New Mexico –1 Tulsa-0 (Full Match Report)
TULSA, Okla. – The University of New Mexico Lobos (6-3-2, 2-0-1 C-USA) were looking to keep a pair of unbeaten streaks alive in their Conference USA match at #20 Tulsa (6-4-1, 1-2-0 C-USA). New Mexico’s 1-0 win kept the Lobos undefeated on the road (4-0-1) and in conference play (2-0-1). Wednesday evening's match was also a battle of the top two teams in Conference USA's preseason poll.
The Lobos denied Tulsa a goal in the 28th minute on a great team save by redshirt freshman defender Chris Gurule. He was covering his goalkeeper Michael Lisch who was drawn out as Gurule left-footed a would-be score out of the goal. The first half ended with a flurry of attacks from the Lobos, but they were unable to find the back of the net.
New Mexico was the first team to seriously threaten in the second half when Ben McKendry took a takeaway and pushed the ball deep into Tulsa territory. He found Michael Calderon who attempted the chip over a charging the Tulsa goalkeeper Jake McGuire. Calderon’s floater bounced wide of the net.
UNM whipped up the attack in the final twenty minutes with James Rogers getting a pair of good looks within 30 seconds of one another, but his shots were saved and wide. However, minutes later the Lobos would do more than knock on the Tulsa door.
The New Mexico midfield found James Rogers who was streaking down the right flank. At the end of his run, he unleashed a cross to the far post. Niko Hansen was on the receiving end of the pass and poked home the match’s only goal in between Tulsa’s center back and goalkeeper in the 77th minute.
After conceding the shot count by one to Tulsa in the first half, New Mexico took control of possession in the second half. The Cherry & Silver out-shot Tulsa six to three in the second half. UNM led the final advantage in shots ten to eight by match’s end.
New Mexico (76:49) Niko Hansen (James Rogers assist)
New Mexico: Lisch (GK), Gibbons, Venter, Gurule, Fisher, Kafari, McKendry, Calderon, Wehan, Rogers and Hansen
First Half Subs: McGovern (20:58), Rochowski (30:18) and Wypych (33:18)
- Redshirt freshman defender Chris Gurule made his first career start at center back Wednesday evening in Tulsa.
- New Mexico was credited with a pair of team saves as both Chris Gurule and Oniel Fisher deflected shots while covering their goalkeeper deep in the box.
- The shutout was the second consecutive clean sheet for Coach Fishbein and the Lobos. Goalkeeper Michael Lisch now has five shutouts on the season with a scoreless streak of 306 minutes still intact.
- With six goals in his first eleven collegiate games, Niko Hansen has taken over sole possession of fourth place in New Mexico’s all-time freshman scoring records.
“We got to be good on the ball. It’s sort of a game of transition at this point. Both teams are good going forward with space. We need to squeeze high and not let them out. We got to be good when we have the ball. We have had some opportunities in wide areas, and I think we are playing too narrow.”
– Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein at halftime
“I am really happy with the performance of our guys tonight. Tulsa is a really good team, but we defended well and created opportunities. We got a key goal, and we put in a really good performance on the road. I’m very optimistic now with where we are because this match was an important one to get under our belt.” – Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein after the match
“I thought Michael Lisch was really good tonight. Chris Gurule came in and was also extremely good for us in his first career start and his first significant minutes. They were part of a defensive group that was solid for us tonight alongside Kyle Venter, Mathew Gibbons and Oniel Fisher. The defensive group was a big part of what was a great team win for us.” – Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein on the team’s defense
“Tonight was important because, when you look at the schedule, there are a handful of games that are going to go either way. You have to be honest with yourself and know there are some games that are going to be tough. After tonight, we have three wins and two ties in five of those types of games.” – Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein on the 1-0 win at Tulsa
Coach Fishbein and the Lobos return to the pitch inside the friendly confines of the UNM Soccer Complex. New Mexico will host Florida International on Saturday, October 12 at 7 p.m.