Lobo Soccer- at FAU Soccer Stadium
When: Wednesday at 5 p.m. (MT)
Who: Florida Atlantic Owls
GoLobos.com: Live stats, box score, postgame recap and stats
Weather Forecast: 80 degrees, humid, mostly cloudy, NE winds at 11 MPH
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Playing perhaps their best soccer of the season, the No. 12 University of New Mexico men's soccer team travels to Boca Raton, Fla., to take on the Florida Atlantic Owls in a Conference USA matchup Wednesday night at 5 p.m. (MT). The Lobos are coming off a pair of home wins last week: 6-1 over West Virginia and 2-0 over Florida International.
"I'm really happy where we are right now," UNM head coach Jeremy Fishbein said. "Going into these past two games we talked about this four-game stretch and how they're an important four games to kind of see where we lie on the season. ... I feel good going into this road trip. We'll have a nice test Wednesday against Florida Atlantic."
Despite struggling for most of the season, the Owls are coming off their first win of the season, a dominating 3-0 performance at Marshall last Saturday. They're led by Ryan Price, who has scored five of the team's 10 goals this season.
"They're a good team," Fishbein said. "They're coming off a nice win. It's at their place. They're comfortable. They have nothing to lose. It's a team you have to be very respectful of. We have to approach every game like that. There's not an easy game in college soccer. We'll be very humble and excited going into this one. I think we're well prepared."
It certainly helps that Lobo offense is finally starting to click. Ben McKendry scored his first two goals of the season in the rout over West Virginia, Niko Hansen recorded the game-winner in both matches en route to being named C-USA Offensive Player of the Week, and junior transfer Kevin Correa, who was a Preseason All-American and on the watch list for the MAC Hermann Award, scored his first two goals as a Lobo as well, both in pretty spectacular fashion.
"We don't really have that one guy who we say, 'Hey, he really has to deliver," Fishbein said. "It's been nice the last couple of games. Niko scored some big goals. Kevin Correa is scoring goals. Hopefully that momentum will just build and those guys will get on a little roll here."
Series Record: 1-0-0
Home: 1-0-0 Away: 0-0-0; Neutral: 0-0-0
Last meeting: The Lobos won last season’s meeting in Albuquerque 2-0, the only previous meeting between the two schools.
Up Next: UNM plays its final non-conference game of the season when it hosts Missouri State Sunday evening at 6 at the UNM Soccer Complex.
SCOUTING FLORIDA ATLANTIC ... The Owls recorded their first win of 2014 in dominating fashion last Saturday. They defeated Marshall 3-0 on the road behind two goals from midfielder Ramon Whittaker and one from forward Jason Fitzgerald. FAU has had trouble scoring at times this season as seven of its goals have come in just two matches. Senior forward Ryan Price has five of the team’s goals, while Whittaker has three of the others. Sophomore keeper Theo Jamilloux has started all eight games for the Owls and posted a .691 save percentage while allowing 2.01 goals per game as opponents have put 58 shots on net against FAU.
HANSEN C-USA PLAYER OF THE WEEK ... Sophomore Niko Hansen was named Conference USA’s Offensive Player of the Week for his performances against West Virginia and FIU. He scored two goals, both of which were game-winners, as UNM defeated WVU 6-1 and FIU 2-0. It’s his first career honor and the third for a Lobo this season.
QUICK STRIKES ... UNM scored in the first minute in each of its last two matches for just the third and fourth time in program history. On Wednesday, Oct. 1 Ben McKendry converted a penalty just 16 seconds in to open the scoring against West Virginia, which was the fastest goal in school history, and on Saturday, Oct. 4, they took a lead just 43 seconds into the match on a goal by Niko Hansen.
CORREA ROUNDING INTO FORM ... MAC Hermann Watch List honoree and Preseason All-American Kevin Correa appears to be gaining confidence and form at UNM. He scored his first goals as a Lobo last week with one vs. both West Virginia and FIU.
