Men's soccer NCAA tournament hopes lost in 2-1 overtime defeat by New Mexico

Senior Tony Chang was one of
three Spartans named to the
all-tournament team.
Albuquerque, N.M. – The San Jose State University men’s soccer team amazing run at another NCAA tournament appearance came to a halt after a 2-1 loss the University of New Mexico Sunday at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championship final Sunday afternoon at the UNM Soccer Complex.

After playing in the bitter cold on Friday night, the Lobos and Spartans came out today to a mild, sunny afternoon in Albuquerque. The weather was such a dramatic change from Friday that both defenses seemed warmed-up and impenetrable in the first half. Neither team was able to mount much of an offense and the game went into intermission tied at zero.

The Lobos came out firing in the second half, with Ben Ashwill scoring on a cross from Ricky Francis in the 48th minute, giving New Mexico a 1-0 lead. Sophomore keeper Andrew Weber anchored a solid performance by the UNM back line that allowed only four shots-on-goal. Unfortunately for New Mexico, one of those shots surprised everyone and evened the game at 1-1. Spartan midfielder Fausto Villegas sent in a perfect corner kick that Richard Halvorsen headed in for the score in the 75th minute.

Over the next 15 minutes, the Lobos tried their best to score the game-winner, but could not break through the Spartan defense. At the end of regulation, the score remained tied at one and UNM headed into its fourth overtime game of the season.

Ashwill, the 2002 MPSF Tournament MVP, ended the Spartans hopes after he chested down a cross from Francis and punched in the game-winner in the 98th minute to give the Lobos the MPSF championship and the team’s second consecutive NCAA tournament appearance.

Scoring Summary
Team 1st 2nd OT Total
#2 San Jose State 0 1 0 1
#1 New Mexico 0 1 1 2

UNM - 47:54 Ben Ashwill (11), Assist Ricky Francis (2)
Cross by Francis from right corner, headed in by Ashwill.
SJSU - 75:29 Richard Halvorsen, Assist Fausto Villegas
Header off a corner kick, near post.
UNM - 97:16 Ben Ashwill (12), Assist Ricky Francis (3)
Cross from left side, put in from the right.

Final Statistical Summary
Statistic SJS UNM
Overall Shots 11 15
Shots on Goal 4 6
Offsides 3 0
Corner Kicks 3 5
Fouls 20 17

2002 MPSF All-Tournament Team
Ben Ashwill - Freshman - Forward - New Mexico (Tournament MVP)
Andrew Weber - Sophomore - Goalkeeper - New Mexico
Lance Watson - Freshman - Forward - New Mexico
Junro Narita - Senior - Midfielder - New Mexico
Frank Sanfilippo - Senior - Defender - San Jose State
Frank Mata - Sophomore - Midfielder - San Jose State
Tony Chang - Senior - Midfielder - San Jose State
Daniel Wasson - Freshman - Midfielder - Air Force
Christian Bowers - Sophomore - Midfielder - Denver
David Fraser - Junior - Midfielder - Sacramento State
Alex Hernandez - Senior - Midfielder - UNLV