Oct. 18, 2007
Up Next: The 22nd ranked University of New Mexico men's soccer team returns home for one match this weekend against the UNLV Rebels. UNM (8-3-1, 3-0-1 MPSF) is riding a seven-match unbeaten streak that includes wins in its last three outings. The Lobos are looking to extend their lead in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation standing against the Rebels who are 5-6-2 on the year and 1-3-0 in MPSF play. Game time is set for Saturday, Oct. 20, at 7:00 p.m. (M.D.T.) at University Stadium.
The Lobos-Rebels match will follow the U.S. Women's National Team game against Mexico at 4:30 p.m. With a large crowd expected for the USA-Mexico contest, UNM is looking to set a new home attendance record with its match against UNLV that immediately follows.
Fans who purchase tickets for the Women's National Team match will receive free admission to the Lobo game. Tickets for the USA-Mexico match can be purchased at the UNM Ticket Office at The Pit, by calling (505) 925-LOBO or by visiting www.UNMTickets.com.
Fans wanting to go to just the Lobo-Rebel match will receive free admission following the conclusion of the Women's National Team game. UNM students will also receive their usual free admission to the Lobos' game following the USA-Mexico contest.
New Mexico is looking to break its single-game home attendance record of 7,449 set against UCLA in University Stadium on Sept. 23, 1989. The fourth-ranked Bruins won that match 2-0. The attendance record at the UNM Soccer Complex was set against cal in the quarterfinals of the 2005 NCAA Tournament with a sold-out crowd of 5,600. Since then, seating capacity at the UNM Soccer Complex has expanded to 6,800, but is still not big enough to break UNM's all-time home crowd mark.
Top Home Crowds In UNM Soccer History
7,449 vs. No. 4 UCLA (L, 2-0 - 9/23/89) in University Stadium
5,600 vs. No. 7 Cal (W, 1-0 - 12/2/05) in the UNM Soccer Complex
4,849 vs. No. 13 Cal State Northridge (W, 1-0 - 11/26/05) in the UNM Soccer Complex
4,552 vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee (T, 2-2 - 11/22/05) in the UNM Soccer Complex
4,412 vs. No. 1 Indiana (W, 1-0 - 9/19/04) in the UNM Soccer Complex
4,356 vs. Sacramento State (W, 1-0 - 10/14/05) in the UNM Soccer Complex
4,237 vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee (W, 2-0 - 9/12/97) in the UNM Soccer Complex
4,106 vs. Wisconsin (W, 3-2 - 9/16/05) in the UNM Soccer Complex
More ON UNLV: The Rebles boast two of the top scorers in the MPSF in junior Lamar Neagle and freshman Danny Cruz. Neagle has six goals and two assists while Cruz has four goals and three assists on the year. Sophomore Calvin Bailey has a 1.46 g.a.a. and three shutouts in 2007. UNLV has lost three straight matches after defeating Air Force in its MPSF opener.
UNLV Rebels (5-6-2, 1-3-0 MPSF)
Location: Las Vegas, Nev.
Conference: Mountain Pacific Sports Federation
Head Coach: Mario Sanchez (Fresno State `99)
Record at UNLV: 6-21-4 (2)
Career Record: same
2006 Record: 1-15-2
2006 Conference Record: 1-9-0 (6th)
UNM vs. UNLV: 14-7-0
Last Time: UNM won 1-0 (OT) (10-21-06) at Home
Top Goal Scorer: Lamar Neagle (6)
Top Assists: Daniel Cruz (3)
Top Goalie: Calvin Bailey (1.46 g.a.a)
Notes: UNLV may have only won one game last season, but it was a huge win for the Lobos. The Rebels defeated Denver 2-0 in the final weekend of the 2006 regular season, allowing New Mexico a chance to pass the Pioneers in the MPSF race and capture the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. New Mexico has won six straight matches in the series with UNLV, outscoring the Rebels 22-3 in that stretch. UNLV did take a 2-0 win at UNM in the 2003 season, one of only two home losses in MPSF play for New Mexico head coach Jeremy Fishbein. Last season, UNLV pushed No. 12 New Mexico to overtime at home before Justin Davis scored the game-winner in the 97th minute for UNM.
