Lobos Head to Akron, Ohio, for the Westfield Insurance Cup
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  08/29/2007
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Aug. 29, 2007

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Up Next: The 10th-ranked University of New Mexico men's soccer team kicks off the 2007 regular season with a trip to Akron, Ohio, to take part in the prestigious Westfield Insurance Cup hosted by the University of Akron this weekend. The Lobos will face the Zips on Friday, Aug. 31, at 5:30 p.m. (M.D.T.) and Hartwick on Sunday, Sept. 2, at 10:00 a.m. (M.D.T.). Live stats will be available on GoLobos.com.

The Westfield Insurance Cup is an eight-team event held at Lee Jackson Field on the UA camps. Four men's and four women's teams face off from Aug. 31-Sept. 2. In addition to the matches, fans can take part in interactive games as a part of Soccer Fest, including a 3v3 tournament. For more information visit www.WestfieldCup.com.

Entering its third year, the Westfield Insurance Cup will be a part of the regular season schedule for the first time. Akron won the event in 2005, with Creighton taking the title last season. Other participants in the Westfield Insurance Cup over the last two seasons include St. John's, Clemson, Maryland, SMU and Connecticut.

The Lobos will be facing both Akron and Hartwick for the first time in school history. The Zips are coming off a 13-5-1 mark in 2006, finishing tied for first in the Mid-American Conference. They were a surprise omission from the NCAA Tournament field last season after advancing to the Final 8 in 2005. A very deep and experienced team, Akron returns nine starters and 15 letter winners from last year's squad. Hartwick is in its first season in the MAC. The Hawks finished 8-10-2 in 2006 and 3-2-1 as a member of the Atlantic Soccer Conference. Hartwick lost six starters and 12 lettermen from the 2006 team.

Event Schedule*
Friday - Aug. 31
Northeastern vs. Binghamton (W) - 12:00 p.m.
UAB vs. Hartwick (M) - 2:30 p.m.
Akron vs. St. Francis (W) - 5:00 p.m.
Akron vs. New Mexico (M) - 7:30 p.m.

Sunday - Sept. 2
New Mexico vs. Hartwick (M) - 12:00 p.m.
Northeastern vs. St. Francis (W) - 2:30 p.m.
Akron vs. UAB (M) - 5:00 p.m.
Akron vs. Binghamton (W) - 7:30 p.m.

*Eastern Time

AKRON ZIPS (0-0-0)
Location: Akron, Ohio
Conference: Mid-American
Head Coach: Caleb Porter (Indiana `98)
Record at Akron: 13-5-1 (1)

Career Record: same
Starters Returning/Lost: 9/3
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 15/5
2006 Record: 13-5-1
2006 Conference Record: 4-1-0 (T1st)
UNM vs. Akron: First Meeting
Top Goal Scorer: Pablo Moreira/Steve Kalan (5G in 2006)
Top Assists: Pablo Moreira/Steve Kalan (4A in 2006)
Top Goalie: Evan Bush (0.738 g.a.a. in 2006)
Notes: Akron scored a pair of wins in the preseason, dropping Michigan State 2-0 and Cleveland State 3-0 in exhibition play last weekend. Both the Lobos and Zips were a part of the National Soccer Festival last weekend in Fort Wayne, Ind., so both teams are familiar with each other even though they didn't face off in the event. Akron returns four 1st Team All-MAC selections from 2006, including junior defender Ossie Michaelson, junior midfielder Matt Tutich, senior midfielder Steve Kalan and senior forward Pablo Moreira. A 1-0 loss at Northern Illinois in the MAC Tournament finals kept the Zips out of the NCAA Tournament despite spending most of the 2006 season ranked in the top-25.
Web Site: www.GoZips.com

Hartwick Hawks (0-0-0)
Location: Oneonta, N.Y.
Conference: Mid-American (Men's Soccer Only)
Head Coach: Ian McIntyre (Hartwick `95)
Record at Hartwick: 49-21-7
Career Record: same
Starters Returning/Lost: 5/6
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 11/12
2006 Record: 8-10-2
2006 Conference Record: 3-2-1 (2nd ASC)
UNM vs. Hartwick: First Meeting
Top Goal Scorer: Chris Jackson (9G in 2006)
Top Assists: Chris Sardon (7A in 2006)
Top Goalie: Joe Gibson (1.09 g.a.a. in 2006)
Notes: Hartwick joins the Mid-American conference for the 2007 season as a men's soccer affiliate. The Hawks play Division I men's soccer and women's water polo and the rest of their sports compete in Division III. Hartwick was ranked in the top-25 during the 2005 season and early in 2006. However, they struggled to a sub-.500 mark last year. The Hawks tied No. 12 St. John's 1-1 in an exhibition match in Queens, N.Y., on Saturday, Aug. 25. John Paul Boyle scored Hartwick's goal in the match.
Web Site: www.Hartwick.edu

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 49-7-8 (.828) in that three-year span. Only Maryland (52-15-5) and UC Santa Barbara (51-15-5) 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 - 49-7-8 - .828
Indiana - 47-11-10 - .765
Akron - 44-11-8 - .762
SMU - 47-12-8 - .761
Maryland - 52-15-5 - .757
UC Santa Barbara - 51-15-5 - .754

Lobos Held Scoreless in the Preseason: New Mexico was shutout in two preseason matches in Fort Wayne, Ind., last weekend. New Mexico fell 3-0 to No. 11 Notre Dame and 1-0 to No. 8 Indiana at the National Soccer Festival at the Fort Wayne Sport Club.

Season Openers: The Lobos are 16-6-2 in season openers all time. A 0-0 tie against Portland last season broke a five-game winning streak in first games of the year. UNM hasn't lost an opener since dropping a 2-0 match to Notre Dame in Las Vegas, Nev., on Sept. 1, 2000.

Graczyk Named Preseason All-American: Senior keeper Mike Graczyk was named to CollegeSoccerNews.com's preseason All-American second team coming in to 2007. The Albuquerque native is one of the top netminders in school history. His 0.64 career g.a.a. is currently the lowest in school history. He also has 24 career shutouts, one shy of the school record set by Andrew Weber (2001-04). Graczyk has been the primary keeper since the start of the 2005 season and played in every minute of every game in 2006.

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.

Lobos Picked to Win MPSF Title...Again: The coached around the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation selected UNM as the preseason favorite to win the MPSF in 2007. New Mexico is going for its fourth straight conference title and the sixth in the last seven years.
2007 MPSF Preseason Coaches Poll
1. New Mexico*
2. Denver
3. San Jose Sate
4. Sacramento State
6. Air Force

In The Rankings: UNM finished the 2006 season ranked No. 12 in the final Soccer America Top-25. The Lobos are No. 10 in the CollegeSoccerNews.com preseason Top-30 and No. 15 in the NSCAA preseason Top-25. New Mexico has now been ranked for 40 consecutive weeks, dating back to the start of the 2004 season.

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.

Saturday, August 15
7:00 PM -
Men's Soccer
vs. Air Force (Exhibition)
Wednesday, August 19
7:00 PM -
Men's Soccer
vs. Grand Canyon (Exhibition)
Saturday, August 22
7:00 PM -
Men's Soccer
at Denver (Exhibition)