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Cowgirls muzzle Wolves in overtime

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By Dave Kavanaugh

Krista Mashak sliced a shot past Colorado State-Pueblo goalkeeper Jessica Stumpf 27 seconds into overtime Sunday, sneaking New Mexico Highlands to a 4-3 verdict on the road.

The Cowgirls improved to 5-4-1 overall and 3-2-1 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in their second season under Justin Wagar.

CSUP scored twice in the first eight minutes and held on to a 2-0 halftime lead. Tamra Nee scored off a deflection five minutes into the match. Then at the 7:24 mark, Katie Thiebaut connected to the upper right corner of the net, beating Amanda Rose Johnson.

After halftime, it was the Cowgirls’ turn to get offensive.

Britney Cottrell scored her first goal of the season off an assist by Nicole Plaska at the 55:48 mark.

After getting the ball from Tierra Saban and Heidi Nakaoka, Brooke Schmelter went left past Stumpf, netting a goal in the 62nd minute and tying the match 2-2.

Thiebaut nudged the ThunderWolves back in front with a score in the 68th minute, and the home team held on to that one-goal edge for more than 14 minutes.

Then, with less than seven minutes left in regulation, Saban went give-and-go with Mashak, booting the ball in for a game-tying goal, Saban's fourth of the season.

CSUP’s Janel Barnes and Jessa Cook each kicked potential game-winning shots in the 88th minute, but both shots went high.

Cottrell delivered the assist to Mashak for her fourth goal of the year, the game-winner that came 27 seconds into overtime.

Highlands played without the services of one of its leading scorers, Julissa Rodriguez, who was assessed a red card in Thursday’s 6-0 loss at Fort Lewis.

NMHU plays at Colorado Christian 1 p.m. Friday in Lakewood, Colo., then at Nebraska-Kearney 11 a.m. Sunday.

Notes: Johnson was named RMAC Defensive Player of the Week this past week for 135 minutes of shutout soccer against Adams State and Regis. In a 1-0 loss to Adams State, she recorded one save and held the Grizzlies scoreless in 45 minutes of play. Then she made five stops against the Rangers in a complete-game shutout, her first as a college player. Johnson is a 5-8 freshman from Montrose, Calif.