Web Site: www.UNLVRebels.com
Recapping Last Weekend: New Mexico swept an important MPSF road series last weekend with a 4-1 win at San Jose State and a 1-0 win at Sacramento State. Five different players scored goals for the Lobos on the weekend. Seniors Blake Danaher and Joey Vitagliano, junior Jack Smithson and sophomore P.J. Wilson all scored in the win over the Spartans on Friday. Senior David Gualdarama smacked in the game-winner against Sac. State on Sunday.
Lobo Offense Heating Up...Now Ranks 18th in the nCAA: After starting the season with a 2-3-0 record and just five goals in their first five games, UNM has been hot on the offensive side of the ball in the last seven matches. New Mexico has put up 20 goals while allowing just three in their last seven games and are unbeaten in that stretch at 6-0-1. The Lobo offense is now ranked No. 18 inthe nation at 2.08 goals-per-game. Junior forward Chris Wright has at least one point in each of the last seven games for New Mexico.
Wright Leads MPSF in Scoring and Goals: Lobo junior Chris Wright currently leads the MPSF in scoring with 17 points on seven goals and three assists. He is currently 36th in the NCAA in scoring. His seven goals also lead the MPSF and he is 36th in the nation in goals scored.
Lobos tough at Home in MPSF Play Under Fishbein: The Lobo men's soccer team has posted a 21-2-1 mark in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation action at the UNM Soccer Complex under head coach Jeremy Fishbein. The only two losses at home under Fishbein came against UNLV (2-0 on Oct. 18, 2003) and San Jose State (3-2 (OT) on Oct. 16, 2005).
UNLV Game Moves to University Stadium Following U.S. National Team: The Lobos next home game against UNLV on Oct. 20 will be played in University Stadium following the U.S. Women's National Team match against Mexico. The national team game starts at 4:30 (M.D.T.) and all tickets to the national team game include admission to the Lobo match vs. UNLV at 7:00 p.m.
In The Rankings: The Lobos stayed at No. 22 in the Soccer America Top-25 and are 22nd in the NSCAA Top-25 and No. 23 in the CollegeSoccerNews.com Top 30 and Soccer Times Top-25. New Mexico has now been ranked for 46 consecutive weeks, dating back to the start of 2004.
New Mexico is Strong with a Lead: The Lobos are tough to beat when scoring first or leading at the half. In head coach Jeremy Fishbein's tenure, New Mexico is 72-2-7 when finding the back of the net first and 45-1-2 when holding a halftime lead. The last time UNM surrendered a lead and lost the match was against San Jose State at home on Oct. 16, 2005, in a 3-2 OT loss to the Spartans. The only time the Lobos lost a match when leading at the half was a 3-2 loss to the Spartans in the finals of the 2003 MPSF Tournament Nov. 16, in Sacramento, Calif.
Lobos Boast Highest Winning % Since 2004: The University of New Mexico men's soccer team boasts the highest winning percentage in Division I over the last three years. The Lobos are 57-10-9 (.809) since the start of 2004. Only Maryland (56-17-7) and UC Santa Barbara (58-18-7) have more wins than the Lobos over the last three years. Here is a look at the top teams in the nation based on winning percentage since 2004.
New Mexico - 57-10-9 - .809
Akron - 52-13-10 - .760
Indiana - 55-15-11 - .747
Virginia - 54-16-7 - .747
Maryland - 57-17-8 - .744
UCSB - 58-18-8 - .738
SMU - 54-16-10 - .738
Wake Forest - 54-16-10 - .738
Graczyk Sweeps Weekly Honors: Senior keeper Mike Graczyk took home all of the honors on Sept. 24 after shutting out Cal State Northridge and No. 12 San Francisco in the previous week. The preseason All-American earned the Brine-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation co-Player of the Week and was named to both CollegeSoccerNews.com and Soccer America's National Teams of the Week. Graczyk is now UNM's all-time leader in career shutouts with 28.
