Sept. 7, 2007
The 17th-ranked University of New Mexico men's soccer team dropped its home opener to Loyola Marymount tonight 1-0 at the UNM Soccer Complex. LMU midfielder Brad Stisser connected on a free kick in the ninth minute for the only score of the game, giving the Lions (1-1-0) their first win of the season in the opening night of the 2007TLC Plumbing & Utility Invitational.
Despite outshooting the Lions 21-10, New Mexico drops its home opener for the second year in a row. The Lobos have only lost four times at the UNM Soccer Complex in head coach Jeremy Fishbein's five-year tenure.
The Lobos created numerous opportunities on the night, but could not find the back of the net. Credit Lion keeper Patrick Lane with an excellent game between the pipes for LMU, making five crucial save on the evening. Every time the Lobos seemed poised to put one away, Lane was there with a diving stop.
UNM came out aggressive in the first half, earning three corners in the opening five minutes. They looked ready to take a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute when sophomore P.J. Wilson hit the crossbar from the top of the box. Junior Chris Wright was there to put the rebound away, but Lane made a diving save to end the threat.
LMU came right back to earn a free kick just outside of the key, 25 yards from the goal in the ninth minute. Stisser stepped up and blasted a perfectly place shot to the top right corner of the goal for the 1-0 lead.
The Lobos had two good looks late in the first half but a pair of headers by senior Diego Barrera were just wide of the net. UNM went into the locker room having taken more shots (9-5) and corners (5-1) than LMU, but trailing the Lions 1-0 on the scoreboard. Coming into the game, UNM was 2-12-2 when trailing at the half under Fishbein. That trend continued in tonight's match.
LMU tried to tack on another just three minutes into the second frame when Nick Blanco took a shot inside the box. Lobo keeper Mike Graczyk was there for one of his two saves on the night.
Sophomore Simon Ejdemry almost tied it up for UNM in the 62nd minute. His header from the right side got past Lane but was cleared out of the goal by an LMU defender. With time winding down on the clock, senior David Gualdarama blasted a shot from inside the box that Lane pushed over the cross bar. New Mexico had one last corner in the final seconds but was unable to put home the winning score.
"It is tough when you come out like that and create so many chances and not put one away," stated Wright. "We showed everyone that came out tonight that we've got a lot of potential, but we have got to start scoring when we have the opportunity."
UNM will now take on Cincinnati on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. The Bearcats (0-2-0) fell to Central Florida 2-1 in the first match of the day. The Lobo women downed Long Island 2-0 in tonight's second match. Action begins on Sunday with Central Florida (1-1-0) taking on LMU at 10:30 a.m.