New Mexico –0 Colorado Rapids Reserves (MLS)-2
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Sunday morning’s spring exhibition was the University of New Mexico’s first match in over three months as the Lobos battled the Colorado Rapids Reserves to a hard-fought loss. The Rapids Reserves lineup featured a handful of players who saw time in the full team’s 3-2 loss to Sporting KC the night before.
The match was scoreless for over an hour until the Rapids’ Gabriel Torres found the back of the net on a solo effort after attacking across the box and scoring with his left foot in the 61st minute. New Mexico nearly countered three minutes later when Ben McKendry’s chip was just long for a sprinting James Rogers in the box.
Colorado scored again less than ten minutes later on a blistering Kamani Hill free kick from outside the box. Like the first goal, the Lobos nearly got it back minutes later when shots from Rogers and Christopher Wehan were blocked deep in the box.
The first half of the match took a defensive tune as neither team recorded a shot on goal. UNM nearly found a scoring connection when Rogers’ cross in the eleventh minute just missed the head of a leaping Wehan in the box.
The Rapids Reserves took several shots in the first 45 minutes of action with none of them being on frame. A Torres shot from outside the box was blocked by the Lobo wall, and Marvin Chavez also had a shot blocked by the New Mexico backline in the 19th minute. The Colorado goal was manned for a majority of the match by Clint Irwin who was returning from injury on his way back to the Rapids’ full MLS team.
Colorado Rapids - Gabriel Torres (61st minute)
Colorado Rapids – Kamani Hill (68th minute) *free kick
New Mexico starters: Poblete (GK), Gibbons, Miele, Gurule, McGovern, Dye, Fisher, McKendry, Wehan, Rogers and Hansen.
First Half Subs: Josh Goss (32nd minute), Rene Reyes (40th minute) and James Wypych (40th minute)
Halftime Subs: Nick Rochowski
- The Lobos faced Colorado’s Clint Irwin in goal who was rehabbing from injury on his way back to the Rapids’ full team after starting in goal for most of last season.
- New Mexico played a pair of Colorado Rapids Academy products on Sunday in James Rogers and Chris Gurule.
“This is a program and a group of players that expects to win whenever they step on the field. We put ourselves in a tough situation in having our first match of the spring against a professional team with quite a few of their big player seeing the field. From that standpoint, it’s disappointing to lose a game. I thought both of their goals came off our mistakes and not chances that they created. There’s a tinge of disappointment but at the same time it was a great exercise against a great opponent. It’s a great assessment to see where we are and where we can get better. “ – Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein
“When you play against a team like the Rapids, if you take one misstep or lose concentration for one second; you get punished. That was the best part of it because you have to be so much more aware and an in tune. It was good for that because it allowed us to focus on some things we have been working on.” – Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein
“We are excited to get back out there on Saturday. We wish we could always face an opponent of this caliber because it’s the type of opponent that will make you better. It’s a proud group that wants to win. We will keep getting better with the mindset that all of this is in preparation for our season opener at the end of August.” – Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein
Up Next for New Mexico
The Lobos will face Denver University on Saturday, April 5 at 11 a.m. (MST) at the Taos Eco Park in Taos, N.M. It will be the first of three-straight exhibitions played in the state of New Mexico for the Lobos.