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Blake Smith, no. 23, dribbles past a San Jose State defender Sunday at University Stadium. The Lobos won the game 1-0 thanks to a late goal from Levi Rossi.

Just can’t stop winning

The No. 2 men’s soccer team didn’t finish its game until late in the second half, but it kept its undefeated streak alive.

UNM’s Levi Rossi popped up at the back post to header into an open net with less than three minutes left in the second. The goal gave the Lobos a 1-0 win over San Jose State on Sunday, to take the team to 15-0-2.

Head coach Jeremy Fishbein said he knew his team was going to eventually put one in the back of the net.

“You felt it was coming,” he said. “We played well, we had control of the game and I was happy with it. These are going to be tough games. I thought it was a very good performance.”

UNM had already wrapped up the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation regular-season title on Friday, when it beat Sacramento State 2-0, but the Lobos were still looking to continue their undefeated streak.

San Jose State rarely tested UNM goalkeeper Victor Rodriguez, forcing him into only three saves.

However, Fishbein said that it was difficult to break down the other team’s defense, which held the Lobos back.

“Games aren’t going to be easy,” he said. “This is a good team we played; this is a team that is winning games. They sat in a little bit and looked to play against us on the counter and we dealt with it.”

In the second half, most of the game was played in the Lobos’ offensive third, but they could not find the right pass to break down the Spartans’ defense.

With 13 minutes left the Lobos began to press and came close to scoring on back-to-back corner kicks, but they could not find the goal.

With three minutes, midfielder Michael Green got past the back of Venter’s pass.

Green played in a corner kick to the far post, then Venter headed back across goal and through a group of players, and Rossi popped up to head in the game winner.

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The goal was Rossi’s second of the year. He said it was a team goal.

“It was great service in,” he said. “Green played the ball in and Kyle faded off the back post and played it back across, and I just had to do the easy part and get my head on it.”

Rossi said it’s the team-play games like this one that have kept UNM’s undefeated streak alive.

“It was a team effort,” he said, “I am happy that I could be a part of it. I am the one that scored it, but everyone played great today and I am happy with the effort.”


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