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Fishbein excited about his '13 team

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Lobos embarking on their spring season

Jeremy Fishbein watched six quality players graduate from his New Mexico men’s soccer program last year, four of them to the professional ranks.

But as the 2013 season dawns and Fishbein enters his 12th season as UNM’s coach, he is not flinching. He believes his Lobos have the talent to continue their recent run of success, which includes back-to-back trips to the NCAA’s Sweet 16.

“The whole team, in terms of unity, leadership and work ethic, has been phenomenal,” Fishbein says of the 2013 team. “It’s a high-achieving group. I can’t say enough about them, how proud I am. … Anytime you’ve got a group of driven individuals who have high expectations in the classroom and in the community, it’s an easy job.”

Saturday
Lobo men’s soccer vs. Fort Lewis, UNM’s Robertson Field, 10 a.m., 12:15 p.m.

And now he gets to watch his team play.

UNM shifts from offseason workouts to its spring schedule Saturday with two matches against Fort Lewis College at Robertson Field.

All-America defender Kyle Venter heads the list of returnees that includes midfielder/defender Ben McKendry, midfielder Michael Calderon, defender Matthew Gibbons, forward/midfielder Michael Kafari and forward James Rogers.

Fishbein said he is most excited to see the newcomers Saturday, as well as those Lobos who either redshirted or did not get much playing time last season. They will compete for important minutes this year.

Five new players enrolled in January: senior goalkeeper Michael Lisch, freshman Caleb Hilbron, freshman forward James Wypych, freshman midfielder Josh Goss and freshman midfielder Nick Thiros.

Lisch, a transfer from Wake Forest, will compete in the net with Patrick Poblete.

Returning players Riley McGovern, C.J. Klepac and Nick Rochowski will aim for time as defenders.

Hilbron and Wypych, both from New Zealand, and redshirt freshman Chris Wehan figure to have attacking roles.

“We have high expectations for those guys,” Fishbein said.

The Lobos will also play UC Riverside in Phoenix on April 6, Denver in Taos on April 13, Air Force at Robertson Field on April 20 and Creighton in Denver on April 27.

LOBO WOMEN: Volcano Vista midfielder-forward Ruth Bruciaga enrolled at UNM in January and will take part in spring drills.

Coach Kit Vela begins the challenge of replacing decorated goalkeeper Kelli Cornell. Returner Cassie Ulrich of Rio Rancho; freshman Julia Vaughan, a 6-foot all-stater from Utah; freshman Laura DeMers, who helped her Tucson high school team win four state titles; and transfer Allyson Lambros figure in the competition.

UNM SOCCER
— This article appeared on page D3 of the Albuquerque Journal

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