Sept. 17, 2010
Lobo Soccer Classic -- Lobo Soccer Complex
Friday: Lobos 1, Buffalo 0; UC Santa Barbara 2, Harvard 0
Sunday: Lobos vs. Harvard, noon; USSB vs. Buffalo, 10 a.m.
By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
For Lobo coach Jeremy Fishbein, it gets a "little bit weird" on Sunday as he faces two "dear friends," in UNM's second game of the 2010 Lobo Classic.
Of course, when Fishbein looks across a field of grass at "friends" wearing colors that oppose and threaten his Lobos, well, Fish isn't all that friendly. Fish will only have "won" thing on his mind at noon Sunday at the Lobo Soccer Complex - beat Harvard and his buddies, and notch up another big win for his Lobos.
"It's going to be a little bit weird," Fishbein said after UNM's 1-0 win over Buffalo Friday night in front of 2,395 soccer fans. Fishbein was referring to Sunday's game with Harvard which is coached by head coach Carl Junot and assistant coach Mike Graczyk.
These Harvard guys are ex-Lobos. Junot coached with Fishbein at UNM for five years and Graczyk spent five seasons guarding a goal for Fishbein. But for 90 minutes on Sunday, they won't exactly be on Fishbein's Christmas list.
There might not be a champion crowned Sunday in the Lobo Classic, but there could be two undefeated teams and Fishbein is planning for his Lobos (3-1-1) to be one of them. The Lobos first shutout of the season followed UC Santa Barbara's 2-0 win over Harvard, which is ranked No. 6 in one poll and No. 17 in another.
Regardless which number you place on Harvard, the Lobos get their shot to knock off another ranked team. UC Santa Barbara and Buffalo will run at 10 a.m., Sunday on Lobo grass.
The Lobos got the only goal they needed with 3:09 left to play in the first half when Josh Caffey made a strong run at the Bulls' net and got a beautifully-timed pass from teammate Kyle Venter. Caffey powered the ball past the Buffalo keeper, who had no chance to defend.
It was a good thing that Caffey found net on that play. The Lobos got off no shots in the second half.
"We didn't need a shot," said Caffey, through a smile. "We already had our goal. We just needed the shutout."
Caffey's goal was a pretty one. UNM set it up by maintaining control of the ball after several corner kicks. One of those corner kicks was rejected out to Venter, who sent the ball screaming in front of the Buffalo net as Caffey and Michael Kafari made strong runs. Caffey got to the ball first.
"I'm glad the ball didn't get to (Kafari) because I think he was offside," said Caffey. "I was just hanging out in the middle near the P.K. (penalty kick) spot. The ball went wide and Kyle puts a perfect ball in front of the net and all I had to do was run in and tap it. Easy goal for me.
Lobos Play Harvard At Noon Sunday at Lobo Soccer Complex
It did and UNM had the win. Caffey, playing with a soft cast on his fractured right forearm, had his first goal of the season.
Buffalo had one good chance at a goal, and a shot, in the first half, but a cross heading toward a breaking Bull was gobbled up by UNM keeper Victor Rodriquez a moment before it reached the Bull's feet. "Victor is a great goalie," said Fishbein. "We have five great goalies. Victory played very well and made that one very good save."
The Lobos' dominance in the first half obviously was reflected on the scoreboard with their 1-0 lead at the break. The stats sheet might have been even a better indicator. The Bulls had exactly no shots on goal and no shots period in the first 45 minutes.
The Lobos were shutout in the second half when it came to shots, but Buffalo had only two shots, both of them on net. "Our defense was solid," said Caffey.
Said Fishbein: "We locked it down. We talked about when we have a lead, we don't give that lead up. Not every game is going to be wide open with two or three goals. We talked about getting a good defensive shape and not letting teams win (balls). They (Buffalo) played pretty defensively. That wasn't an easy team to break down."
Harvard didn't exactly look like the No. 6 team in the nation in its loss to UC Santa Barbara. The Crimson have a chance to make up for that stumble with a win over UNM on the UNM field - a tough place to win.
"You always want to play a ranked team," said Caffey. "You always want to beat `em."
Fishbein does, too. He'll worry about making up with his friends when it's all over.