Lobos Blank Grand Canyon in Opening Exhibition of 2011 Season
Aug. 18, 2011
Albuquerque, N.M. --- Blake Smith had a goal and an assist to help fuel the Lobos to a 2-0 win in Thursday evening's exhibition match against the Grand Canyon Antelopes.
The Lobos controlled the pace of the game throughout, and definitely had their chances early on, but were unable to convert shots to goals for the duration of the first half. They peppered GCU keeper Adam Garcia with seven shots over the first 45, including a point-blank rip by senior Lance Rozeboom that Garcia stopped to hold the 0-0 tie headed into the half.
The Lobos remained tenacious in the second, and Smith's game-winner came in the 53rd minute of play off of an assist from Carson Baldinger. Baldinger fed Smith a sharp pass from from the upper left-hand corner of the box, which Smith controlled with a touch and punched low past Garcia into the right side netting.
Smith's goal was all that was needed, but the Lobos got a piece of insurance on a play started by Kyle Venter out of the backfield. Venter found Smith at the top of the box, who fed Lawrence Robledo through the 'Lopes defense for the second goal of the match in the 75th minute of play.
Garcia would leave the game shortly after in the 77th minute, shouldering the loss and having notched four saves on the night. His reliever, Joshua Zehring, logged one save.
Lobo keepers Victor Rodriguez and Patrick Poblete split time in net down the middle, with Rodriguez tallying three saves and Poblete picking up two, as well as the win. Over the course of the game, the Lobos racked up 16 shots to Grand Canyons seven, with six Lobos putting shots on net.
"It was an early goings for us," head coach Jeremy Fishbein said. "They played us tight, but we had chances early that we didn't finish. Then the game got compact and we had a little bit of a tough time breaking through.
"In the second half though, we played some balls better. We played some different players and found the back of the net. There are a lot of good players out there. It's going to make for some tough decisions about playing time, but it was a fun night. The guys had fun. They got on the ball and got after people," Fishbein finished.
New Mexico will host one more exhibition game against Tulsa on Saturday at 7 p.m. before taking on Towson University in the Lobos' regular season home opener on Friday, Aug. 26 in a night game also slated for 7 p.m.