New Mexico –2 Penn State-0 (NCAA Tournament Sweet 16)
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – For the second-straight NCAA Tournament match, the University of New Mexico Lobos (13-5-2) showed that good things happen to those who wait. After failing to find the back of the net in the first half, New Mexico scored twice within four minutes in the second half to defeat the Penn State Nittany Lions (13-6-2) in the Sweet 16 of the 2013 NCAA Tournament. The pair of goals, scored by Riley McGovern and Oniel Fisher, were both assisted by Michael Calderon. The victory on Sunday night sends Coach Fishbein and the Lobos to their second Elite Eight appearance ever.
The Lobos came out on the attack from the first whistle as Kyle Venter forced a save from PSU’s Andrew Wolverton off a header just fifteen seconds in the match. New Mexico held a seven to one advantage in shots in the first half with four of those shots being on goal. UNM’s other threatening chances came off a Nick Rochowski header and a Christopher Wehan shot attempt from the left flank.
New Mexico did not take their foot off the accelerator in the second half and found the back of the net within the first ten minutes of the half. The scoring action began when Calderon softly lobbed a pass into the box to Fisher. Fisher, who was making a run from the right edge of the box, received the pass on the run in the middle of the box. Fisher took a quick touch before burying his first goal of the season.
Fisher’s goal brought the crowd of 3,347 to their feet, and New Mexico fed off the energy. The pace frenzied as the Lobos received their second goal less than four minutes later.
Michael Calderon was the catalyst of the scoring attack again. His corner kick was a pinpoint sailing ball to James Rogers who brought the in a crowded box. Rogers took the touch and left the ball for a charging Riley McGovern who blasted home the goal.
The Cherry & Silver finished the match with a 15-5 shot advantage with nine of those being on goal.
New Mexico advances to its second-ever Elite Eight. The Lobos advanced to the fourth round and beyond en route to their national championship appearance in 2005. The Lobos will travel to the University of Washington for their Elite Eight match on Saturday evening.
New Mexico starters: Lisch (GK), Gibbons, Venter, Miele, McGoverm, Kafari, Calderon, McKendry, Rogers, Wehan and Hansen.
First Half Subs: Fisher (28:35) and Rochowski (35:07)
- New Mexico entered Sunday night’s match as one of only three programs in the country to participate in a third-consecutive NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. The other two programs, Maryland and UConn, both advanced to the Elite Eight as well.
- Oniel Fisher’s goal in the 53rd minute was the first goal allowed by Penn State in their last 343 minutes.
- Lobo Soccer is now 8-1-1 all-time in NCAA Tournament matches at home.
- UNM defender Kyle Venter played in all 90 minutes versus Penn State, which makes him New Mexico’s all-time minutes played leader at 7,719 career minutes.
- The clean sheet was the tenth New Mexico shutout of the season and the fourth in the last five matches.
“It was a pretty complete performance by our guys. We went into that game really well prepared with Paul Souders spending a lot of time on the scout. They’re good at playing to their strengths, and I thought we matched up well with them. Penn State is a team that was very comfortable defending with a couple of dangerous attacking players. I thought our team did a great job of neutralizing those attacking guys.” – Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein on Penn State
“We have to enjoy this win. It was a great win. It was a disciplined effort by our entire team and the fans. Tonight was about everybody, and that’s what we are all about as a program.” – Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein on the win
“We’ve got two shutouts in our last two games, we’re scoring off set pieces and we’re keeping the ball really well. Things just seem to be really coming together for us.” – Riley McGovern on team’s current level of play
“Oniel (Fisher) made a really good run, and he was asking me for the ball. I clipped it into him. He took a good touch off his chest and finished it with his left foot. It was a pretty nice goal… It was a good combination in the midfield (up to that point).” – Michael Calderon on his assist on the first goal
The New Mexico Lobos will travel to Seattle, Washington for the Elite Eight of the 2013 NCAA Tournament. The Lobos will face the Huskies on Saturday, December 7 at 6 p.m. (MST). Washington Head Coach Jamie Clark is a former assistant coach at the University of New Mexico. Clark was part of Jeremy Fishbein’s staff when the Lobos advanced to the national championship match in 2005.