Nov. 20, 2009

ALBUQUERQUE , N.M. - Playing a man-down and with their all-conference goalkeeper sitting on the bench, the Portland Pilots pulled out a come-from-behind 2-1 overtime win over the New Mexico Lobos in an NCAA First Round game on Thursday night at the UNM Soccer Complex. UP senior Collen Warner scored both of Portland's goals, including the game-winner in the 98th minute.

The Pilots (11-5-5) move on to face the North Carolina State Wolfpack in a second round game on Sunday in Raleigh, N.C.

"It's a tremendous result," Portland head coach Bill Irwin said. "We've played a lot of games on the road this year and we've got a good road record, so we've grown comfortable away from home. You know the guys are going to play 100, 110 minutes.

"New Mexico is a very good team and we knew it was going to be a battle, and it was."

With the game tied 1-1 after 90 minutes of regulation, UP's chances at a win looked to be in jeopardy when junior goalkeeper Austin Guerrero was shown a red card with UNM setting up for a corner kick in the 93rd minute. In came freshman goalkeeper Justin Baarts, who hadn't seen the field all season.

"Justin is a very good goalkeeper, so there were no worries there," Irwin said.

New Mexico (12-7-1) didn't capitalize on the ensuing corner kick and with two minutes remaining in the first overtime, senior Logan Emory saw his roommate streaking down the middle of the field. Emory fed Warner perfectly over the top as Warner sprinted past a napping UNM back line. With the linesman's flag down, Warner beat New Mexico keeper Justin Holmes with a low shot inside the left post.

And with the NCAA implementing the "golden goal" during the playoffs, the Pilots leave town with a 2-1 win.

"I knew Collen would be there so I sent it over," said Emory. "I saw him out of the corner of my eye and I know he can move. The flag was down and he finished"

"It was close, so I gave a glance at the linesman," Warner said. "I controlled the ball, took a look at the keeper and I slotted it."

Warner had previously tied the game up when New Mexico thought it had the game in hand. Trailing 1-0 with less than six minutes to play, UP freshman Joe Sleven took a shot from distance that was knocked down. The deflection went right to senior Ryan Luke, who set up Warner in the middle of the 18. Warner found the back of the net with the equalizer.

The red card over-shadows what was otherwise a brilliant game by Guerrero, who was under constant verbal pressure from the UNM student section all night long. The junior kept his cool and kept the Pilots within reach with six saves on 21 New Mexico shots.

There wasn't a whole lot Guerrero could do when the Lobos scored the first goal of the game in the 35th minute. Michael Green set up the score with some nifty footwork in the left flank. After shaking the defender, Green sent a low service into the area where Lance Rozebloom one-touched it into the top right corner to give the Lobos a 1-0 lead in the 35th minute.

The Pilots finished with 10 shots on the night, while Holmes made two saves.

Portland, which last advanced to the NCAA Second Round in 2004, and N.C. State are set to kick-off on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. (PST). N.C. State is seeded No. 15 and received a first round bye.