The New Mexico State soccer team started the final road trip of the season on a strong note with an early goal but fell to Seattle, 2-1.
Sophomore forward Layla Todd scored her third goal of the season in the seventh minute for the Aggies (2-13-3, 0-6-1 WAC) but the Redhawks (8-7-2, 3-2-2) tied the game before halftime and won the game on a penalty kick in the final minutes of regulation.
The Aggie offense attacked early when freshman midfielder/forward Miranda Valdez found Todd to give NM State a 1-0 lead in the seventh minute of action. Todd now has a team-high three goals, and the assist was a career first for Valdez.
"Again, we played very well," head coach Blair Quinn said. "We had a great attitude to start the game. We really controlled the game for the first 25 minutes. We scored a great goal. Miranda Valdez, who has been our best player for the last two weeks, played a great through ball to Layla Todd, who scored another great goal."
Seattle evened the score at 1-1 with a goal in the 28th minute. The game was tied until the Redhawks converted a penalty kick in the 86th minute.
"We were up 1-0 and playing well and then we made a mistake and gave up a goal," Quinn said. "It was a good goal from Seattle's standpoint. We lost a runner and the girl scored on a one-timer."
"In the second half, they were pressing because they needed the points to insure they are in the conference tournament, and we got caught sitting a little too deep, a little too long. We came out of that and started playing again and taking the game back to them a little bit. A girl made a nice play to get into the box, she cut one of our midfielders, who was trying to get by one of the backs, and the girl that was behind her, wasn't trying to foul her but poke the ball but ended up getting her. It was a PK and they scored."
With the Aggies down 2-1, senior defender Courtney Irwin was given a yellow card in the 88th minute, which was her fifth of the season. As a result, the rules of college soccer state that Irwin has to miss the following match, and therefore, her streak of 76 consecutive starts will be snapped.
"She has started every game in program history and her last game she is not even going to get to play," Quinn said. "It's a tragedy. To be honest, the officiating was good except for that moment. I completely disagree that was yellow card."
The Aggies conclude the 2012 season at Idaho, Sunday, Oct. 28 at 2 p.m. in Moscow, Idaho.