Oct. 14, 2011
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- The New Mexico Lobo men's soccer squad stretched their unbeaten streak to 13 consecutive games on Friday night, setting a new program precedent in the process. They did it in true fashion as well, coming on strong in the second half as they've done all season long.
They also did it by netting a season-high six goals on the Pioneers, who held the Lobos to a slim 3-2 victory just one week ago. New Mexico finished the game in the final five minutes last week at CIBER Stadium, but showed a different level of tenacity Friday night with five second half goals en route to the final 6-0 victory.
Six different Lobos put points on the board, spurred by senior Lance Rozeboom with his first goal of the season. New Mexico started slow and was out-shot 9-5 by the Pioneers in the first half, but redshirt sophomore Lawrence Robledodrew a penalty kick, and Rozeboom slotted it away in the 42nd minute to give UNM the 1-0 lead headed into halftime.
In the second half, the Lobos were relentless.
Being the team that's become notorious for turning one-goal deficits into one goal victories, it would seem only natural that the Lobos would look for insurance goals - especially with the past nine games against Denver being one-goal decisions.
The first piece of insurance came from redshirt freshman Carson Baldinger. A perfect corner kick from Blake Smithfound Baldinger's head on the far post for the freshman's second goal of the season, putting the Lobos up 2-0 in the 49th minute. Twenty minutes of even play followed, before New Mexico really opened the floodgates.
"Early in the second half, man we brought the energy," head coach Jeremy Fishbein said. "We were good right from the kick off, creating chances, we got a great goal from Carson Baldingerand it just took off, the guys were hungry."
Giovanni Rollie put the proverbial nail in the coffin with his fourth goal of the season, an unassisted shot drilled from the top of the box to secure a 3-0 lead in the 73rd minute, but the Lobos weren't done yet. Just under five minutes later, it was Smith collecting a perfect through ball from fellow junior Devon Sandovalup the middle and banging it home low and to the right of Denver goalkeeper Oliver Brown.
In the 79th minute, Sandoval took one himself to stretch the lead to 5-0, and freshman James Rogers combined with Patrick Pachecooff the bench, cleaning up Pacheco's blocked shot for the final goal of the match.
Team and individual stats on the night were explosive to say the least. Sandoval paced the Lobos with four shots, a goal and an assist and jumped to 21 points on the season to lead the team. Smith followed with three shots, a goal and an assist, tying Sandoval with a team-high seven goals and jumping to 17 points with his three assists on the season. Twenty-one players saw field time with seven of them combining for New Mexico's 14 total shots.
Starting keeper Victor Rodriguez earned his fifth shutout of the season and made four stops to improve to 10-0-2, 4-0-0 in conference play. He was in for just over 78 minutes of the game before taking a seat and allowing redshirt freshman Javier Laneto see some action in net.
Brown took the loss for the Pioneers, falling to 1-2-1 as the Pioneers dropped to 3-6-3 overall, 1-2-1 in the conference. The six goal margin of victory was just the second of its caliber since 1994, with the Lobos' 6-0 shutout over Air Force in 2007 being the only other six goal win under Fishbein.
"I think there's a fine line between possessing the ball in your half and being a real soccer playing team, using the speed and talent like we have and getting after an opponent in your offensive half," Fishbein finished.
New Mexico will cap off the weekend with a bout with Air Force on Sunday, in the second game of another double-header with the women's team, slated for 2 p.m.