New Mexico –0 South Carolina-1 (Overtime)
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of New Mexico Lobos suffered their first conference loss of the season dropping a 1-0 decision to the University of South Carolina (6-5-4). The Gamecocks scored the match’s only goal just over a minute into overtime. The loss came as New Mexico (8-4-2) outshot their opponent 14-8 while also holding an advantage in corner kicks. The Lobos came within inches of a goal numerous times as UNM hit the post on three different occasions.
The first half was a scoreless affair as neither team found the back of the net in the first 45 minutes. New Mexico held a one-shot advantage over USC and lead in corner kicks as well. Coach Fishbein and the Lobos kept possession in the USC side of the field for much of the first half.
UNM’s first scoring threat came on a run from Michael Calderon down the center of the field. The Lobo midfielder took space and attacked to the top of the box. As the space began to close, Calderon took a shot from the top of the 18-yard box but missed wide left just six minutes into the match.
The first South Carolina threat of the night was quelled by the New Mexico defense in the 20th minute. The Gamecocks got the ball into a crowded UNM box and drew out goalkeeper Michael Lisch. South Carolina tried to score from the other side of the box but Michael Kafari threw his body in the way of the USC player to block the shot.
Neither side would find the back of the net in the second half. New Mexico once again held a shot advantage and came within inches of a goal on several occasions. Calderon hit the cross bar on one shot while Ben McKendry hit the post on another shot. After 90 minutes of action, New Mexico held the advantage in shots (14-7) and in corner kicks (8-3). Michael Lisch was forced to only make two saves during regulation for UNM.
South Carolina’s golden goal came just one minute and two seconds into the overtime period. A breakdown in the New Mexico half gave Eli Dent an opening on an attack for the Gamecocks. Dent dribbled into the box and scored on the high-rising shot.
South Carolina: (92nd Minute): Eli Dent
Starters: Lisch (GK), Gibbons, Venter, Gurule, Fisher, Kafari, Calderon, McKendry, Rogers, Wehan and Hansen.
First Half Subs: Rochowski (27th minute), Dye (28th minute), Goss (36th minute), Wypych (40th minute) and McGovern (43rd minute).
· The loss to South Carolina was New Mexico’s first loss on the road and in conference play. UNM is now 4-1-1 in C-USA and away from the UNM Soccer Complex.
· Saturday evening marks the first loss in overtime this season. The Lobos had wins in overtime over Georgetown and Florida International before the loss to South Carolina.
· New Mexico is now tied for second place in Conference USA with UAB. The two teams will meet Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. at the UNM Soccer Complex.
“You leave yourself open if you don’t take chances. We have said that all season. We hit the post three times and didn’t take advantage of the chances we created.” – Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein
“The only way they were going to score on us was going to be off seconds off a big ball or on a big mistake. Unfortunately for us, we made a big mistake defensively and gave South Carolina a chance that they put away for the win.” – Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein
“Our backs are against the wall, but we know we still control our own destiny with three regular season matches remaining. We will re-group and look forward to hosting UAB on Wednesday night in what will be a great match in front of our great fans.” – Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein
The New Mexico Lobos will host UAB in a battle of Conference USA leaders on Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. The match will be UNM’s “Stuff the Stadium” night at the UNM Soccer Complex with $3 tickets for all spectators.