ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- The University of New Mexico Lobos found their offense in the second half of UNM's opening match of the Grange and Ashwill Invitational on Friday night, earning a 2-1 victory over CSUN. Freshman Alex Vedamanikam notched his first career goal while junior transfer Antoine Vial scored his second less than three minutes later to kick off the tournament with a victory.
With the win, UNM (3-2-0) tallies its 13th-straight match that the Lobos have gone undefeated at the UNM Soccer Complex, dating back to October 27, 2015. The squad is now 11-0-2 since that time.
CSUN (2-2-0) notched its lone goal of the match in the 74th minute off of a penalty kick to reduce the deficit to one, 2-1.
"I thought we played pretty well. They were a solid team, they had some good players, but I felt like we were pretty comfortable," head coach Jeremy Fishbein said. "Later in the game we got stretched a little bit, there was a moment where we really had to defend. We scored two really nice goals, which I think were deserved.
"The PK made the game interesting, but our defense showed a lot of resilience. My man of the match, Lucas Seligman, stepped up big and played 90 minutes for us. He had a great game."
The first half was in favor of the Lobos statistically, however both teams failed to find the back of the net for the first 45 minutes. It wasn't until the second half that the Lobo offense gained substantial momentum. All three goals in the match were scored within 10 minutes.
The first goal of the game came from Vedamanikam after freshman Nick Taylor and junior Aaron Herrerateamed up to send the ball up the right wing where Vedamanikam was waiting. The rookie fired the ball from the right side of the box into the left side of the net to give UNM a 1-0 lead at the 65:57 mark.
Less than three minutes later, the Lobos increased the lead to 2-0 when Vial put back a save off the foot of Herrera. Herrera notched his second assist of the game on the play at 68:36.
The game looked to be headed for another UNM shutout before a penalty in the box in the 74th minute allowed Papi Diouf a penalty kick. Diouf's ball went into the right side of the net and cut the deficit to one, 2-1 Lobos.
While most of the action happened within 10 minutes, there were several exciting chances on both sides throughout the match.
CSUN threatened in the 59th minute when junior Julio Rubio launched an attack from the left side of the box toward the upper right corner of the net. The ball ricocheted off the crossbar and curved, bouncing off the post and returning to the field of play.
Lobo senior Sam Gleadle responded just moments later with his own narrow attack on net. Gleadle worked his way past the CSUN defense and fired. The ball was saved and Gleadle picked up the rebound, looking for another shot, but the ball was knocked out by the defense.
"These kinds of games teach us that they're not all going to be easy," Fishbein said. "It's good for us to realize that nothing comes easy when you play top teams."
Overall, the Lobos outshot CSUN just 9-8, 5-2 in shots on goal. CSUN ultimately led the day in corners 4-3, and in fouls 13-8. Senior goalkeeper Jason Beaulieu claims the victory for the Lobos, improving to 3-2-0 on the season while tallying one save. Henrik Regitnig collected two saves and falls to 2-2-0 on the season.
The Lobos are set to return to action on Sunday, September 10 at 6 p.m. as they face UC Irvine in the final match of the Grange and Ashwill Invitational.