No. 6 Lobos Begin Season With Bang
LOS ANGELES – Devon Sandoval and Blake Smith were quiet offensively in the preseason for the No. 6 UNM men’s soccer team. But on the big stage and under bright Friday night lights, they spoke volumes.
Sandoval scored two goals, including the eventual game-winner in the 75th minute, and Smith scored the other as New Mexico knocked off second-ranked UCLA 3-2 in a most promising debut to the 2012 season.
“I was excited to see our big guns come through with goals, and that was important,” said UNM coach Jeremy Fishbein. “Blake and Devon didn’t score at all in the preseason, so their performance tonight was pretty big for us. At the end of the day, these guys expect to win and they play hard.”
No. 6 UNM at Tulsa, 7 p.m.
The victory was the first for UNM sophomore goalkeeper Patrick Poblete, who had five saves, including one in the final 30 seconds to keep the Lobos in front.
UNM trailed 1-0 at halftime but scored twice in a four-minute span of the second half. Sandoval’s header on a cross from Levi Rossi tied the contest in the 57th minute, and Smith buried a shot off a rebound in the 60th minute for a 2-1 lead.
The victory was only the second for UNM in 11 meetings with UCLA. The previous matchup was a heartbreaker for UNM, which lost to the Bruins in the 2007 NCAA Tournament 1-0 on a free-kick goal in the 89th minute.