Jan. 7, 2013
WILTON, Conn. – University of New Mexico men’s soccer standouts Devon Sandoval and Ben McKendry received additional awards from the national soccer media. Soccer America placed Sandoval on their National MVP Second Team and McKendry on the National All-Freshmen Second Team. The pair of accolades give each Lobo nearly a half-dozen post-season individual awards.
Senior Devon Sandoval leaves the Lobo Soccer program after one of the finest and most-decorated individual seasons in New Mexico history. He finished 2012 among the nation’s leading scorers with 15 goals as well as seven assists. He became the first Lobo since 2005 to be a MAC-Hermann Award semifinalist, and the Albuquerque native also picked up All-American awards from both the NSCAA and College Soccer News.
His three goals and two assists in UNM’s historic 11-0 victory over UNLV were the first Lobo hat trick since 2005 and the third most points scored in a game in conference history. Sandoval was also a First Team All-MPSF performer that was the three-time MPSF Player of the Week. The forward also had three TopDrawerSoccer National Team of the Week appearances to his name. He and fellow senior Blake Smith are two of the 54 players in the nation participating in the upcoming MLS Pre-Draft Combine.
Freshman Ben McKendry was named to the Second Team All-Freshmen Team by Soccer America. It marks the fourth premier freshman award he has received this year. The native of Vancouver, British Columbia was also voted to national All-Freshmen teams by TopDrawerSoccer, College Soccer News as well as being named the MPSF Newcomer of the Year.
The Canadian's seven goals were the most by a New Mexico freshman since the late Ben Ashwill scored twelve goals as a freshman in 2002. His scoring output was third on the team and among the top 15 in the nation for freshmen.
Sandoval, McKendry and the rest of the Lobos finished the 2012 season in the Sweet 16 of their ninth NCAA Tournament appearance in eleven seasons. UNM's Sweet 16 appearance was their fourth all-time and their second-consecutive NCAA Third Round showing. Their 17-4-1 final record helped tie the program’s mark for most wins in a two-year span. The 2011 and 2012 Lobos combined to win 35 matches, which ties the mark set by the 2004 and 2005 seasons.