Sandoval Strikes Twice Against Syracuse on Sunday
Sept. 18, 2011
AKRON, Ohio. --- Over 80 minutes of a nil-score battle between Syracuse and New Mexico culminated in a 2-1 overtime victory for the Lobos in the final 14 minutes of play in UNM's second game of the University of Akron Tournament on Sunday.
The overtime win set New Mexico up for a potential first-place finish in the tournament, pending the outcome of the Akron versus Cal Poly game that followed. Akron's 1-0 victory left the Zips tied for the title with UNM, but New Mexico was named the tourney champions having scored three goals over the course of the weekend to Akron's two.
Though New Mexico created opportunities early against a heavy defensive line displayed by the Orange, the Lobos were unable to convert for the first 80 minutes of Sunday's match. Finally, for the third straight match, the Lobos found the back of the net in the final 10 minutes of regulation. Devon Sandoval finished a corner from Levi Rossi with his back heel in the 81st minute to give New Mexico a 1-0 lead with just nine minutes to play.
Syracuse was seemingly undaunted. Less than a minute and a half later, Jordan Murrell logged his first goal of the season with a hard shot to beat Victor Rodriguez and knot the game 1-1 in the 83rd minute.
"That was frustrating for us late in the game," head coach Jeremy Fishbein said. "That's something that we just can't let happen against any opponent."
Opportunities were present for the Lobos, there's no doubt about that. New Mexico out-shot the Orange 16-6 in regulation, and took 11 corner kicks while giving up none to Syracuse.
With the score tied, the teams headed in the first golden goal overtime period. It was all that the Lobos would need to secure the win. Sandoval logged his fourth goal of the season on a header from about 12 yards out. Rossi was once again credited with the assist.
Sandoval took four shots on the game, one shy of Blake Smith's five to lead the team on the day. He now leads the team with four goals and two assists for 10 points on the season. Murrell's goal came on his only shot of the day, while Nick Roydhouse and Dan Summers logged two shots apiece to pace the Orange.
"I'm happy that we won, and stayed the course, but on the other hand I'm a little bit disappointed with how we played and our maturity," Fishbein said. "We created chances against basically a 10-man defense that we didn't take, especially in the early goings."
Victor Rodriguez gpt the win for UNM, making a lone save in just under 96 minutes manning the pipes. As New Mexico's primary keeper, his 5-0-2 record matches the team's stand headed into week four of the season. Phil Boerger shouldered the loss for Syracuse, as he and the team fell to 2-4-0.
Four Lobos were named to the All-Tournament team. For the second straight weekend, Devon Sandoval picked up Offensive MVP honors, while Kyle Venter was named the Defensive MVP. They were joined by teammates Mathew Gibbons and Travis Campbell.
The Lobos will close out their non-conference schedule hosting Loyola Marymount on Friday at 7 p.m. before opening conference play on the road in week five.