ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- The University of New Mexico men's soccer team scored three goals in six minutes to lead the Lobos past the visiting Loyola Marymount Lions (6-5-0) on Tuesday night at the UNM Soccer Complex. The victory marks the second straight for UNM and the seventh in the Lobos' last eight matches. In addition, UNM now posts five shutouts on the season.
"The end result to this game was a great one, a shutout and three nice goals," head coach Jeremy Fishbein said. "I thought we opened the game really well, had some good chances but maybe forced the game a little bit in the first half. We identified a few areas and then came out on fire in the second half."
Three different Lobos scored in the second half on Tuesday night including seniors Nick Rochowski and Niko Hansen, as well as sophomore Aaron Herrera.
The game started fairly even statistically after a first half that yielded just two shots on goal between the squads.
The Lobos (7-3-0, 1-1 C-USA) got their first good chance just five minutes into the first period when Hansen took a pass in the box from the far left wing. Hansen turned and attempted to work in a close-range shot from the close left wing, but Lion keeper Collin Partee lunged at the ball, collecting it and preventing a solid shot.
In the 15th minute, senior Josh Goss got another look for UNM. A pass to Hansen on the right side pulled Partee to the right side of the six-yard box. Hansen made a quick cross to the left to Goss, who attempted the shot on the open left side, but it went wide to keep the teams scoreless heading into the break.
New Mexico outshot the Lions by a narrow 5-3 margin in the first period and notched just one corner kick compared to none for LMU. Both Partee and Lobo keeper Jason Beaulieu registered just one save in the half.
In the second half, however, the Lobos came out of the locker room on fire. Just four minutes into the period, New Mexico began a three-goal rally to take the lead and never look back.
In the 48th minute, the Lobos capitalized on their third-straight corner kick in a short span. Senior Josh Gosstook the kick from the right side and sent the ball into the box where Rochowski was waiting to head it into the top-right corner of the net for the go-ahead goal.
The goal marked Rochowski's first of the season, the third of his career. In addition, it marked the defender's second goal against LMU, his first came last season.
"It's a great feeling, first goal of the season," Rochowski said. "We started off kind of casual in the first half. We came in at halftime, everybody got fired up and we came out a different team in the second half.
I think guys were very inspired with the way the second half started going and it gave us some great confidence and we were feeling great to play and put the balls in the back of the net."
The teams barely had time to catch their breath before the Lobos notched their second goal of the game just less than three minutes later. Redshirt-freshman Tom Smart crossed the ball into the six-yard box from the far left wing and Hansen fired into the bottom left corner top put New Mexico up 2-0.
The rally continued when sophomore Aaron Herrera netted the final goal of the game in the 54th minute off of a free kick at the top of the box. Herrera fired into the bottom right corner and the ball went untouched as it hit the back.
In contrast to last week's 4-1 win against FIU, the Lobos were able to hold onto the clean sheet to give UNM's Beaulieu five shutouts on the season. With the win he improves to 7-3 overall while Partee falls to 6-5. Beaulieu tallied five saves on the night compared to three for Partee.
Overall, the Lobos outshot LMU 16-10 including nine shots on goal to just six for the Lions. After a 1-0 advantage in the first half, UNM rebounded to post seven corner kicks in the second to finish out the contest with an 8-3 edge.
New Mexico will play its next three games on the road as the Lobos return to conference play. UNM will travel to No. 17 Charlotte on Saturday, Oct. 8, before continuing on to FAU on Oct. 15 and Denver on Oct. 19. The Lobos return home for a Conference USA match against Marshall on Oct. 22.