Returning home from a 4-0 defeat against Florida International University, the Lobos will be eager to return to winning ways when they face Denver University for the “Lobos Love Pink” game on Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.
Denver competed earlier this season in Albuquerque, New Mexico at the Grange and Ashwill Invitational tournament, however, neither side played against each other. The Pioneers played two games in this tournament and in both those games, they were outshut by their opponent. The Pioneers have been here and seen the pitch, so they should know what to expect heading into the game.
The Pioneers are undefeated in the Summit League, but have lost six games this season. The Pioneers are 5-2-0 when at home and are 3-2-0 when playing away. Seeing which team posts the first goal could be crucial, especially for Denver, since it is 8-1-0 this season after netting the first goal.
Scoring the first goal has also served the Lobos greatly and under head coach Jeremy Fishbein, UNM is 171-14-22 when scoring first.
In the last head-to-head matchup between the two schools, Denver scored first and led until the final minutes of game, only for former UNM senior Nick Rochowski to score and send the game into overtime. The game looked set for a tie until, with eight seconds remaining, Denver scored to take home the win.
Denver junior Andre Shinyashiki leads the Pioneers offensively, having collected 20 points from eight goals and four assists. Defensively, redshirt junior and goalkeeper Nick Gardner has collected five shutouts so far this season.
In their second to last match at home, the Lobos will look to return to winning ways after their previous loss against FIU. Despite a career high ten saves in the game, goalkeeper Jason Beaulieu was unable to prevent the lopsided 4-0 defeat for the Lobos.
Given the C-USA and NCAA tournaments are around the corner, the Lobos will be looking to sharpen up the team and the first place to start will be the defense.
UNM’s Jason Beaulieu was voted C-USA Defensive Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 9, and has been one of the standout players for the Lobos this season registering six shutouts. The Lobos have only conceded 18 goals during this season.
Junior Aaron Herrera has been the other key player for the Lobos. Despite playing as a defender, he leads the team for assists and goals this season having registered five in each category. UNM’s redshirt sophomore Devin Boyce is tied with Herrera for assists.
The Lobos have struggled in their past two games having only scored two goals while conceding six. Although the Lobos are 8-4-2 overall and 3-2-1 in C-USA, they will certainly look to bury any chance they have to score a goal.
The Lobos play a 4-4-2 system which sometimes changes to a 4-4-1-1 depending upon the forwards who are on field at that time. Offensively, forwards Sam Gleadle, Alex Vedamanikam and Luke Lawrence will be eager to find the back of the net and increase their personal goal tallies for the season too.
In the C-USA standings, UNM is ranked fourth and sit ten points behind conference leader FIU, which leads the table with 16 points. Old Dominion and Kentucky are ranked second and third, with 15 and 12 points, respectively.
Capping off senior night, the Lobos will next face North Carolina – Charlotte on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 6 p.m. in Albuquerque.
Ajinkya Patil is a freelance sports reporter for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers men’s soccer. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @ajinkyapatil_16.