ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Niko Hansen scored his first goal of the season Friday night as the No. 15 New Mexico men's soccer team shut out visiting Missouri State 1-0 in front of 2,498 fans. Hansen's goal in the 64th minute snapped a shutout streak of 411:21 by the Bears.
"It felt good of course," Hansen said of scoring his first of the season. "It was an incredible team goal. We had been fighting the whole game, and we knew we were going to get one, so it felt good to put one in for the team."
The play started with Hansen winning a cleared header by Nick Rochowski. He spun and attacked up the left flank of Missouri State's defense. He cut back, waited for support and eventually found Josh Goss near the top of the box. Goss passed it on to freshman fullback Aaron Herrera. His low cross skipped just past Matt Dorsey but found Hansen on the doorstep for the easy tap in.
"It was a pretty well-played game," UNM head coach Jeremy Fishbein said. "They had only given up two goals all season coming in. They were well organized and didn't leave themselves open. … We were pretty disciplined. It was a mature performance (by us). It was closer than you'd like, but I thought we showed a lot of maturity and it was great to see Niko get his first of the season.
The first half was filled with mostly half-chances with the Lobos having the most dangerous opportunities. Goss' cross into the box in the 20th minute off a free kick found Rochowski at the back post, but the big center back's attempt was just wide. In the 40th minute Goss again sent in a great cross with a streakingSam Gleadle in a dangerous position, but an MSU defender headed it out of danger. UNM finished with three shots on goal in the half, all of which were taken by Goss.
"A lot of guys stepped up tonight," Fishbein said. "I thought Francesco Casucci had a great game. Yuri Domiciano had a great game at left back. Matt Dorsey came in off the bench and was really good. That's how you know you're a good team."
Hansen had a chance to double his talley in the 73rd minute with a spin move in the box, but Liam Priestly came up with a big save for the Bears. The Lobos outshot the Bears 10-6 and allowed just one on frame, and that came in the opening minutes of the contest.
"We'll take the shutout," said Fishbein. "We were really disciplined, we didn't commit many fouls, and we allowed just one shot on goal. It was a good performance. … It was an important (win). It's going to be another great one on Sunday."
The Lobos host No. 21 American University on Sunday. The Eagles defeated No. 18 LMU 1-0 earlier in the day in the TLC Plumbing & Utility Invitational. American came into the weekend second in the nation in scoring offense at 3.33 goals per game.
Hansen (63:56): Hansen (Herrera)
MSU: Priestly (GK), Burtenshaw, Woods, Griffin, Lightbourne, Oslica, Birk, Buckle, Midgley, Barbero, Ingram
New Mexico: Beaulieu (GK), Rochowski, Goss, Hansen, Khouri, Domiciano, Wehan, Gurule, Herrera, Dye, Kajermo
The Lobos conclude the TLC Plumbing & Utility Invitational Sunday night at 6 when they host No. 21 American, which defeated No. 18 LMU earlier Friday afternoon.