Aug. 16, 2012
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - The journey of many miles for the 2012 University of New Mexico men's soccer season began with its first steps on Thursday evening. The Lobos defeated the Cal State Northridge Matadors 3-2 in an exhibition match.
It was quite the welcoming party for some as a trio of Lobos would each tally a goal in their first action in the cherry and silver. Junior Michael Calderon and freshmen Ben McKendry and Christopher Wehan would all find the back of the net on Thursday night. The goal was extra special for Wehan who was playing his first collegiate action 90 minutes from his hometown of Laguna Niguel, California.
"Northridge is a really good team. They've got great technical players and good attacking players, which makes them a really solid team," New Mexico Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein noted.
The Matadors showed Fishbein's words to be true as they would draw first blood. After a slip by a Lobo defender, Northridge sophomore Edwin Rivas would take advantage scoring near post for the game's first goal in the opening ten minutes of play. The lone goal would be the only score in the first 45 minutes of action as New Mexico would have multiple shots hit off the post.
"We came out in the first half, and I thought we were pretty average. We weren't as compact as I would have hoped, and we let the field get a little stretched. This allowed them to do what they are good at and Northridge did a good job," said Coach Jeremy Fishbein.
It would be a tale of two halves as New Mexico would come out the aggressor after the break.
As Coach Fishbein noted, "We went in at halftime and made some changes tactically with how we wanted to play things. We were much more compressed and compact, and the second half the game was pretty much played on their half. I thought we played very well in the second half and were rewarded with two nice goals."
Those two goals came off the feet of Michael Calderon and Ben McKendry. Calderon's goal came on a missile from outside of 20 yards. The Lobos third goal came from McKendry's fellow freshman Christopher Wehan.
"Towards the end we played all of the freshman, and they followed suit with the same expectations as everyone else. It was good to see all of these young guys get their first minutes in a Lobo jersey. " the Lobo Head Coach said.
Coach Fishbein and company wrap up the exhibition portion of the schedule on Saturday afternoon. The cherry & silver travel to the campus of San Diego State University to face the Aztecs at 2 p.m. on Saturday. The team will be off for six days before playing their regular season opener at UCLA at 8 p.m. on Friday, August 24th. That match will be broadcast on the newly-formed PAC-12 Network. For more information about that broadcast, click here.