Oct. 24, 2010
By Chelsea Einerwold, Writer/GoLobos.com
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Nothing was settled Sunday afternoon at the University of New Mexico Soccer Complex in a match which featured the top division teams in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Conference. New Mexico men's soccer team, leader of the Mountain division, tied with California State University Bakersfield, leader of the Pacific division, 0-0 in double overtime in front of a crowd of 3, 353.
The Lobos are now 7-4-2 overall and 4-2-1 in the conference, while the Roadrunners are 9-3-3 overall and remain the only unbeaten team in the MPSF at 4-0-3 in league play.
New Mexico remained solid on defense, posting their fourth straight shutout. Justin Holmes had one save and recorded his fifth shutout of the season.
"First and foremost, our goal for the game was to have a shutout and we accomplished that," said Lobo head coach Jeremy Fishbein. "I felt like we were pretty solid in the back."
Holmes says the sound Lobo defense is a matter of mentality and focus.
"I think it's just an attitude back there," said Holmes. "All four of us stick together throughout the whole game."
Lobo senior Michael Reed agrees that attitude has played a role in the recent tough-as-nails defense.
"I think we have an attacking attitude with one-on-one defending," said Reed. "We've been more strict with our general (defensive) shape and I think we're just taking more pride in our defense."
Offensively, the match was almost all Lobos. New Mexico had 21 shots, including 10 shots on goal, to just six shots by CSU Bakersfield. The Lobos kept Roadrunner keeper Eric Shannon busy, but he did not waver and recorded his seventh shutout of the season.
"It was about as one-sided of a game as you could have," said Fishbein. "We have to finish those games off."
While New Mexico didn't get the win, Fishbein remains positive and is convinced the Lobos will perform well for the remainder of the regular season and at the MPSF Conference Tournament in November.
"We've had four great defense games in a row and four games creating opportunities and outplaying our opponents," he said. "We just have to keep our heads high and focus on the next game."
This was the final home game of the regular season for New Mexico. The Lobos hit the road next weekend to face Sacramento State on Friday, Oct. 29, and San Jose State on Sunday, Oct. 31. New Mexico's final regular season game is Nov. 6 at UNLV.