Lobo Soccer- hosting The TLC Plumbing and Utility Invitational at the UNM Soccer Complex (6,200)
When: Friday at 7 p.m. (MT) vs. Drexel; Sunday at 6 p.m. (MT) vs. VCU
Who: Drexel Dragons, VCU Rams and CSUB Roadrunners
GoLobos.com: Live stats,box score, live stream, postgame recap and stats
Video: Both Lobo games will be streamed live via the MWN at GoLobos.com
Weather Forecast: Friday: 77 degrees and partly cloudy; Sunday: 80 degrees and 30 percent chance of thunderstorms
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The University of New Mexico men's soccer team returns home after a successful two-game swing to California to host its second and final tournament of the year when it hosts the TLC Plumbing and Utility Invitational this weekend. The fourth-ranked Lobos will face Drexel Friday night at 7 and VCU Sunday night at 6. Both of those squads made the NCAA Tournament in 2013. Rounding out the field are the Bakersfield Roadrunners.
"They’re both quality teams," UNM head coach Jeremy Fishbein said of Drexel and VCU. "They both made the NCAA tournament last year. I think they’re both going to be great games."
VCU is coming off a win at then-No. 6 Georgetown and a close 1-0 loss to then-No. 15 Virginia, and Drexel has been stout defensively, having conceded just three goals in five matches.
"Drexel is well coached, tough and defensive minded," said Fishbein. "I think they’re going to be a real battle Friday night. It’s their first trip out here from Philadelphia. I hope our fans will give them a nice welcome. We’re hoping for a great environment.
"Not getting ahead of ourselves, but VCU is one of the most exciting teams in the country. They defeated No. 6 Georgetown last week and lost late to No. 15 Virginia on Monday. They’re a tough team and it should be a great test."
The Lobos, meanwhile, defeated Northridge and San Diego on the road last weekend by scores of 1-0 and 2-0, respectively. Chris Wehan scored the winner in the 19th minute against the Matadors, and Oniel Fisher and James Rogers notched second-half tallies over the Toreros. Freshman goalkeeper Jason Beaulieu started both matches and recorded the first two clean sheets of his career. The two wins already puts him in a tie for third for most by a freshman keeper in UNM history, and the shutouts are tied for second.
Bakersfield will face VCU at 2 p.m. Friday and Drexel at noon on Sunday.
Series Record vs. Drexel: 0-0-0
Home: 0-0-0 Away: 0-0-0; Neutral: 0-0-0
Last meeting: This is the first meeting between the two teams.
Series Record vs. VCU: 1-0-1
Home: 0-0-0 Away: 1-0-1; Neutral: 0-0-0
Last meeting: The Lobos and Rams drew 1-1 on Sept. 9 last season in Richmond. The sides have never met in Albuquerque.
Up Next: UNM opens C-USA play with a trip to Charlotte on Friday, Sept. 26 at 5 p.m. MT.
SCOUTING DREXEL ... The Dragons are coming off a home loss to Loyola (Md.) last Thursday and a scoreless draw at Saint Joseph’s on Saturday. They have struggled offensively thus far, scoring just two goals in five matches. Their defense has been stingy, however, conceding just three goals on the year. Sophomore keeper Tyler Afflerbach has been with three shutouts and 20 saves. Senior midfielder Michele Pataia has one of the two goals and leads the squad with 12 shots, while junior forward Joaquin del Rosario has the other goal and assited on Pataia’s goal.
SCOUTING VCU ... The Rams are coming off a 2-1 win at #6 Georgetown last Thursday and a 1-0 loss at #15 Virginia Monday evening to even their season record at 3-3-0. They’re averaging 1.3 goals per game and allowing 0.82. Senior forwards Kharlton Belmar and Jose Manel lead the way with two goals apiece. Junior midfielder Devon Fisher, meanwhile, tallied a goal and an assist against Georgetown and was named to TopDrawerSoccer’s Team of the Week. VCU’s schedule thus far has not been easy, with a game at #5 North Carolina in addition to its matches vs. the Hoyas and Cavaliers. Redshirt junior Garrett Cyprus has started all six matches in goal so far, saving 20 of the 25 shots on net he has seen.
SCOUTING BAKERSFIELD ... The Roadrunners are the fourth and final time in the TLC Plumbing and Utility Invitation. They suffered their first loss of the season Saturday when they were edged 2-1 in double overtime by UC Davis. They’ve outscored their opponents 13-3 on the season, led by redshirt freshman Julian Zamora’s four goals. Simon Doherty, a junior forward, has contributed three, and senior midfielder David Velazquez has a pair of goals and three assists. Sophomore keeper Nicolas Clever has started all five matches and posted three shutouts with a save percentage of .824.
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.
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 147 shots rank him ninth and his 56 points leave him two shy of 10th.
TWO FOR BEAULIEU ... With his wins against Northridge and San Diego, Jason Beaulieu moved into a tie for third for most wins by a Lobo freshman keeper in a single season. Greg Hess had two in 1994, Nate Busek had five in 1990 and Andrew Weber holds the record with seven in 2001. His two clean sheets tie him with Busek and Hess for second most by a freshman. Weber again set the standard with five in his first season.
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 3,367 fans through three 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. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.
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.
HERMANN WATCH LIST ... Incoming transfer Kevin Correa was named to the MAC Hermann Watch List. Last season he finished sixth in the NCAA in points per game (1.68), eighth in total points (32) and ninth in both goals (13) and goals per game (0.68). He also earned Preseason All-American honors from Soccer America.
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