By Dan Studley for GoLobos.com
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – On a clear, 70-degree October night at the UNM Soccer Complex, the No. 18 UNM men’s soccer team comfortably brushed aside the Old Dominion Monarchs for the Lobos’ tenth win of the 2014 campaign. Chris Wehan’s incredible long-range effort in the 33rd minute was the pick of the goals, as the Lobos put four past the Monarchs, with three coming in the opening 35 minutes, and held ODU off the scoresheet.
“It was probably our best performance of the year,” UNM head coach Jeremy Fishbein said. “I don’t know if (Old Dominion) has ever lost by four goals. They’re a top-30 team. I’m pretty proud of our guys tonight. We’ve been good other games, but the key tonight was we took our chances. We scored some very good goals, we were relentless in our attack and we defended well. It was a complete performance.”
The Lobos’ (10-3-1, 3-2-0 C-USA) possessed the upper hand throughout, dominating the Monarchs (7-5-1, 2-2-1) 20-4 on shots and 8-2 on corners. The result ended the Monarch’s three-game winning streak and made it six wins out of the Lobos’ last eight fixtures.
From a cleared corner the Lobos had the game’s first opportunity on five minutes. Oniel Fisher latched onto the loose ball 35 yards out and unleashed a deflected effort goal-wards falling onto the roof of the net with Dominion goalkeeper Alex Tiesenhausen caught off his line.
The Lobos reasserted their presence by finding the game’s opening goal on 25 minutes. Chris Wehan took a tremendous throughball from Niko Hansen and found himself with just the keeper to beat. He rounded the keeper but slipped in doing so, nevertheless the Californian sophomore had the composure to steady himself and roll the ball into an empty net for his sixth goal of the season.
“I haven’t played off Niko all year,” Wehan said. “It was a great combination, a great throughball from Niko. I touched it past the keeper and the next thing I knew my feet were out from under me. I still thought I had a lot of time but out of the corner of my eye I saw a guy running in, and I just poked it in.”
Just eight minutes later Wehan doubled his and the Lobos’ tally. After a well measured build-up, Ben McKendry slid the ball to the feet of Wehan whose pile-driver buried the top corner of the net from over 30 yards, a candidate for goal of the season.
“I wanted to play Ben,” said Wehan, “but it was kind of a bad pass. He found me back, and I was looking for the next pass but nothing was open and nobody stepped up. I knew right when I hit it that it was a good one.”
The goal impressed everyone in attendance, perhaps no one more so, though, than his head coach.
“That second one was fantastic,” Fishbein said. “The funny thing is the same thing happened last year. He broke it open after he bombed one in from about 25 yards and set the tone in that one, too.”
Moments later New Mexico had the ball in the net once again. Substitute Kevin Correa fought past the Monarchs defense and crashed his shot into the net, but he was whistled for a foul in the process and the goal did not stand.
The disallowed effort that eluded the Lobos was soon forgotten, as Correa found his way to the byline and eased a low cross past the helpless Monarchs keeper. Josh Goss, waiting at the far post, had the simple job of tapping home for the Lobos’ third on 35 minutes.
The relentless Lobo pressure continued into the second half as some tricky build-up play inside the Monarchs area by Sam Gleadle led to a deflected clearance unluckily bobbling past an outstretched keeper for the fourth goal of the encounter.
With 81 minutes on the clock, sophomore Goss drove a well-angle corner into the area meeting in-running substitute Nick Rochowski. The Texas-born defenders header flashed narrowly wide and out for a goal kick and the score remained 4-0.
“Some guys off the bench got to play important minutes, and we got to rest some guys,” said Fishbein. “It was a great performance.”
Patrick Poblete earned the shutout, his third of the season, to remain a perfect 5-0-1 on the year.
The Lobos next travel to UAB to take on the Blazers Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. MT.
“We hit the road to take on a very talented team Wednesday,” Fishbein said. “Hopefully this will give us some momentum going into that.”
New Mexico (24:12): Wehan (Hansen)
New Mexico (33:55): Wehan (McKendry)
New Mexico (35:29): Goss (Correa)
New Mexico (52:10): OWN GOAL
New Mexico: Rogers, yellow (9:54)
Old Dominion: Tiesenhausen, yellow (37:25); Stringer, yellow (61:09); Hill, yellow (80:45)
New Mexico: Poblete (GK), Gibbons, McGovern, Miele, McKendry, Rogers, Fisher, Hansen, Wehan, Gurule, Dye
Old Dominion: Tiesenhausen (GK), Macsicza, Condotta, Stringer, Miralrio, Hill, Hutchinson, Edwards, Foglesong, Schroeer, Nelson
It was the first career two-goal game for Wehan.
There were a combined 30 fouls between the two teams, with ODU being whistled for 17 and UNM for 13
It was the eighth shutout of the season for UNM
The Lobos wore pink jerseys as part of their "Lobos Love Pink" promotion
The Lobos to UAB on Wednesday, Oct. 29 at 6 p.m. MT in their final road match of the regular season.