In His Own Words: Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein
Sept. 4, 2012
September 3rd, 2012
EXCITING NEWS! University of New Mexico Men's Soccer is officially joining Conference USA as an affiliate member for the 2013 season and beyond. Conference USA was the highest rated (RPI) Division I Soccer Conference in the country last year. This move will mean more "big time" games in Albuquerque. The nine-team Conference includes South Carolina, Kentucky, Tulsa, UAB, Charlotte and Old Dominion; all perennial NCAA Tournament teams. Conference USA will help us meet our goal of providing the best soccer in the country to our supporters, the people of New Mexico and our players. Check the Lobo website at www.golobos.com for more information this week.
Tough weekend in Tulsa! Our third weekend in a row on the road and the boys are excited to be back home for our next five matches. Our home opener is this Friday night at 7:00 pm versus #25 University of Alabama Birmingham. Today is Labor Day and I'm laboring! University of Tulsa and #20 SMU were our opponents this past weekend. The team was healthy, prepared and excited to play two top opponents. Cutting to the chase!
LOBOS VS UNIVERSITY OF TULSA: 8:00 PM FRIDAY, AUGUST 31, 2012. TULSA, OKLAHOMA
We all were excited to get back on the field, test ourselves against quality opposition and get better. Tulsa is an excellent program whose players are committed to playing skillful, attacking soccer. This year’s team is very good! Great evening for soccer and the pace of the match was tremendous from the get go.
The opening 15 minutes were back and forth, but we settled in and really got a hold of the game. Our reward came in the 25th minute: left back Mattie Gibbons played an entry ball from the left flank and finished his run into the box. Ball bounced out wide to winger Blake Smith, who whipped in an out swinging cross which found Gibbons at the top of the six-yard box for a precision header. 1-0 Lobos and the game seemingly in control.
In soccer, things can change in an instant. Three minutes later, a Lobo miss-clearance and Tulsa hits a shot from inside our box. Routine reflex save by GK Patrick Poblete and the rebound hits the arm of Travis Campbell. Unintentional and play continues… Whistle… An intentional handball is called by the official saying Campbell’s arm prevented the ball from going into the goal. It was an automatic red card and penalty kick awarded. Unbelievable! A game-changing call which is very, very rare. 19 out of 20 times the same official would have called it differently. I couldn't believe it. Tulsa buried the PK and we were challenged to play a man down, ten versus eleven.
Our boys adjusted immediately and finished out the half without further incident. We discussed tactics at half time and reviewed our switch to a 4-4-1 formation, which limited our ability to press from higher areas and required us to really stay compact and pick our attacking moments. We played to perfection… in every way except putting the ball in the net. In the second half, we out-shot Tulsa 10-4 and had a 5-0 advantage in corner kicks in spite of being a man down. We dominated play and had two golden chances in addition to several half chances. No goals and we ventured into overtime encouraged.
Two minutes into the first overtime, a deflected shot, bobbled…rebound… goal… our 23 match undefeated streak over. 2-1 Tulsa in overtime. Our boys’ reaction was excellent.
We understood there were opportunities to finish off the match, and we didn't capitalize on them. A great lesson was learned and on to Sundays match versus nationally-ranked SMU. Link to article.
LOBOS VS SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY: 1:30 PM, SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2012. TULSA, OKLAHOMA
The mark of an excellent team is the ability to rebound from a tough loss… Rebound with a vengeance. The boys were ready to compete and get back to winning ways. The toughest opponent of the day would prove to be the weather. Over 100 degrees with humidity only known to the South and Midwest. SMU is always a tough opponent with a roster stocked with decorated players from around the country. We started very slow and seemed to have trouble adjusting to the heat. In the 18th minute we were punished for poor defending and went down 1-0.
We regrouped and fought back. Our reward came six minutes later, when the “Costa Rican Connection” leveled the score: Calderon corner kick to Adrian Mora Delgado coming off the CK: 1-1 and the first half finished without further excitement.
Pretty slow paced 45 minutes with SMU taking 4 shots to our 3. The boys were pissed at half time. They were focused and ready to get back on the field. The second half was Lobo Soccer at its finest! We out-shot SMU 19-2 and GK Victor Rodriguez challenged to make only one non-threatening save in the half. Goals from Devon Sandoval and Blake Smith made it 3-1 Lobos at the final whistle. It should have been 5-1. Quality soccer for the final 45 minutes of the match! Link to article
The weekend was quite a learning experience. The end of an incredible streak and the beginning of a new one! The team is very focused and ready to play in front of our home crowd. Sunday was goalkeeper Vic Rodriguez's first game back after a two-match suspension dating from last years NCAA Tournament and James Rogers will be back Friday for his first match of the 2012 season. Our home match versus UAB this Friday at 7:00 will be action packed.
Thanks for all your support and GO LOBOS!
To read the Fish Blog in its entirety, click here.