CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- For the third time this season, the Lobos allowed a ranked team to score on penalty kicks and ultimately claim the victory on Saturday night in a road C-USA contest. The (RV) Lobos dropped their second C-USA game to #17 Charlotte on the road on Saturday night by a score of 2-1 and are now 1-2 in conference play, 7-4 on the season.
The match marks the first time this season that the Lobos have scored, but not claimed the victory.
"This is a pretty disappointing loss, not a good first half with two PKs off mistakes," head coach Jeremy Fishbein said. "But to the guys' credit, we challenged them at halftime and we had a real good second half. We got an early one, made a couple of pushes but weren't able to find the second.
This is something to learn from, we're back on the road next week where we'll look to get back on track."
Charlotte's (7-2-0, 3-1-0 C-USA) first goal of game came in the 14th minute, when junior goalkeeper Jason Beaulieu registered his first yellow card of the season to allow Charlotte's Brandt Bronico to take a penalty kick. Bronico, who scored the gamewinner against the Lobos last season, launched the ball toward the right side of the net and found the back after Beaulieu lunged left to give the 49ers a 1-0 lead.
Despite the setback, the Lobo offense continued to attack, posting five corner kicks to two for the 49ers in the first half. New Mexico also outshot Charlotte 4-3 on the half.
Charlotte scored its second goal of the game with 10 minutes left in the first half (34:35). Bronico stuck again after another Lobo foul handed him a penalty kick in the box. He fired into the top right corner to take a 2-0 advantage heading into the break.
Four of the seven goals scored against New Mexico this season have been off of penalty kicks.
Prior to Bronico's two first-half goals, the senior had notched just one goal in 2016.
The Lobos cut the deficit in half when senior Niko Hansen, who has been leading the UNM offense all season, scored his ninth goal of the season in the 55th minute. Hansen took a through ball from redshirt-freshman Devin Boyce and followed it with a run to the net. Hansen drove and nearly tripped up near the 6-yard box, but regained his composure and fired into the bottom left corner of the net to make it 2-1 49ers, giving UNM a boost of confidence.
The Lobos threatened the equalizer in the 75th minute when senior Chris Wehan lined up a free kick near the edge of the box. Wehan's shot was deflected by Charlotte keeper Elliot Panicco, however, leaving just 15 minutes left for UNM to tie it up.
New Mexico failed to find the back of the net again as the Lobos fell 2-1. The loss marks just the fourth of the season for UNM, three against ranked teams including Notre Dame and Indiana, as well as Kentucky who is currently ranked.
Overall both squads tied in shots with seven apiece while UNM posted six corner kicks to four for the 49ers.
The Lobos are scheduled to return to action on Saturday, Oct. 15 as they travel to Florida Atlantic and continue C-USA play. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. MT.