OFFENSIVE OUTBURST ... After tallying only 10 goals in their first eight games, the Lobos erupted for six in a rout of West Virginia on Oct. 1. Ben McKendry scored twice, while Niko Hansen, Chris Wehan, Kevin Correa and Riley McGovern all found the back of the net as well. It was the most goals in a game for UNM since a 7-2 win over Villanova on Aug. 30, 2013.
GIBBONS ENTERS TOP 10 ... Senior Mathew Gibbons is now tied for eighth all-time at UNM in career starts with 72. Also, his 6,453 minutes played put him in ninth place in program history.
ROGERS CLIMBING ... James Rogers’ goal at San Diego on Sept. 14 was the 20th of his career, tying him for ninth all-time in UNM history. Meanwhile, his 155 shots are seventh most and his 57 points are 11th most.
TLC TOURNAMENT CHAMPS ... UNM claimed the championship of its TLC Plumbing and Utility Invitational last weekend by virtue of its plus-two goal differential. Ben McKendry earned Tournament MVP honors, while Nick Miele was named Defensive MVP and Chris Wehan was Offensive MVP. James Rogers and Josh Dye were also named to the All-Tournament Team.
MOST INTERESTING SCORER IN THE WORLD ... Senior midfielder Oniel Fisher has not scored many goals in his Lobo career, but when he does score, it’s a game-winning goal. He has three career goals in 27 matches and each one has been a game winner. Most recently he opened the scoring in UNM’s 2-0 win at San Diego on Sept. 14. He also scored the only goal in UNM’s 1-0 season-opening win over No. 13 Akron on Aug. 29, and his other goal came against Penn St. in the Sweet Sixteen last season, which was the first of two for UNM in its 2-0 win.
BEAULIEU MOVING UP ... Jason Beaulieu continues to make moves in the UNM history book. He now has four wins and four clean sheets on the season. The wins are the third most a freshman has ever had for the Lobos (Nate Busek had five in 1990 and Andrew Weber holds the record with seven in 2001), and his shutout total is the second most ever by a freshman, just one behind Weber‘s total in 2001.
A MILE HIGH AND LOUDER THAN ... The Lobos ranked eighth in the nation in attendance last season, averaging 2,121 fans for each of the team’s 12 home games in 2013. UNM’s match vs. No. 1 UCLA was the second most attended regular-season home game in program history as 5,026 fans came out to UNM Soccer Complex. The Lobos are currently averaging 2,664 fans through seven home matches.
ROGERS UP FOR SENIOR CLASS AWARD... UNM senior forward James Rogers has been named one of 30 national candidates for the Senior CLASS Award. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
NO EASY PATH ... UNM’s schedule is not an easy one to negotiate. Starting with the opener against No. 13 Akron, five of the Lobos’ first seven games are against teams that are either ranked or receiving votes, including a matchup with No. 1 UCLA on Sept. 7.
C-USA FAVORITES ... The Lobos were voted by league coaches as overwhelming favorites to repeat as Conference USA regular-season champions. UNM received seven out of nine first-place votes to finish well ahead of the pack. Charlotte and UAB each also received a first-place vote and finished in second and third, respectively. Senior defender Mathew Gibbons and junior midfielder Ben McKendry were named to the Preseason All-Conference Team.
FISH AMONG THE BEST ... Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein continues to build his coaching legacy at New Mexico. The 2014 season is Fishbein’s 13th at the helm of Lobo Soccer. His UNM record of 168-54-28 makes him the program’s all-time winningest coach. Furthermore, Fishbein has cemented himself among the best in the nation. His 142 wins since 2004 are tied for second in the nation among all active NCAA Division I head coaches.
NCAA Active Win Leaders Since 2004
1st - Sasho Cirovski (Maryland) - 170 wins
T-2nd - Jeremy Fishbein (New Mexico) - 142 wins
T-2nd - Jay Vicovich (Wake Forest) - 142 wins
T-2nd - Tom Vom Steeg (UC Santa Barbara) - 142 wins
5th - Ray Reid (UConn) - 140 wins
6th - Elmar Bolowich (Creighton) - 139 wins
7th - George Gelnovatch (Virginia) - 135 wins
8th - Ken Lolla (Louisville) - 130 wins