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Goalie aids winning streak

The UNM men’s soccer team has only allowed two goals this season — but there could have been nine more if it wasn’t for Victor Rodriguez.

Rodriguez’s efforts have helped the Lobos earn a 4-0-1 record through the first five games of the season.

Jeremy Fishbein, the team’s head coach, said Rodriguez has been doing a fantastic job.

“Vic is a student of the game, and all of our goalies are doing well,” Fishbein said.

Teammates said Rodriguez has been a key part to their success.

After Sunday’s game against Cal State Northridge, forward Devon Sandoval said the team is performing well, and while Rodriguez did give up one goal, he was not at fault for it.

“He played pretty well organizing the back, and I don’t really think he could’ve done much with that goal,” Sandoval said, “It’s not just him, it’s our whole defense and our team’s commitment to defense.”

Rodriguez, however, said he takes full responsibility for the goals he has allowed and sets high performance standards for himself.

“One of the things we’ve talked about as a team is we don’t want to give up a lot of goals and we want to keep that shut-out going, but these last two games we’ve gotten a little unlucky and I take responsibility for that,” Rodriguez said.

He said each save makes him feel more confident in his ability as a goalkeeper, and his mentality this season, more than any other aspect of his game, has improved.

“I just feel more confident out there, and I keep telling myself it’s a great team that I’m playing for and it’s a great opportunity for me,” Rodriguez said. “We have one goal — that’s to go to a national championship — and we’ve showed the nation we can compete for that spot.”

He said everyone in his life is a source of support and has helped him to become the player he is today.

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“It has been numerous people, most importantly my family, our goalie coach Savva Biller, just every single guy out here … they have the confidence in me and I have the confidence in them,” he said. “It’s a big honor when you have that many people to have your back — it’s everyone.”

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