Rio Rancho, NM (February 25th, 2023) - On Saturday night, the New Mexico Runners played host to the visiting Wichita Wings in an explosive and physical match up. It was a tough overtime loss for the Runners as they came up short by a score of 8-9 at the Rio Rancho Events Center.
This marks the 5th straight loss for New Mexico bringing the record to 3-5. Wichita Wings move to 6-2 on the season, with 3 consecutive wins.
In the first quarter, Junior Quezada and the Wings came out scoring first within two minutes. New Mexico's Vince Aragon found numbers in Wichita territory as Josh Garcia funneled the ball into the foot of Aragon and he fired it right in equalizing the score. Wichita's Lucio & Shea were able to find the net on separate occasions within a 33 second period. It would only take Runner's midfielder Austin Snyder 20 seconds to fire one in to cut the lead 2-3 with 9:31 in the first. League goal scoring leader Mehrshad Ahmadi would end up making his 30th goal on the season three minutes later which tied things up at 3-3. As the clock wound down in the first, Wichita would end up scoring to end the first.
In the second, New Mexico's Jaxn Rogers found a way to tie things up at 4-4 with 11:46 on the clock. At 8:57, teamsters Aragon & Ahmadi worked together to push the Runners' first lead of the game at 5-4. A defensive stand by both teams wouldn't result in a goal until Wichita would score and tie at the 5 minute mark. Ahmadi turned around and ended the first half with a 6-5 lead for New Mexico.
An aggressive third quarter by both teams were on display as the Runners and Wings were crashing into each other on a fairly regular basis. Wichita's Robbins would tie things up at 6 a piece at the 13 minute mark. Froilan Ramirez saw a lane available to quick pass to Ahmadi to take another Runners lead 7-6. Luis Martinez tallied his third goal on the season midway through the third to take an 8-6 lead. Wichita would find two to end the third which tied New Mexico 8-8.
If you said there would be no scoring in the fourth quarter, you would have thought it was a joke. Well, the defensive front proved to stalemate both offenses. The back and forth of both squads provided edge of the seat action for fans in Rio Rancho. New Mexico's opportunity to seal the deal with a power play advantage towards the last two minutes of regulation dwindled with an unsuccessful power play goal. Overtime was on the menu and the play would be 10 minutes of play time, and golden goal would win the game.
The Runners maintained an effective ball control for the better of 2 minutes in OT. Goalkeeper Nate Yeager pressed up against a Wichita ball where a traffic jam gave the opportunity for the Wings to capitalize and defeat the Runners 8-9 on a Kieran Laking goal for Wichita.