ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - No. 14 New Mexico hadn't scored more than three goals in a match all season. They nearly quadrupled that season-high total for goals in their 11-0 shutout of UNLV in front of a crowd 3,109 at the UNM Soccer Complex Friday night. The offensive explosion included a hat trick from Devon Sandoval. It was an exciting night of soccer as it was "Think Pink Night" at the UNM Soccer Complex as the Lobos wore pink jerseys in honor of breast cancer awareness.
The eleven goals are the most scored by the Lobos in a game versus a NCAA Division I opponent. It was the second-highest single goal output in the program's 29-year history. UNM scored thirteen goals in the program's second-ever match against Northern New Mexico on September 10, 1983.
"There's not much to say. We were pretty good. I consider their coach a great guy and a friend, but that's not what you want to do to that kind of an opponent. It wasn't like they were soft goals... We hit some unreal goals, and the guys were really firing," said Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein.
The Lobos began their record-breaking night with a record-breaking scoring pace. UNM scored 5 goals in the first 15 minutes of play, which was a record. The scoring action began within the first 90 seconds when Devon Sandoval scored the first of his three goals on the night off a James Rogers flick.
Three minutes later, the roles would be reversed as Devon Sandoval would set up James Rogers for a goal with a beautiful back heel pass off a Levi Rossi cross. By the end of the initial fifteen minutes, five different Lobos had scored with seven different Lobos registering a point.
The five-goal outburst would not be the only scoring action of the half. Redshirt freshman Casey Phillips would score his first-career goal off a free kick from nearly 25 feet outside the box.
Lost in the first half offensive statistics and records was the domination of possession by New Mexico. UNLV didn't register a single shot or corner kick in the first half. UNM out-shot UNLV 15-0 in the first half with eight of their shots being on goal. Victor Rodriguez, whose night would end at halftime, only touched the ball on snags of a few Rebel crosses.
The home team picked up right where the left off in the second half. Devon Sandoval scored his second and third goals of the night in the 49th and 55th minutes to push the Lobo lead to 8-0.
With a bench emptied, New Mexico continued to find the back of the net. Their final three goals of the night were all scored in the final thirty minutes of action. Those final scores saw Lawrence Robledo and Josh Dye score their first goals of the season. Those final scores also saw three different Lobos record their first assist of the season.
The Rebel offense did pick things up in the second half after not registering a shot or a corner in the first half. UNLV recorded eight shots with two on goal and a corner kick in the final 45 minutes of action. They forced Patrick Poblete to record two saves on the night.
By match's end, the Lobos tallied eleven goals on thirty shots taken with nine different players tallying an assist. It was, statistically, the most dominant game in program history.
"What can you say? We can't find faults in these things. We were very good, and we got to play a lot of guys. Some of our big-minute guys got to rest, and it set us up for an exciting match on Sunday against a great team. We will try to enjoy it because these things don't happen very often, if ever," Coach Fishbein commented.
New Mexico will look to carry their momentum over to Sunday's match-up versus CSU Bakersfield. The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation showdown is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at the UNM Soccer Complex. It will also be a double header as the Lobo women's soccer team plays Wyoming at 11 a.m.
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