ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The No. 14 New Mexico men’s soccer team defeated CSU Bakersfield (7-4-4, 4-3-0 MPSF) 2-0 in a shutout of one of the more potent scoring attacks in the nation. The Lobos limited the Roadrunners, including one of the nation’s leading scorers in Gyasi Zardes, to just two total shots. It marked the seventh shutout of the season for UNM.
Offensively the Lobos received goals from senior Levi Rossi (18th minute) and sophomore Adrian Mora Delgado (71st minute). Rossi’s goal, his first of the season, came via a header off a Michael Calderon corner kick. Mora Delgado’s second-half goal came after a scrum of players had piled into the Bakersfield box. The sophomore calmly put the ball into the net to the far post from twelve yards out.
According to Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein, this was New Mexico’s best performance of the year in the sense they went out and completely accomplished their game plan. Fishbein explained, “Tactically, it didn’t have to be pretty. We were going to clog up the middle, deny entry balls and force things wide. Our guys were great.”
The Lobo defense was stout from the opening whistle. The Roadrunners were unable to register a shot in the first half and didn’t get their first shot off until the 62nd minute. CSU Bakersfield’s shot-less first half marked the second straight match UNM has not allowed a shot in the first half.
With a one-goal advantage after the first half, New Mexico dominated the first 45 minutes statistically. Their shot advantage was 8-0 with five of their shots being on goal. They also held a 4-1 advantage in corner kicks.
The only shot on goal for Bakersfield came off the foot of Gyasi Zardes on the team’s first shot of the game in the 62nd minute. Victor Rodriguez made the save of the Zardes shot, which was taken from outside the box. It was the 100th career save for the senior from Las Cruces.
“I thought we defended with a lot of confidence. We played extremely well against this team. Bakersfield is a team that wants to attack. They want the ball and to attack out of high areas, and we denied that,” said Coach Fishbein
By match’s end, New Mexico held a 14-2 shot advantage and a 7-2 corner kick advantage.
Sunday afternoon’s victory, played in front of a crowd of 1,282 spectators, advances the New Mexico record to 12-3-0 (5-2-0 MPSF). It marks the program’s 13th season of twelve or more wins, and it’s the eighth such season under Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein. The victory also moves Victor Rodriguez into fourth place in the program’s all-time wins list with 32 wins. Rodriguez is also third in program history in career shutouts.
Coach Fishbein and company will take to the road for the last time in conference play. They will face San Jose State on Friday, October 26 before traveling north to play Seattle University on Sunday, October 28th.