Smith Stuns Air Force With Final Minute Game-Winner
Oct. 9, 2011
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. --- Once again, the New Mexico Lobos gave fans their money's worth, downing Air Force on the road, 2-1, in the final seconds of regulation. Blake Smith scored both goals for UNM, including the game-winner with 44 seconds left on the clock to keep the Lobos unbeaten headed into week three of Mountain Pacific Sports Federation conference play.
For the second straight game, the Lobos (9-0-2/3-0-0) took an early lead when Smith and Devon Sandoval combined in the 16th minute for the early 1-0 lead. Smith put the moves on Falcon goalkeeper Matt Underwood, forcing him into a dive that allowed for Smith to finish the open net shot.
The Falcons, now 6-4-1/0-2-1 responded just eight minutes later, catching the Lobo back line off guard. Junior Zane Dydasco notched his first goal of the season off of his own rebound, punching it low to Victor Rodriguez's left to find the back of the net and knot the game, one-all.
New Mexico turned up the heat in the second 45, peppering Underwood with 10 shots to Air Force's five on Rodriguez. The Lobos pressured in their offensive half and continued to create consistent opportunities - Giovanni Rollie pinged one off the left post a few minutes in - but were unable to clinch the win until the 90th minute.
Freshman James Rogers was credited with the assist on Smith's game-winner, connecting a pass to him at the top of the box. Smith collected for an upper 90 to Underwood's left, stunning the Falcons in the final seconds of play.
"I was really happy with the way that we played today, Air Force is a tough team to beat on their own field, and we showed a lot of maturity," head coach Jeremy Fishbein said. "Blake Smith had two great goals, and I think we demonstrated a different style of play today.
"I'm just really happy with the outcome of this weekend, we're coming out of it with two road wins, and I'm just looking forward to getting back home in front of our fans next weekend."
Rodriguez made four saves on the day to get the win, while Underwood shouldered the loss and notched five saves. New Mexico outshot the Falcons 19-10, putting seven shots on net.
After winning their first three MPSF games on the road, the Lobos will turn around and host both Denver and Air Force next weekend at the UNM Soccer Complex. Friday night's game against the Pioneers is slated for 7 p.m., and is game two of a double header event with the women's squad.