Coming off a win in its exhibition opener, the University of New Mexico men’s soccer team hosts Grand Canyon University in its second and final home exhibition contest of the 2015 season on Wednesday night at 7. Admission is free.
The Lobos, who defeated Air Force 2-1 in an exhibition on Saturday before 1,180 home fans, are gearing toward their Sept. their regular-season opener: at No. 1 UCLA on Aug. 29. The home opener is Sept. 4.
“I really like our team’s cohesiveness, our leadership and the boys’ tremendous mentality. It’s evident that everyone worked hard over the summer and a great deal of effort went into individual and team preparation,” UNM coach Jeremy Fishbein said an in email on Tuesday.
UNM should be close to full strength against the Antelopes. Patrick Khouri is back after playing in Olympic qualifying matches with Jamaica’s U23 team and will play. Niko Hansen, who recently trained with the U.S. Men’s National Team at its collegate identification camp, should also return to action, as should incoming transfer Yuri Domiciano, who was a junior college All-American at Iowa Western last year.
Grand Canyon was picked eighth in the WAC preseason poll, but first-year head coach Schellas Hyndman has brought in 14 newcomers to the team after last season’s disappointing 5-12-3 finish. Back are Alberto Sanchez Garcia (8G, 2A, 18 pts) and Niki Jackson (5G, 3A, 13 pts) who finished 1-2 in scoring for the Lopes in 2014. Nobody else had more than four points, however.