National Media List Lobos Among National Title Contenders
Aug. 15, 2012
LONG BEACH, Calif. - TopDrawerSoccer.com, one of the country's renowned national soccer media outlets, has released their top ten national title contenders. The University of New Mexico's men's soccer program was selected as of its ten national championship contenders on Wednesday.
TopDrawerSoccer.com spoke highly of the 2012 Lobos.
"The Lobos look set to maintain the high level they achieved a year ago.
Plenty of pieces from 2011 are back in play for the fall, and have the experience demanded by the NCAA Tournament. Forward Devon Sandoval will provide a lot of the punch in attack, and speedy winger James Rogers offers a creative spark out wide, while Kyle Venter provides leadership and experience along the back line.
The rest of the list is a "who's who" of national caliber men's soccer programs. They include Akron, North Carolina, UC Santa Barbara, West Virginia, Wake Forest, Creighton, Maryland, Louisville and Georgetown. Those nine programs represent seven national championships since 2001.
The preseason recognition for the Lobos is propelled by their historic 2011 season that saw New Mexico finish with an 18-0-4 record. That was not only the first undefeated season in program history, but the Lobos would finish the 2011 season as the only undefeated team in the country.
The cherry & silver return nine starters and 18 letter winners from last season that made it to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Among those coming back in 2012 are Devon Sandoval and Kyle Venter who were named to the prestigious Hermann Watch List earlier this week.
Coach Fishbein and company begin their exhibition play this week with a pair of matches in California. They open at Cal State Northridge on Thursday at 8 p.m. (MT) before traveling south to play San Diego State at 2 p.m. (MT) on Saturday. The program will open its regular season with a top-ten opponent in UCLA. The match is scheduled for Friday, August 24th at 8 p.m. on the campus of UCLA in Los Angeles.