The Lobo men’s soccer team suffered a 2-1 loss to the UCSB Gauchos on Tuesday night at the UNM Soccer Complex as a pair of corner kicks in the opening minutes of the second half proved the difference.
“That was a game you needed to handle,” head coach Jeremy Fishbein said. “Two bad mistakes in the first seven minutes of the second half, that’s what we talked about. I’m pretty disappointed in our performance and our maturity today.”
In the first half, the Lobos (2-4) controlled much of the possession and outshot the Gauchos (4-2) 6-4, two of which were on goal. UNM’s goal came off a low cross into the box from Tom Smart that was finished by Omar Grey for his team leading fourth goal of the season, after just six games at UNM, Grey is tied for No. 10 all-time for goals by a freshman in UNM history.
The Lobos lead only lasted until UCSB answered only 2:40 into the second half, when Faouzi Taieb headed in a corner kick for the equalizer. Fishbein said that there were no adjustments from the Gauchos that had an effect, they did make one change though, moving a player from the midfield to the defense to have four at the back.
“There’s no excuses,” Fishbein said. “I don’t know what it was, we were all over them in the first half; that’s a game you have to take care of. They weren’t ready to play. It was a pretty simple game once you had a lead. (We’ve) played six good teams and that was one that you had to win.”
UCSB’s second goal came in the 53’ minute, once again off a corner kick as Rodney Michael(cq) controlled the delivery and worked his way around a defender to slot the ball into the bottom corner and give the Gauchos a 2-1 lead they would not relinquish.
Fishbein said that they discussed at half time that the only way that UCSB would be able to score would be via set pieces or in transition and that he wasn’t sure what happened to allow the corner that ended up as the go-ahead goal.
For the most part, UCSB sat back and defended the goal, looking to prevent the equalizer, but they still outshot the Lobos 8-5 in the second half and 12-11 in all.
The game turned chippy at the end with Hunter Ashworth shoving away Antoine Vial and having to be restrained by his teammates after as the referee looked to settle down the situation.
Fishbein said that the team will have to work on maturity before Saturday’s game against Old Dominion to open Conference USA play and that guys can’t be on the field if they aren’t going to be a little bit better, and that they will “probably” have to make some changes.
“That was the first one this season that I was really disappointed,” Fishbein concluded.
Old Dominion opened C-USA play last Friday, September 7 against Charlotte at home and was victorious 2-1. The Monarchs are 3-1-1 (1-0 C-USA) this season.
Cameron Goeldner is a sports beat reporter and photographer for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers men’s soccer, women’s basketball, softball and the Albuquerque Isotopes, but also contributes content for baseball, basketball, football and track and field. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @goeldfinger.