ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - On the heels of the program's first regular-season loss at home in nearly two years, the fifth-ranked were looking for an answer at home against Denver University (5-3-3). The Lobos would patiently wait 106 minutes on Sunday afternoon before getting the game's only goal from Devon Sandoval.
The senior from Albuquerque recorded his fourth game-winning goal of the season after capitalizing on a defensive miscue by the Denver backline. A pioneer defender misplayed a long Michael Calderon ball attempting to flick the ball off his chest to Denver goalkeeper Oliver Brown. The ball bounced long off his chest and away from Brown. Sandoval would track down the loose ball inside the box and bury his eighth goal of the season.
"I felt it was a deserving win, and I thought we played really well. Today was eerily similar to Friday in that we created a lot of great chances but didn't put them in the net," observed Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein.
The forward's lone goal in double overtime ended a match that saw the Lobos miss out on several scoring opportunities. UNM out-shot Denver 18-11 and held an advantage in corner kicks at 11-4.
After a slow-paced opening ten minutes of play, the Lobos began to threaten on deep attacking runs. On several occasions Lobo players elected to pass instead of shoot, which saw several UNM attacks end at the edge of the box without taking a shot. During the first 45 minutes, the Lobos held 7-1 shot advantage and 4-0 corner kick advantage.
New Mexico just missed on a game-winner from Sandoval in the 88th minute. The forward headed a Blake Smith pass that ricocheted off of the near post. The near miss by Sandoval would be the only real scoring threat until his game-winner in the 106th minute.
Sandoval's goal is the latest example of the Lobos pressure and persistence paying off. The scoring play was very similar to the forward's first goal against Dartmouth. While pressuring the Dartmouth backline, UNM forced another miscue from a defender and created the scoring opportunity.
"I am proud that the guys won the game. We stayed positive, stuck to our plan, controlled the game, and I think the better team won today," Coach Fishbein commented.
The victory pushes to New Mexico record to 9-2-0 (2-1-0 MPSF). It will be a case of déjà vu for the Lobos who will again face Air Force and Denver next weekend. Coach Fishbein and company will travel to Colorado to face Air Force on Friday, October 12 before facing Denver on Sunday, October 14.