Women's soccer defeated New Mexico 2-0 to win the Mountain West Conference championship tournament.
Aztecs sophomore forward Kelsey Booth streaks past a New Mexico defender. ©Brett Wilhelm/NCAA Photos
Women's Soccer Mountain West Championship
Haley Palmer fakes out a New Mexico defender. All photos by ©Brett Wilhelm/NCAA Photos
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A No. 2 seed, the Aztecs will host Cal State Northridge in the first round of the NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament this Saturday, 4 pm at the SportsDeck on the SDSU campus (Updated 8 a.m.Nov. 6).
Top-seeded and sixth-ranked San Diego State captured the 2012 Mountain West Women's Soccer Championship on Sunday afternoon after defeating New Mexico, 2-0, at the SDSU Sports Deck.
"I'm really proud of how we performed against a good New Mexico team today," head coach Mike Friesen said. "Winning the Mountain West tournament here on our home field was a goal of ours at the beginning of the year and now we're excited to move on to the next phase of our season."
The conference title is the second Mountain West Conference tournament championship for the Aztecs (2009) and it marks the fourth overall league crown in school history. SDSU won the Western Athletic Conference in 1995 and 1998.
The Aztecs earned the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. The team heads into postseason play with a 19-1-1 record. The 19 wins ties for the most in program history, matching the 1998 NCAA Tournament squad.
Shutting out the Lobos
The Aztecs secured their spot in the NCAA Tournament after sophomore Kelsey Booth scored her third game-winner this season in the 23rd minute. The scoring play started when SDSU took a corner kick and sophomore Haley Locker put one on net. The rebound went to junior Carli Johnson, who touched it to Booth and the sophomore headed the ball into the net from three yards out for a 1-0 Aztec lead.
SDSU was in control of the contest, but didn't let up as it kept firing a number of great attempts that just missed. At halftime, the Aztecs held a 7-3 advantage in shots and were 45 minutes away from a championship.
In the second half, San Diego State came out and looked just as dominant. The Aztecs proved that as it added an insurance goal in the 73rd minute when Megan Jurado came streaking down the left side of the pitch. The senior fired a shot and the rebound bounced to Sarah Halverson, who snuck it past New Mexico goalkeeper Kelli Cornell, to give SDSU a 2-0 advantage.
The Aztecs kept the Lobos at bay the rest of the way as they went on to win the MW title. On the game, SDSU outshot New Mexico, 16-6, and held an 8-2 edge in shots on goal. The Aztecs also earned more corner kicks (4-1) than the visiting Lobos. Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Rachel Boaz played all 90 minutes in goal and notched two saves en route to her 10th shutout of 2012, which ranks tied for third most in school history for a single season.
Following the Mountain West championship, SDSU's Carli Johnson was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. Johnson, along with teammates Rachel Boaz, Kelsey Booth and Megan Jurado were named to the 11-player all-tourney team.
San Diego State now moves on to the NCAA Tournament and its opponent will be determined on Monday, Nov. 5, at 1:30 p.m. Fans can watch the NCAA Women's Soccer Selection Show here.