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Holmes handles the heat

Lobo goalkeeper Justin Holmes was more worried about the sun than Harvard’s offensive attack Sunday.
For nearly 110 minutes, Holmes shut out the Crimson at the UNM soccer complex on Sunday. Holmes recorded three saves against the Ivy League school in a 0-0 overtime draw in the blistering heat.

“It does (affect me),” Holmes said. “It definitely plays a major toll on your body. When you’re in
preseason, you’re not playing games; you’re just practicing. So we can choose some days to take off, but when it’s in season, you get two games (in one weekend). It’s hard to come out here after a Friday night game under the lights with a big crowd to play on a hot, sunny Sunday.”

Holmes didn’t just earn the shutout by himself. The sophomore received more than enough help from his defense.

Head coach Jeremy Fishbein said it was a boring day for Holmes because UNM’s defenders were skilled in keeping the Crimson offense in its own half.

“I mean, he wasn’t tested that much,” Fishbein said. “The defense was good, and I don’t even know if he was going to be forced into
making a mistake.”

The Lobos are 2-1-2 with Holmes in the box. Holmes has started five of UNM’s six regular season games in 2010 — four coming against
nationally known teams — and, for the most part, has avoided miscues. He has nine saves and allowed six goals.
But Holmes said his front line has been stingy.

“Defensively, I am extremely proud of my guys,” he said.
With powers like No. 18 Portland, No. 5 UC-Santa Barbara, No. 20 Georgetown and Sunday against No. 6 Harvard, Holmes has had his plate full.

But facing top teams doesn’t faze the second-year keeper.

“When it comes to playing ranked teams, I don’t doubt our team the least bit,” Holmes said. “I feel that we are confident. We are just as able if not better prepared than any other team in this country.”

Although Holmes is confident in his abilities and his teammates, he approaches each game as if there is something to learn.
Even in a tie against Harvard.

“It doesn’t feel as good as it seems,” Holmes said. “We really wanted this win, and we felt that we had control of this game.”

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