Sept. 20, 2007
The 28th-ranked University of New Mexico got a much-needed win on the road tonight at Cal State Northridge. The Lobos scored a season high four goals to blank the Matadors 4-0. Senior goalkeeper Mike Graczyk recorded his second shutout of the season and the 26th of his career to break the Lobos' all-time mark. New Mexico improves to 4-3-0 on the season, netting their first road win of the year.
Not only did the Lobos need a win, but they also needed to get their offense going. UNM came into tonight's match with just seven goals in their first six games. UNM had been shutout in two of their first four games at home and were third in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in scoring.
New Mexico got things going early when Chris Wright found the back of the net in the 11th minute. He split the two Matador centerbacks on a run in the middle and took a perfect pass from senior Diego Barrera to give UNM a 1-0 lead. The strike was Wright's team-leading third goal of the season. It was also Barrera's team-high third assist of the year.
After giving up the quick lead, Cal State Northridge controlled play for much of the remainder of the opening period. However, the Lobos were able to send home a demoralizing goal with time winding down in the first period. Sophomore Zach Tierney took a throw-in deep in the Matador half of the field. He found the 6-5 Wright who flicked it across the box. Sophomore P.J. Wilson hit an impressive bicycle kick off a bounce for his second goal of the season with just 11 second left in the half. It was the first assist for both Wright and Tierney, putting New Mexico up 2-0 at the break.
Holding a second half lead has never been a tough task for the Lobos under head coach Jeremy Fishbein. UNM came into the match with a 41-1-2 mark when leading at the half and a 68-2-6 record when scoring first in Fishbein's tenure.
The Lobos tacked on their third goal of the match in the 76th minute by earning their first penalty kick of the season. Sophomore Justin Davis got free on a breakaway but was stopped by Matador keeper Kevin Guppy. Wilson was streaking into the box to put home the rebound, but was pulled down by CSUN defender Matt Tracy. Sophomore Simon Ejdemyr stepped and buried the PK, low-left, for his first career goal and a 3-0 lead. Not only did UNM all but put the game out of reach on the play, but Tracy was sent off with a red card, leaving the Matadors a man down.
UNM scored again in the 87 minute on a turnover by Cal State Northridge. Freshman James Urbany pressured the shorthanded Matador backline, intercepting an errant pass. He took the loose ball and beat Guppy for his first score as a Lobo.
"It is a big confidence boost for us to get a win like this on the road," stated UNM head coach Jeremy Fishbein. "Our forwards are scoring goals and we are starting to come together as a team."
Graczyk was only forced to make one save on seven shots in his record-breaking outing. He passes his predecessor Andrew Weber (2001-04) for the top spot on the Lobos' shutout list.
With the loss, Cal State Northridge falls to 3-2-1 on the season. UNM will now travel to the University of San Francisco (4-1-0) for a Saturday night match against the 12-ranked Dons. That game will be a rematch of the 2006 NCAA Tournament first round contest won by the Lobos 1-0 on a late goal by Stephen Brown. Live video and GameTracker will be available on GoLobos.com for the UNM-USF match beginning at 8:00 p.m. (M.D.T.).