ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Despite a commending 18-3 edge in the shot count and 8-2 in corner kicks, the sixth-ranked Lobos dropped its match versus No. 1 UCLA 2-1 in front of a raucous crowd of 5,026 fans Sunday night at the UNM Soccer Complex. In fact, UNM so dominated play that the Lobos held UCLA without a shot on goal for 59:46 at one point.
A pair of defensive miscues by the Lobos directly led to each goal by the Bruins. It started in the sixth minute. UCLA blocked a clearance attempt that kept the ball in a dangerous position. The Bruins cut into the box and a foul was called on the Lobos. 2013 Pac-12 Player of the Year Leo Stolz converted the penalty to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead just 6:36 in.
The Lobos started to play their game, though. At the 28 minute mark, Chris Wehan had a chance in the box but his shot went just wide. It didn’t take much longer for them to tie the score.
In the 31st minute Mathew Gibbons controlled the ball on the far side of the box. He played it wide down the side of the box to Josh Goss. The sophomore, who scored the game-winner Friday night against UC Riverside, found James Rogers with a cross by the near post, and Rogers used his hip to direct it into the net to tie the score.
UNM’s pressure didn’t relent. In the 43rd minute Lucas Seligman fired a shot from the near side of the box from about 12 yards out, and UCLA’s keeper, Earl Edwards, was forced to make a diving save.
Early in the second half the Lobos had a flurry of chances. Sam Gleadle had an opportunity from about 16 yards out, but his shot was blocked. The ball went straight to Ben McKendry who launched an effort on goal, but his shot was blocked. It came right back to McKendry who shot another one towards the net, but that shot was also blocked. UCLA eventually managed to clear.
Niko Hansen had a glorious opportunity in the 70th minute. The Bruins had a slight defensive miscue of their own, and Hansen had a chance at a wide-open net, but his shot from about 15 yards out hit the post and bounced out of play.
The Bruins withstood the pressure and took the lead in the 74th minute. UCLA sent a long clearance towards UNM’s box. Freshman keeper Jason Beaulieu, making his first career start due to Patrick Poblete’s two yellow cards against Riverside, charged out to knock it out of play. His clearance was blocked, though, and the ball bounced straight to Christian Chavez who was all alone at the top of the box. He easily put it into the open net to provide the winner.
UNM had a pair of corners and three shots in the last 16 minutes of action, but was unable to draw even.
The American University Eagles were champions of the Grange & Ashwill Memorial Tournament after going 2-0. Goss and Hansen were named to the All-Tournament Team
Grange & Ashwill Memorial Tournament All-Tournament Team
MVP – Jake Weinreb, D, American
Offensive MVP – Dale Ludwig, F, American
Defensive MVP – Christian Robbs, D, American
Stephen Hanschild, MF, American
Conor Osborne, D, American
Edgar Contreres, D, UCLA
Michael Amick, D, UCLA
Leo Stolz, MF, UCLA
Josh Goss, MF, New Mexico
Niko Hansen, F, New Mexico
Stephen Copely, D, UC Riverside
Ashkan Khosravi, GK, UC Riverside
UCLA (6:36): Stolz (PK)
New Mexico (30:54): Rogers (Goss)
UCLA (73:13): Chavez
UCLA: Ndjock (59:00), Torre (62:00), Smith (71:00)
New Mexico: Beaulieu (GK), Gibbons, McGovern, Miele, McKendry, Rogers, Correa, Fisher, Wehan, Gurule, Goss
UC UCLA: Edwards (GK), Torre, Amick, How, Simmons, Vobejda, Stolz, Ndjock, Iloski, Tusaazemajja, Contreres
“It’s pretty disappointing. I think it was our game for the taking. (We made) two little miscues. Both (of UCLA’s) goals came on broken plays. (We led) 18-3 in shots and 8-2 in corners. We dominated play and created quality chances. UCLA has some great players and did some things very well, but on the night, we had the better of the match. That’s one we should’ve put away, and you don’t get those kind of opportunities that often. … I’m not saying everyday we’re better than UCLA, but today we were much better than UCLA.” – Head coach Jeremy Fishbein on the match
“The center backs were a little bit high. Players shouldn’t get that high on a kick that deep. Their guy slipped behind the center backs. Whether the keeper should’ve come off his line, well it should’ve never come to that. … We should’ve had a little deeper starting position and won that ball back.” – Fishbein on UCLA’s second goal
“Mattie (Gibbons) got it out wide, and I cut in a little bit. The overlap was on, and I played the overlap. He played a perfect ball, and James streaked to the near post, and I crossed it right to him and a little hip check and it went right in.” – Josh Goss on UNM’s goal
“We’ve got 14 games left. If we continue to play like we’re playing we’re going to have a lot of success. But you’ve got to score goals. That’s the name of the game. And we’re going to score goals. It’s a good, exciting team. We can’t (look at) this as a setback.
The Lobos hit the road for the first time this season with a pair of matches in California next weekend. They play at CSUN on Friday at 8 p.m. (MT) and at San Diego on Sunday at 6 p.m. (MT).