Garcia’s late scoring helps NM State hang on for 2-1 win at Dixie State
ST. GEORGE, Utah – A WAC match, a WAC victory.
Bella garcia, who continued to sport a massive cast due to a broken arm suffered earlier in the season, directed a sensational 79th-minute strike for her first goal of the year and the NM women’s football team State withstood a late charge from Dixie State to secure a 2-1 victory in the WAC opener for both teams on Thursday night at Greater Zion Stadium.
29 ‘| For much of the game it seemed like Shea o’connor’s the goal of the penalty kick would stand as the winner of the match. O’Connor settled in 15 yards and launched a rocket into the left center portion of the Trailblazers’ net.
78 ‘| Beautifully put together by Khari Prize, Garcia took advantage of his chance to score in the second half. Taking a pass from Price coming up the other side, Garcia played Price’s pass perfectly and kicked the ball over the outstretched arms of diver Kayla Gonzales. Garcia’s header gave the Aggies a 2-1 lead.
80 ‘| The Aggies’ two-goal lead didn’t last long, however, as Dixie State made it a one-goal game less than two minutes later. Jill Bennett’s shot beat NM State goalie Makenna gottschalk and reduced the Aggies’ lead to one, but the Aggies defense held on for the final 10 minutes and didn’t give up any more Dixie State shots.
MAIN STAKEHOLDERS / RATING STATISTICS
• Two of Gottschalk’s six saves in the Aggies’ WAC win came in the final 45 minutes of action. Ahead of O’Connor’s 29th-minute penalty goal, Gottschalk kept the Trailblazers off the board by recording three of his four first-half saves.
• Although NM State was dominated by an 8-5 margin, the Aggies made their shots count. O’Connor finished with a pair of shots on goal while Garcia’s shot on goal was the only one from a bench member for the Aggies.
• O’Connor took the lead in goals scored by scoring his third of the season. For his career, O’Connor has accumulated 11 goals – the seventh-most of all Aggie’s in program history.
• With his six saves in the evening, Gottschalk increased his career save total to 91 – the seventh most NM State Guard in the program’s history.
• The win was NM State’s second straight win in a WAC opener. During the 2021 spring season, the Aggies hammered Chicago State 5-0 in their first WAC tilt.
• The head coach Rob Baarts went to 2-2 in the first games of the WAC during his tenure as bench boss for the Aggies.
• With the win, NM State has amassed four real road wins so far in 2021. This equals the program’s record for total road wins in a single season.
• The Aggies improved their all-time record to 2-0-1 over Dixie State. All three matches the teams played took place in the 2021 calendar year.
• NM State returns to the .500 mark, dropping to 5-5 for the year. With a score of 1-0 in the WAC game, the Aggies are .500 or better in the league for the first time since March 12, 2021.
QUOTE | ROB BAARTS HEAD COACH
“The girls had a big road victory tonight. With several players injured, our team came together and fought. We had a huge conference victory tonight. Dixie State is a strong team that we are. it was hard to break. I’m very happy with our result! “
TO BE CONTINUED
• With just over five months of their last meeting, NM State and Utah Valley are set to face off again on the field. The semi-final rematch of the 2021 WAC Women’s Soccer Tournament, which ended in a penalty shootout, is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Saturday night from Orem, Utah.
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