May 13, 2013
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Eight NCAA Tournament participants, including the last two national champion runner-ups, highlight a challenging 2013 schedule for the University of New Mexico Men's Soccer program. Competitive scheduling is nothing new to the Lobo Soccer program as Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein annually aims for a tough strength of schedule with an "iron sharpens iron" mentality.
The Cherry & Silver are coming off a 17-4-1 season with a second-consecutive Sweet 16 appearance in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. This fall also marks the program's first as a member of Conference USA after leaving the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.
"This is the most consistently challenging schedule we've ever had here in terms of the RPI's and NCAA Tournament appearances among our opponents. It ranks as one of the toughest schedules in the nation with Conference USA giving us tremendous league matches week in and week out," Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein said.
Coach Fishbein and company will begin the season with three exhibitions against some familiar foes. Those opponents are Grand Canyon (August 17th) and former MPSF rivals Air Force (August 22nd) and Denver (August 24th). The three matches build up to the season opener versus Villanova on Friday, August 30th at 7 p.m. at the UNM Soccer Complex.
Of UNM's eight non-conference opponents, six had RPI's in the top 50 in 2012. The Lobos will hit the road after Villanova for a road trip east to VCU and Georgetown on September 6th and 8th. Both were NCAA Tournament teams a year ago with Georgetown losing to Indiana in the national championship match.
Four of the team's five following matches will be played at home with Santa Clara, Cal State Northridge, Drake and UC Davis all paying a visit to Albuquerque from September 13th through September 27th. Sandwiched between those home dates is another big-time away match for New Mexico. They will travel to UC Santa Barbara who is the perennial NCAA attendance leader with sell-out crowds in excess of 13,000 fans. The Lobos and Gauchos will face off 8 p.m. on Monday, September 23rd.
The Lobos are one of three new C-USA members, which also include fellow NCAA Tournament participants Old Dominion (formerly of the Colonial Athletic Association) and Charlotte (formerly of the Atlantic 10). Six of Conference USA's current members made the NCAA post season last season with New Mexico and Tulsa making the Sweet 16.
UNM will open C-USA play on the road at Marshall before welcoming the 2011 NCAA runner-up, Charlotte, to the UNM Soccer Complex on Friday, October 4th. Rounding out October, New Mexico will travel to Tulsa and South Carolina while playing home matches versus Florida International, Florida Atlantic and UAB.
The team will round out the regular season with another trip to Virginia to play Old Dominion on November 2nd before returning for the home finale against Kentucky on November 9th. The Conference USA Tournament is set for November 13th - 17th at a site that is to be determined.
"This schedule will bring big time soccer to Albuquerque throughout the 2013 season. It brings tremendous teams to the UNM Soccer Complex, and that's exciting for our players and our fans. Our guys want to test themselves against some of the best teams in the nation, and this schedule allows our team to do that on a weekly basis," Fishbein noted.
2013 New Mexico Men's Soccer Schedule
|Saturday, August 17||Grand Canyon (Exhibition)||UNM Soccer Complex||7:00 p.m.|
|Thursday, August 22||Air Force (Exhibition)||Colorado Springs, Colo.||7:00 p.m.|
|Saturday, August 24||Denver (Exhibition)||Denver, Colo.||7:00 p.m.|
|Friday, August 30||Villanova (45)||UNM Soccer Complex||7:00 p.m.|
|Friday, September 6||VCU# (18)||Richmond, Va.||5:00 p.m.|
|Sunday, September 8||Georgetown# (5)||Washington, D.C.||10:00 a.m.|
|Friday, September 13||Santa Clara (47)||UNM Soccer Complex||7:00 p.m.|
|Sunday, September 15||Cal State Northridge# (33)||UNM Soccer Complex||6:00 p.m.|
|Friday, September 20||Drake||UNM Soccer Complex||7:00 p.m.|
|Monday, September 23||UC Santa Barbara||Santa Barbara, Calif.||8:00 p.m.|
|Friday, September 27||UC Davis (44)||UNM Soccer Complex||7:00 p.m.|
|Monday, September 30||Marshall*||Huntington, W.V.||5:00 p.m.|
|Friday, October 4||UNC Charlotte*# (16)||UNM Soccer Complex||7:00 p.m.|
|Wednesday, October 9||Tulsa*# (14)||Tulsa, Okla.||6:00 p.m.|
|Saturday, October 12||Florida International*||UNM Soccer Complex||7:00 p.m.|
|Saturday, October 19||Florida Atlantic*||UNM Soccer Complex||8:00 p.m.|
|Saturday, October 26||South Carolina*||Columbia, S.C.||5:00 p.m.|
|Wednesday, October 30||UAB*# (40)||UNM Soccer Complex||7:00 p.m.|
|Saturday, November 2||Old Dominion*# (28)||Norfolk, Va.||5:00 p.m.|
|Saturday, November 9||Kentucky*# (31)||UNM Soccer Complex||7:00 p.m.|
|November 13-17||Conference USA Tournament||TBA||TBA|
All home games are in BOLD
* Indicates Conference USA match
# Indicates a 2012 NCAA Tournament participant
() Opponent's 2012 RPI (Top 50 Only)
All times are subject to change