No. 2 NEW MEXICO HANDLES No. 6 AIR FORCE, 5-1, ADVANCES TO MPSF FINAL
Ben Ashwill and Patrick Grange each recorded a match-high two goals to lead New Mexico to a 5-1 win over Air Force in the semifinal round of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament, Friday evening at Hornet Soccer Field. The game marked the first of a semifinal doubleheader at Sacramento State.
New Mexico, the No. 2 seed entering the tournament, raised its record to 8-8-3 overall. No. 6 Air Force, who defeated No. 3 UNLV (3-1) on Thursday, ends its 2003 season at 10-9-2.
The Lobos scored the contestâ€™s first goal in the 2nd minute after a goal by Lance Watson off an assist from Ricky Francis.
The score remained the same through the first half before New Mexico exploded for three unanswered goals in nine minutes during the second half of play. Grange led off the attack with a score in the 48th minute after receiving a pass from Jeff Krause. Ashwill added his first goal in the 53rd minute after collecting a Brandon Moss shot off of a Falcon defender. Ashwill tallied his second goal in the 57th minute on a one-on-one opportunity after a lead pass from Moss up the left side.
Air Force scored its first goal in the 61st minute when Daniel Wasson connected on his MPSF leading 17th goal on an assist by Scott Muir.
New Mexico added another goal in the 65th minute when Grange found the net for the second time on an assist by Casey Thompson.
Lobo goalkeeper Andrew Weber tallied a game-high seven saves to earn the win.
New Mexico will advance to face the winner of No. 4 San Diego State and No. 1 San Jose State in the MPSF Championship match on Sunday, Nov. 16, at I p.m. The winner will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on Nov. 21.