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UNM men's soccer team faces a difficult schedule

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The New Mexico men’s soccer team’s 2013 schedule includes a visit to Georgetown, last year’s NCAA Tournament runnerup.

The Lobos, who make their debut in Conference USA this year, will face eight 2012 NCAA participants.

“This is the most consistently challenging schedule we’ve ever had here in terms of the RPIs and NCAA Tournament appearances among our opponents,” Lobo coach Jeremy Fishbein said. “It ranks as one of the toughest schedules in the nation with Conference USA giving us great league matches week in and week out.”

UNM begins the season with three exhibitions against some familiar foes — at home against Grand Canyon (Aug. 17) and on the road versus former MPSF rivals Air Force (Aug. 22) and Denver (Aug. 24).

The regular season opener will be Aug. 30 against Villanova at 7 p.m. at the UNM Soccer Complex.

Of UNM’s eight nonconference opponents, six had RPIs in the top 50 in 2012. The Lobos will hit the road after Villanova for a road trip east to VCU and Georgetown. Both were NCAA Tournament teams a year ago with Georgetown losing to Indiana in the national championship match.

The Lobos are coming off a 17-4-1 season with a second-consecutive Sweet 16 appearance in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.