Oct. 24, 2011
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- Carson Baldinger scored back-to-back game-winners this past weekend to help the Lobos extend their win streak to nine straight with two road victories. Baldinger was named to Top Drawer Soccer's National Team of the Week, while the New Mexico squad has risen to the No. 1 spot on Top Drawer's weekly Top 25 poll.
Baldinger scored his third goal of the season in the 75th minute of play against Seattle to give the Lobos a 2-1 edge on Friday night, and then put New Mexico on the board first in Sunday's 2-0 win over Cal State Bakersfield.
A redshirt freshman native to Albuquerque, Baldinger has made an appearance off the bench for the Lobos in all 15 games of the season. He's taken 10 total shots on the season and put five of them on net for a .500 shot-on-goal percentage. With four goals and an assist to his name, Baldinger ranks fourth on the team in points with nine. However, he leads the Lobos in game-winning goals with three on the year.
New Mexico's No. 1 ranking marks the second time in program history that the team has garnered the top spot in the nation by any of the weekly polls, which also include the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll, published every Tuesday.
At the beginning of last week the Lobos, 13-0-2 overall, were ranked fifth by the NSCAA, but soccer fans across America saw three of the four teams ahead of New Mexico take losses this week. That includes UConn, last week's No. 1 ranked team and, before its game against West Virginia, the only other team in the nation without a loss. Defending national champion Akron and North Carolina also took losses last week.
The Huskies' fall to WVU left the Lobos the last team without a loss in the 2011 season. On top of that, two wins this weekend, 2-1 over Seattle on Friday and Sunday's 2-0 blanking of Cal State Bakersfield improved UNM's conference record to an untarnished 7-0-0 in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. New Mexico leads the MPSF with 21 points after handing CSUB its first loss in conference play.
The two-win weekend closed out New Mexico's regular season road schedule and marked the first time since 2005 that the team finished undefeated on the road. The Lobos will host three more home games before heading to the MPSF conference tournament in Denver from Nov. 10-13. The team is scheduled to play Sacramento State on Friday at 7 p.m.