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Olympic sports: Lobo men’s soccer returns home, Lobo women take over MWC lead

A three-game road trip that took them from one coast to another, the New Mexico men’s soccer team comes home and embraces a chance to make a move in the Conference USA standings.

The Lobos (6-3-1, 1-1-1 Conference USA) seek their third straight win tonight at 7 when they host Florida Atlantic (1-7-0, 1-3-0). In fifth place among nine C-USA teams, UNM gets its turn against two teams struggling in league play, including UAB next week.

Wednesday’s 3-0 win in Los Angeles vs. Loyola Marymount was coach Jeremy Fishbein’s 300th in a career that has spanned 25 seasons. Overall he is 300-136-47 in 25 years, 205-76 -37 in his 16th campaign with UNM.

The visiting Owls have just six goals in eight matches, with losses in the last four. Their only win, however, was 2-1 in overtime over South Carolina, a team that drew 2-2 with UNM on Sept. 22.

Wednesday vs. LMU, the Lobos erupted after a scoreless first half, all three of their goals coming in a 20-minute span of the second half. In their last six outings, the Lobos have scored only one first-half goal, 10 after intermission.

The Lobos also are making the grade in the classroom. A team grade-point average of 3.36 for 20-16-17 earned UNM the United Soccer Coaches College Team Academy Award.

WOMEN’S SOCCER: Claire Lynch was in the right place at the right time, punching in a deflection off the goal post in the 53rd minute, and host New Mexico (9-4, 4-1) held on for a 1-0 Mountain West Conference victory over Fresno State (6-5-2, 1-3-1) on Friday. The win, UNM’s sixth in its last seventh games, gave the Lobos the league lead.

It was Lynch’s fifth goal of the season, with all of them being game-winners. It was the 22nd of her career (fourth on the UNM all-time list) with 12 of those being game-winners (third on the UNM all-time list).

“Claire knows the score in practice. Claire knows the score if you are just playing some dumb game on the bus,” Dyche said. “She’s just competitive. She knows how to kill a game and she knows how to win a game. She’s willing to do it. It’s scrappy, fighting goals for Claire most of the time and that’s not easy to do. It’s something you expect from a senior like Claire it and it’s awesome to watch her do it.” (Click here for the box score.)

■ In Las Cruces, New Mexico State opened WAC play with a 2-2 draw against CSU Bakersfield (5-7-1). Aileen Galicia scored both goals for the Aggies ( 6-6-2).

WOMEN’S GOLF: In Highlands Ranch, Colo., New Mexico shares the lead with Denver in the 14-team field, both shooting 5-under par 283 in Friday’s first round of the Ron Moore Women’s Intercollegiate. Lobo Ingrid Gutierrez shot a 6-under 66 for a one-stroke lead.

VOLLEYBALL: UNM is back in Mountain West Conference action Saturday at 1 p.m. at San Jose State, and the Lobos hope for a better result than they got Thursday. Nevada (5-12, 3-2) handled UNM (10-7, 2-3) by a 3-1 count (23-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-18). It was UNM’s first loss to the Wolf Pack in 10 matches.

UNM’s Lauren Twitty posted 19 kills on a career-high 71 attempts for the Lobos on Thursday. However, she hit .085, with 13 errors.

  • New Mexico State plays at Utah Valley Saturday at 1 p.m. The Aggies are circling back from Seattle, where they defeated the Seattle Redhawks 3-0 (25-13, 25-19, 25-21) on Thursday.