolverton’s long scoreless streak and the Nittany Lions’ season with a 2-0 triumph in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament on Sunday. The Lobos (13-5-2) advance to face Washington (16-1-4), which defeated Stanford 1-0 Sunday, in the Elite Eight.
Wolverton, who had a 290-minute scoreless streak heading into the contest, extended it to 343 minutes before dominating New Mexico broke through. The Lobos, who outshot Penn State 7-0 in the first half, opened the scoring on Oniel Fisher’s first goal of the season at the 53:37 mark. Michael Calderon flicked a pass to the streaking Oneil, who left-footed it from the middle of the box past Wolverton.
A little more than three minutes later, the Lobos struck again. Calderon’s corner kick was knocked down by James Rogers, who fed Riley McGowan at the near post. McGowan’s goal from 10 yards out was his fourth of the season.
Unseeded Penn State never mustered much offense against seventh-seeded New Mexico. The Nittany Lions (13-6-2) had just five shots and none of them were on goal.
After New Mexico got the lead, Penn State had two decent scoring chances.
Martin Seiler had the best chance in the 62nd minute as he was left open on a corner kick, but his header from 12 yards away sailed high. In the 66th minute, Mark Wadid fired a shot from 20 yards out that beat New Mexico keeper Michael Lisch, but the blastwas wide of the left post.
For the game, New Mexico held a 15-5 edge in shots and a 9-0 margin in shots on goal. The Lobos became just the third team this season to score more than one goal against the Nittany Lions.
Wolverton finished with seven saves. Lisch did not make a save.
Seniors Seiler, Grant Warming and Akli Howard played in their final games for the Nittany Lions.
Notes: Penn State dropped to 5-22 in NCAA road games. ... Penn State is now 27-30-1 in NCAA play. ... The Nittany Lions are now 0-2 all-time against New Mexico. ... The Lobos improved to 8-1-1 in NCAA home games. ... New Mexico recorded its 10th shutout of the season. ... The announced attendance for the game was 3,347.