Men’s Soccer: Lobos Win Eighth Straight
Albuquerque, N.M. - The University of New Mexico men's soccer team moved to 8-0-0 with a 1-0 win over Southwest Missouri State today. The win came in the final game of the Lobo Invitational at the UNM Soccer Complex. The Lobos’ lone goal came off a direct kick by senior co-captain Junro Narita in the 19th minute of play. The 28th ranked Lobos (CollegeSoccerNews.com Top-30) used a strong defensive presence from sophomore Danny Bills, and freshmen Brandon Moss and Casey Thompson to help goalkeeer Andrew Weber earn his third shut out of the season.
The Lobos came into today’s game averaging 3.0 goals per contest, but UNM was unable to mount any effective attack against SMS (1-7-0). The Lobos’ 13 shots was their second lowest total of the season, but it was enough to get past a tough Bears team. The Lobos’ only score came in the 19th minute when Narita was fouled just outside the left corner of the box, giving UNM a direct kick. Narita stepped up and hooked a low bender into the lower right side of the goal, just beating Bear goalie Matt Pickens for his second goal of the season.
The UNM defense had its hands full this afternoon, allowing SMS to fire 11 shots in the contest, just the third time UNM has allowed ten or more shots in a game in 2002. However, every time the Bears got close, Bills and company were there to turn them away. Thompson came off the bench just five minutes into the contest, for fellow freshman Matt Chavez, and had a strong showing. Chavez had to leave the game because of lingering effects of a quad contusion he suffered against Georgia State on Friday night, however the injury won’t keep him out of next week’s action.
The Lobos didn’t take long to get used to the adjustment in personnel as they only allowed three of SMS’s shots ever got to Weber. The sophomore goalie was able to stop them all, dropping his goals-against-average to a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation leading 0.625 per game. Bills earned the Defensive MVP award for the invitational, while freshman Lance Watson earned the offensive MVP award. Other Lobos on the all-tournament team included Narita and junior Stian Eriksen.
In the first match of the day, Georgia State (3-4-0) pulled a surprising, 2-1, upset over Air Force (3-4-1). Other all-tournament team members include Air Force’s senior goalkeeper Mike Taylor and senior midfielder Noah Merica-Jones; SMS’s sophomore midfielder Nick Pollard and sophomore defender Jon Watson; and Georgia State’s junior forward Bruce Holt and senior defender Justin Koehler.
UNM next heads out to California for a two-game road trip to Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine. The Lobos go against Cal State Fullerton on Sunday, September 29 at 2:00 p.m. (M.D.T.) in Fullerton, Calif. The Lobos then face UC Irvine on Tuesday, October 1 at 7:00 p.m. (M.D.T.) in Irvine, Calif. UNM’s next home game is Sunday, October 6 against UC-Colorado Springs at 1:00 p.m. at the UNM Soccer Complex.
|Score by Period|1st|2nd|OT|OT|Total| |SMS|0|0|-|-|0| |New Mexico|1|0|-|-|1|
Scoring Summary: UNM - 18:47 Junro Narita (2), unassisted
Statistical Summary |Statistic|UNM|SMS| |Overall Shots|13|11| |Shots on Goal|7|3| |Offsides|1|1| |Corner Kicks|9|2| |Fouls|16|12|