Sept. 5, 2010
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The University of New Mexico men's soccer team played 110 minutes against No. 5 UC Santa Barbara Saturday night, coming away with a 1-1 tie at the UNM Soccer Complex in front of 3,237 fans.
The Lobos are now 1-0-1 on the season, having beat No. 25 St. Louis last Wednesday in the team's season opener. UC Santa Barbara improves to 0-1-1.
Lobo forward Devon Sandoval gave New Mexico an early lead, picking up his first goal of the young season off a rebound at the 7:53 mark and putting the ball past Gauchos' keeper Sam Hayden.
"All I really remember is their centerback got the ball and I slid in and won it," Sandoval said. "Then the ball just kind of popped up and I took it. I got up really quick and I took a touch. I felt like I had all day and I just placed it back-post really nice, and the keeper never really had a chance."
After Sandoval's goal, both sides exchanged control of the pitch, with neither able to add another score before the half. UC Santa Barbara forward Sam Garza netted the equalizer at 55:10.
"We came out a little flat," Lobo Michael Reed said. "We kind of picked it up after they scored that goal, but we've got to keep up the intensity like we had in the first half for the rest of the game."
New Mexico coach Jeremy Fishbein expressed a tremendous amount of respect for UC Santa Barbara during postgame interviews. While not satisfied with the tie, Fishbein feels the Lobos take some positives away from Saturday's double over-time battle.
"We had chances to win the game and there were chances for us to lose the game, so at the end of the day it is probably a pretty fair result," Fishbein said. "There were a couple little stretches of the game where we had little lapses where we let them squeeze us and we didn't play to our strengths."
The Lobos stout defense gave the Gauchos fits for most of the game. New Mexico only allowed a mere four shots on goal. Fishbein said the Lobos had focused on defense and was pleased with team's performance, especially on set pieces.
"We were rock solid on those. I'm real proud of our guys, there's a lot of pride here," said Fishbein.
The Lobos will be back in action on Sept. 10 and 12 when they compete in the TLC Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Invitational at the University of New Mexico Soccer Complex. UNM faces Georgetown on Friday at 7:00 p.m. and Portland on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.