Stevens: Ten Lobo Moments -- A Fall Season To Remember!
July 22, 2011
Ten Lobo Moments: GoLobos.com is flashing back on ten special Lobo moments from the 2010-11 season.
Previous Flashbacks of 2010-11
By Richard Stevens -- Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
It's always nice to get off to a good start. The start thrown out by several the University of New Mexico athletic programs in the fall of 2010 was more than good. It was NCAA good!
A goal of every sports team is to win a conference title. You want to be the best team in your league. You want to beat your regional rivals and cut down the championship nets.
But surely, the ultimate goal is to charge into postseason play and give your program and your players a shot at a national title. UNM still has only one national title in the bag -- Lobo skiing.
The Lobos set a fall program record by advancing five teams into the NCAA postseason: women`s soccer, men`s soccer, women`s cross country, men`s cross country and volleyball.
Coach Joe Franklin pushed two teams into NCAA play as his men's and women's cross country teams went postseason dancing. Both the men and the women backed up their Mountain West sweeps by sweeping to NCAA regional titles. The UNM women set a program record by finishing fifth at the national run.
Jeff Nelson's surging volleyball program received additional validation as Nelson's Lobos received their second consecutive postseason bid. It was the ninth postseason appearance for Lobo volleyball. UNM earned its at-large bid with a 20-9 season that included a win over Colorado State which helped the Lobos finish No. 2 in the Mountain West Conference.
There also was a huge breakthrough for Kit Vela's Lobo women's soccer program. They powered to their first ever Mountain West title which also helped produce the program's first trip into NCAA play. The Lobos received an at-large bid based on several key factors: the MWC regular-season title, a runners-up finish in the MWC tourney and the gaudy 12-2-5 mark they threw at the NCAA Selection Committee.
A footnote to the women's soccer team's fall season is the tough draw they pulled in the NCAA fray. UNM had to go to Notre Dame and play the eventual 2010 NCAA champions.
Postseason play is status quo for Jeremy Fishbein's Lobo men's soccer program. The Lobos received an at-large bid in the fall of 2010 which was the program's eighth postseason appearance in the past ten seasons. The Lobos went before the NCAA Selection Committee with 9-5-5 mark forged through an extremely challenging schedule and made the 48-team field.
The record set in the fall of 2010 with five program surging into postseason play has a good chance of being matched or beaten in the fall of 2011 as all five of those programs are once again loaded.