ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Women Advance To League Final
When the New Mexico men’s soccer team hits the pitch tonight, they do so as a 2012 conference champion.
But that’s not what this season is about.
When they face Houston Baptist in the regular-season finale at the UNM Soccer Complex, it will be Senior Night. And while that will serve an important purpose, that’s not the final destination, either.
Houston Baptist at No. 9 UNM men, 7 p.m.
“We want to go further than we did last year,” senior forward Devon Sandoval says. “That’s our goal.”
Ninth-ranked UNM hosts the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament next week, then could host an NCAA Tournament game after that. The Lobos lost a shootout at South Florida in last season’s third round of the NCAA Tournament.
“I think we’re good right now,” New Mexico coach Jeremy Fishbein said.
“We redefined ourselves. It’s great to score goals, great to think of yourself as an attacking team. But championships are won by proper defending and leadership and unity.”
Six seniors will be honored today – Sandoval, goalkeeper Victor Rodriguez, midfielder Nik Robson, defender Travis Campbell and forward/midfielders Blake Smith and Levi Rossi.
“I’m proud of these guys,” Fishbein said.
“They’re great representatives of our university, of our program. They’re involved in the community, excellent students. I’m just real proud of them. It will be nice to recognize them.
“You sit back and look at these guys and it’s nice to see how much they’ve matured and how much the relationships mean to you. It’s pretty special, having a senior day.
“But it’s not their last home game. We’re hoping they’ve got a bunch more home games in them.”
The Lobos (14-3-0, 7-2-0 MPSF) won at Houston Baptist 2-1 earlier this year in a match delayed a day because of a storm.
The Huskies (4-9-2, 2-5-2) are in their first year in the MPSF.
UNM WOMEN 1, NEVADA 0: In San Diego, Brianna Webster’s goal in the 57th minute gave No. 2 seed New Mexico a victory over sixth-seeded Nevada in the semifinal round of the 2012 Mountain West Conference tournament at SDSU Sports Deck.
The Lobos advance to Sunday’s title game against host and top-seeded San Diego State, a 3-0 semifinal winner over fourth-seeded UNLV.
The Lobos and Wolf Pack played a scoreless first 56 minutes.
In the 57th, UNM (11-6-2) earned a corner kick. Rachel Montoya took the kick and sent it into the box. The service found Webster, and the midfielder headed the ball in from her position in front of the net.
The Lobos kept the Wolf Pack (7-10-3) at arm’s length the rest of the way as they secured their spot in the final for the third consecutive season.
UNM will need to win the conference tournament final for the accompanying automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
New Mexico finished the game with a 12-9 advantage in shots, and completed the 90 minutes with an 8-1 edge in shots on goal.
The Lobos also won the corner kick battle, 4-3.
Men Wrap Up at HomeALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Women Advance To League Final