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New Mexico returns to C-USA play after breakthrough performance

Coming off a dominating 6-1 win over West Virginia on Wednesday, the 15th-ranked UNM men’s soccer team (6-2-1, 0-1-0) returns to Conference USA play tonight at 7 at home vs. Florida International (3-4-1, 0-1-0).

UNM broke out of its scoring dought of 10 goals over eight games in a big way on Wednesday. Ben McKendry scored twice, and Niko Hansen, Chris Wehan, Kevin Correa and Riley McGovern all found the back of the net as well. It was the most goals in a game for UNM since a 7-2 win over Villanova in August 2013.

The Golden Panthers dropped a last-minute 3-2 decision to UAB last Saturday. Senior forward Quentin Albrecht is tied for the C-USA lead in goals with five, which accounts for over half the FIU output. Four other players have one goal apiece.

“Florida International is a quality team,” UNM coach Jeremy Fishbein said. “We’re excited to move forward from (Wednesday’s) win.”

Tonight’s contest will be the fifth between the two schools with the series standing at 2-2-0. UNM won both home matchups and lost twice at neutral sites.

UNM is designating the occasion of tonight’s game as “ALS Awareness Night.” Between 2008 and 2010, two Lobos coaches and one former UNM athlete were diagnosed to have ALS.

The late Pat Grange, and Albuquerque native, played soccer at UNM. Loren Dils, who wrapped up his 12th year as an assistant coach with the UNM men’s tennis program in 2011, was diagnosed in 2008.

Doug Schneebeck was a volunteer assistant coach for UNM track and field, primarily coaching hurdlers, from 2000 through 2010, the year he was diagnosed. His son, James Bannon-Schneebeck, is a sophomore goalkeeper for the Lobo men.