LOBO FLASHBACKS: Lobo Flashbacks is a summer feature of GoLobo.com looking back on special teams, players, games or moments from the 2013-14 University of New Mexico athletic season.
Today: Vela’s Lobos Play It Close
By Richard Stevens – Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
If you want to flashback on Kit Vela’s 2013 Lobo women’s soccer season for a dramatic and close game, all you really need is her schedule on a dart board and a wild toss with a dart.
You could close your eyes, toss the dart over your shoulder, and likely find a game that went down to the wire. There weren't too many other kinds of games. These Lobos did not make things easy on their coach in 2013.
Sure, soccer games are often one-goal affairs, but what Vela’s Lobos put her through in the 2013 season goes down as cruel and unusual punishment. Consider:
-- The Lobos lost ten games last season and nine were by a single goal.
-- The Lobos played eight overtime games.
-- The Lobos won eight games – six by a single goal.
-- The Lobos’ final four games all went into double overtime.
-- UNM ended the season in a 0-0 double-overtime tie with Utah State advancing in a shootout.
You add all that up and 15 of New Mexico’s 21 games were decided by one goal. And three more ended at 0-0.
All these nail-biting games were reflected on the UNM final stats. UNM scored 0.95 goals per game and allowed 0.90. The Lobos had 224 shots on goal and the enemy had 220 shots on goal. UNM averaged 10.7 shots per game and allowed 10.5. This was nip-and-tuck taken to a new level.
This type of scoring puts a lot of pressure on a defense. In 17 of UNM’s 21 games, neither team scored more than two goals. UNM played in nine games in which the scored ended at 1-0. There were only four games on the year in which three goals were scored and three goals was the top output by any team all year.
The Lobos played in close in Mountain West games, too. The Lobos played a MW opponent 11 times and 10 of those games were decided by one goal or fewer.
You could say it was the year of defense for UNM in 2013, which also makes it easy to give the Lobos a message on how to make things easier on their coach in 2014:
Play the same kind of defense. Score some more goals.
Hey, Vela deserves a couple of 4-0 romps in 2014.