NORFOLK, Va. – The University of New Mexico men’s soccer team lost 2-0 at No. 11 Old Dominion Saturday evening. The Monarchs scored in the 28thand 53rd minutes and were able to keep the Lobos off the board despite each team recording 15 shots.
It looked like UNM might buck its early scoring woes right after kickoff when Niko Hansen had a good chance, but his shot was blocked in what turned out to be a recurring theme in the match. Old Dominion finished the match with seven blocked shots.
“We had some really good scoring chances, including one in the first two minutes,” UNM head coach Jeremy Fishbein said. “You’re presented with a handful of very good chances each game and you have to take them. Just like in any sport, you get punished if you make mistakes or don’t capitalize on your chances.”
The Lobos had plenty of chances including a stretch of three corner kicks in 36 seconds in the 79th minute. UNM also committed just six fouls compared to 14 (including three yellow cards) for the Monarchs (7-1-1), but the Lobos (6-4-1) were unable to avoid falling to 0-3-0 in Conference USA play.
“It’s frustrating, but it’s not lack of effort or quality, it’s just finding the right mix of players and physical presence and adapting to your opponent a little better,” Fishbein said.
It was the third loss in four games for UNM, which has now played the top three teams to start C-USA play, and all three are also ranked in the top 20 nationally. The Lobos have faced a gauntlet schedule as eight of their 11 opponents have been ranked as some point during the season. UNM must now rebound and prepare for its final non-conference match of the season Wednesday night at 7 at the UNM Soccer Complex versus Valparaiso.
“The teams we’re playing are playing efficient soccer,” said Fishbein, “so we have to match that and keep our quality at the same time.”
Old Dominion (27:26): Macsicza (Nelson, Militar)
Old Dominion (52:07): Militar (Henriquez)
New Mexico: none
Old Dominion: Klosterhalfen, yellow (28:30); Hutchinson, yellow (62:02); Wirth, yellow (68:40)
Old Dominion: Tiesenhausen (GK), Macsicza, Condotta, Militar, Stringer, Mirarlio, Hutchinson, Wirth, Henriquez, Klosterhalfen, Nelson
New Mexico: Beaulieu (GK), Seligman, Rochowski, Goss, Hansen, Khouri, Wehan, Gurule, Dye, Gleadle, Kajermo
The Lobos return home for two matches this week, beginning Wednesday evening at 7 against Valparaiso in UNM’s final non-conference match of the season. UNM also plays UAB next Sunday, Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. at the UNM Soccer Complex.