#9 New Mexico –1 Santa Clara-0
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – It was nearly déjà vu for New Mexico (3-0-1) as weather delayed the start of the ninth-ranked Lobos’ 1-0 victory over Santa Clara (0-4-0) in the 2013 TLC Plumbing & Utility Invitational. UNM fought the elements throughout the preseason but didn’t let the delayed start keep them from claiming the victory over the Broncos.
After the lightning delay was over, and the match began, the game took a defensive feel. It seemed the weather delay had forced a delay in offensive rhythm as well. Both sides were feeling each other out as neither side recorded a shot on goal in the first half. New Mexico’s best chances were a pair of Kyle Venter headers in the box that missed wide. Christopher Wehan and Michael Calderon also registered shots for the Lobos but neither was on goal in the first 45 minutes of action.
The low-scoring pace continued to open the second half. The Lobo faithful would have to wait twenty minutes into the second half before James Rogers delivered the goods for the Lobos. For the second-straight match, it was a combination play from Calderon and Rogers that triggered the scoring action. This time Rogers would collect the Calderon pass and flick the ball high over the Santa Clara keeper. The left-footed, sky scraping flick found the back of the net to give the forward his fourth goal of the young season.
New Mexico finished the match off to earn the shutout. The Cherry & Silver held the Broncos to just six shots to UNM’s 15. Just one of the visitor’s shots was on goal. Coach Fishbein and company also doubled up Santa Clara in corner kicks at 4-2.
New Mexico – 64:58 – James Rogers (Michael Calderon assist)
New Mexico Starters: Lisch (GK), Gibbons, Venter, Miele, Fisher, Calderon, Kafari, McKendry, Rogers, Wehan and Hansen.
First Half Subs: McGovern (29:47), Rochowksi (35:12) & Wypych (37:19)
Halftime Subs: Dye
Second Half Subs: Goss (69:03)
“I don’t think it was the prettiest of soccer games, but I think Santa Clara played it how they wanted to play it. They wanted to disrupt the game, wanted to play big, wanted to play off second balls, and they were good at that. The way they pressed with their front five, we didn’t really figure it out in the first half. We started to figure it out in the second half… It’s a good confidence builder though. It’s a shutout for us. I thought our guys were tough.” – Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein
It will be back to the pitch in less than 48 hours as the Lobos will face #11 Cal State Northridge on Sunday evening at 6 p.m. as the 2013 TLC Plumbing & Utility Invitational wraps up at the UNM Soccer Complex.