#11 New Mexico –7 Villanova- 2 (Match Report)
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein and the eleventh-ranked New Mexico Lobos were hoping to have plenty of fireworks for their home fans in their season opener versus Villanova. With a spirited crowd filled with vuvuzelas, UNM fed off the Lobo faithful and delivered seven goals Friday night.
James Rogers drew first blood when he corralled a bouncing corner kick and found the back of the net in the 22nd minute. The frenzied crowd was silenced just 23 seconds later when a defensive lapse by New Mexico gave Villanova the equalizer courtesy of Padraic McCullaugh.
UNM came back with three goals in a nine minute span to take control of the game 4-1 at half time. The trio of goals featured a second goal from James Rogers along with scores from Michael Calderon and Riley McGovern.
The Lobo attack did not waver in the second half as freshman Niko Hansen played a role in all three goals in the final 45 minutes. The forward scored twice while assisting on another goal as he celebrated with a backflip, which conjured up memories of former Lobo Blake Smith. Hansen’s five points in his collegiate debut is among the best performances by a freshman in his first career UNM match.
New Mexico: (21:17) James Rogers (unassisted)
Villanova: (21:40) Padraic McCullaugh (Matt Wiltse Assist)
New Mexico: (30:13) Michael Calderon Penalty Kick
New Mexico: (81:52) Niko Hansen (Unassisted)
Villanova: (82:15) Chris Hill (Oscar Umar)
New Mexico Lineups
New Mexico starters: Lisch (GK), Fisher, Venter, Miele, Gibbons, McKendry, Kafari, Rogers, Calderon, Hansen and Wehan.
First half substitutes: Wypych (34:44), Goss (38:42),
Second half substitutes: Dye (50:47), Rochowski (63:29), Armstrong-GK(76:35), Harris (78:24), Reyes (78:24), Gurule (81:21), Klepac (82:12)
“Offensively I thought we were pretty good. We haven’t had a lot of our big guns out there together during practice until just the last couple of days. I didn’t know quite what to expect. Our goal going into the game was to be good defensively and the offense would come around. We were really good today on the ball.”
-Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein
“It (tonight) feels great. We were struggling a little bit in the beginning in the exhibition games. We lost against Air Foce and came back with a win at Denver. And now we are pretty happy with this score… We took an opportunity, with every chance we had, and we made it happen.”
“I think it’s just good because we have been working very hard, and that we were ready to play.”
– James Rogers on team’s passing
The Lobos will take to the road for a pair of tough road matches. Coach Fishbein and company will play at #24 VCU on Friday, September 6 at 7 p.m. at SportsBackers stadium in Richmond, Virginia. The Cherry & Silver will then play at #3 Georgetown on Sunday afternoon.