Lobos not a good host for defending champs: UNM's 2-1 win over No. 9 and defending NCAA Champion UC Santa Barbara Gauchos marks the second time in three years a defending champion has left the UNM Soccer Complex with a loss. New Mexico also dropped No. 1 Indiana at home on Sept. 19, 2004, 1-0 in double-overtime.
Lobos taking on tough Competition: So far this season the Lobos have posted a 2-1-0 record against teams the were in the 2006 NCAA Tournament. UNM defeated Cincinnati 1-0, a first round participant, and UCSB 2-1, the 2006 NCAA Champs. UNM has split its two matches against top-25 teams, defeating the Gauchos and dropping a 1-0 match to No. 24 Washington.
Graczyk Etching His Named in the Lobo Record book: With a 4-0 win over Cal State Northridge, senior keeper Mike Graczyk became UNM's all-time leader in shutouts with 27 in his career. He passed his predecessor Andrew Weber who played nearly every minute in goal from 2001-04. Graczyk was named to CollegeSoccerNews.com's preseason All-American second team and the Soccer America preseason All-American squad coming in to 2007. His 0.64 career g.a.a. coming into the season was the lowest in school history. Graczyk has been the primary keeper since the start of the 2005 season and played all but 30 minutes in 2007. He is currently in second place on the career wins list with 42. Weber holds the Lobo record with 50 career wins in goal.
BARRERA NAMED MPSF PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Diego Barrera was named the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Player of the Week for Week 3. Barrera, a senior from Thousand Oaks, Calif., scored the game-winner in the Lobos' 2-1 win over No. 9 and defending NCAA Champion UC Santa Barbara on Sept. 16. Barrera transferred to UNM from Loyola Marymount prior to the start of the season. An all-region selection in 2006, Barrera was one of the most sought after transfers in college soccer over the summer. His impact on the Lobos has been immediate, with his other goal being a game-winner against Cincinnati on Sept. 9.
Sajjadi, Brown Power Texans to National title: Sophomores Bryan Sajjadi and Stephen Brown led their Dallas Texas club team to the U.S.Y.S.A. U-19 National Title in July. It is the third straight national championships for the duo as members of the Texans. Ironically, they defeated fellow Lobo Zach Tierney's Chicago Magic squad in the finals.
Academic All-American Streak Continues: When Chris Wright earned CoSIDA ESPN The Magazine 2nd Team Academic All-American honors last season, it gave the Lobos at least one representative on the squad each year since 2003. Duquesne, Maryland and Wisconsin-Milwaukee are the only other schools to have at least one student-athlete honored each year during that same stretch.
Nine All-MPSF Honorees Return: Not only do the Lobos return nine starters in 2007, but they also have nine players who were honored on one of the MPSF's three all-league squads in 2006. Senior's David Gualdarama and Mike Graczyk and sophomore Simon Ejdemyr were first team selections in 2006. Returning from the second team are juniors Mike Porter and Chris Wright and sophomore Zach Tierney while third team honorees who are back from last year include senior Joey Vitagliano, junior Jack Smithson and sophomore Stephen Brown.
Recruiting class ranked NO. 31: CollegeSoccerNews.com pegged the 2007 Lobo recruiting class as the 31st best in the nation. It is the fourth year in a row New Mexico has had its recruiting class in the top-40 by CollegeSoccerNews.com. Senior Diego Barrera, sophomores Charles Conway and Ryan Lytle and freshmen Ryan Farquharson, Joel Theissen and James Urbany make up the 2007 incoming class.
Two All-Americans Ready for 2007: A pair of NSCAA High School/Youth All-Americans are ready for action after redshirtting the 2006 campaign. Freshman Michael Reed, the 2005 New Mexico Player of the Year, had a medical redshirt in 2006 after injuring his knee. He is still rehabbing the injury and could be ready for the season weekend of the regular season. Freshman Gardner Morrow also sat out last season, but the former Vermont Player of the Year is looking for a productive 2007 slate. Other redshirts who are ready to play this season include freshmen Eric Staver, Justin Fite, Dominique Romero and Andrew Parsons.