LOBO FLASHBACKS: Lobo Flashbacks is a summer feature of GoLobo.com looking back on special teams, players, games or moments from the 2013-14 University of New Mexico athletic seasons.
Today: Fishbein’s Lobos Charge to College Cup
By Richard Stevens – Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
Really, it was almost a typical season for Jeremy Fishbein’s 2013 Lobos: All-Americans in Kyle Venter and Michael Calderon, a Conference USA title, Fishbein Coach of the Year, Venter MVP -- same old, same old.
But there was something special: A Final Four.
It is special for the obvious reason. It’s a Final Four. It’s also special to New Mexico because no other Lobo program has ever reached the Final Four coming out of a tournament format of elimination. Fishbein’s Lobos also reached their third consecutive Sweet 16 in 2013. His Lobos were one of four teams (out of 198) that reached the NCAA College Cup held this past season in Philadelphia.
“You can’t help but enjoy it,” said Fishbein. “It’s a special experience. You would love everyone who has played for you or worked with you to experience something like this.”
The Lobos rolled into postseason play as the Conference USA champions and also as the NCAA No. 7 seed. The Lobo lost to eventual national champions, Notre Dame, in a game Fishbein said his Lobos were not “at our best.”
Still, it was a special and exceptional season and maybe the most impressive thing about this Final Four charge was the target that the 2013 Lobos carried on their backs heading into the fight and heading into Conference USA play.
“The guys did an excellent job of staying the course,” said Fishbein.
The Lobos of 2011 went 18-0-4 and in 2012 Fishbein’s Lobos opened the season with a No. 2 ranking and ended the season ranked in the Top 10. The powers of the Conference USA knew the Lobos were coming, but they couldn’t stop them from mounting the throne.
Actually, there weren’t too many teams that could stop the Lobos in 2013 and it took the national champion to end New Mexico’s season.