Oct. 21, 2011
SEATTLE, Wash. --- A perfect 6-0-0 conference record and an overall 12-0-2 mark accompanies the New Mexico Lobos as they head into their final MPSF road game of the season on Sunday against Cal State Bakersfield. The Lobos defeated the Seattle Redhawks 2-1 on Friday evening to kick off their final road trip of the regular season.
The Lobos took an early lead within the first five minutes on what’s become a typical Blake Smith to Kyle Venter corner kick set piece. Smith sent a cross in for center back Venter to put away, giving the Lobos a 1-0 lead before Seattle could even get warmed up.
New Mexico continued the pressure throughout the half, but was unable to convert offensively while the defensive line held off a determined Redhawk front.
Seattle began to turn the corner offensively at the end of the first half, and the pressure paid off in the 51st minute of play. Mikey Ramos sent the momentum into the Lobo box with a cross across the goal mouth, which was mishandled by Michael Green and culminated in a tying own goal to put the score at 1-1 in the 51st minute.
Both teams saw opportunities following the tying goal in the second half. Victor Rodriguez made five saves on the night while Seattle goalkeeper Marshall Reese tallied four. Two of the four saves worked to deny shots on goal by Lobo junior Devon Sandoval, who leads the UNM offense with 21 points on the season. Levi Rossi also had a chance to give the Lobos the go-ahead goal in the second half of play, but it was redshirt freshman Carson Baldinger that notched the game winner in the 75th minute of play.
For his second career game-winner, Baldinger cleaned up another Blake Smith corner kick from 10 feet out to beat Reese and give the Lobos the eventual 2-1 win.
Rodriguez made one final save in the 82nd minute to preserve the win in an evenly matched game. Seattle matched the Lobos 14 shots to 14, and both sides earned four corners as well. Rodriguez improved to 12-0-2 with the win, while Reese fell to 1-2-0 with the Redhawks overall drop to 2-9-2 (1-5-0 MPSF).
While Venter and Baldinger notched UNM goals, it was freshman James Rogers who accounted for four of New Mexico's shots on the night, followed by Sandoval with three shots and Rossi with two, both of which fell on net.
“We got off to a good start in the early goings with a great header by Kyle Veneter, but got a little complacent through the rest of the game,” head coach Jeremy Fishbein said. “But the guys found a way to persevere and clinch the win.”
New Mexico will close out their final road trip with a game at Cal State Bakersfield on Sunday, slated for 2 p.m. mountain time.