The University of New Mexico men’s soccer team won one and lost another during the team’s first road trip of the year, losing a 1-0 decision to Cal State-Northridge before ending the weekend with a 5-1 win over Cal State-Fullerton.
While the Lobos outshot the CSUN Matadors 14-10, including 9-4 in shots on goal, they were unable to break through on the scoreboard. Matador goalkeeper Henrik Regitnig recorded eight saves while the team was also credited with one.
Omar Grey, Billy Jones and Aaron Scott all put two shots on goal for the Lobos, and Grey lead the team in overall shots with five. Nick Taylor, Matt Puig and Antoine Vial tallied one shot apiece on goal to round out the Lobos nine attempts.
"Tonight was a tough one but I thought we played really well — especially in the second half,” head coach Jeremy Fishbein said in a release. “We outshot, had more corners, created chances, but their keeper really stood on his head tonight, he had a great game and we just didn't finish.”
The Matadors got their goal in the 72nd minute when Khalid Hunter grabbed the rebound of a Samuel Dadzie shot off the throw in and put it in the net. CSUN controlled the first half, leading the shots tally 6-3, including throwing three shots at the Lobos net in the matter of a minute early in the match.
The Lobos controlled the action in the second half in dominant fashion, especially in the shot category, outshooting the Matadors 11-4. However, they were unable to finish and were forced to take the 1-0 defeat.
On Sunday, the Lobos found the finishing touch and blew out No. 30 Cal State-Fullerton. Taylor led the Lobos offensively with two goals, while Puig, Grey and Vial each chipped in a goal as well.
"We really took our chances tonight, which we didn't do on Friday. It was a great effort and result," Fishbein said. "We scored a really nice first goal, then made a big blunder on the equalizer, but I thought we had a good first half overall. It did kind of take the wind out of our sails a bit to go in the second half 1-1, but the guys were really good in the second half with those four goals.”
The Lobos struck first as Taylor scored his first of the match just 12 minutes into the game, as a counter attack down the right side proved fruitful thanks to an assist from Vial. Fullerton wasted little time answering, scoring exactly six minutes later on a long ball from the right side of the field, well outside of the 18-yard box that beat Lobos goalkeeper Ford Parker, who had come forward off the goal line. At the half, the game was tied at one.
In the second half, the Lobos broke open the scoring, beginning with a Puig goal in the 51st minute off an assist from a Nick Barreiro cross. UNM added again just four minutes later when Vial put away a pass off the foot of Grey to make the lead 3-1.
Fullerton had an opportunity to add a second, but a tough save from Parker prevented the finish and kept the lead at two goals, before Taylor added his second of the match and stretch the lead again. Taylor created an opportunity with a run down the right side and was able to finish and increase the lead to 4-1.
Grey finished off the scoring in the 81st minute when he collected the rebound after a shot by Puig went off the post and slotted home for the final score of 5-1. The Lobos return to action at home on Friday, September 7 for a matchup with No. 23 Tulsa at 6 p.m.
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.