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Devon Sandoval celebrates after his assist on the game-winning goal during a 2-1 victory over Duke on Nov. 20 at University Stadium. The Lobos season ended last Sunday when they were knocked out of the NCAA tournament by University of South Florida.

Tie not a threat to record

The men’s soccer team’s season ended undefeated, but head coach Jeremy Fishbein said the record feels wrong.

“I wish we were still playing,” he said. “It doesn’t feel like it’s undefeated. It’s pretty incredible that our guys were that focused and disciplined for every match; it’s not something I have ever been a part of.”

UNM finished the season 18-0-4 after it lost in a penalty kick shootout on Sunday in the third round of the NCAA tournament to University of South Florida. The game ended scoreless after extra time and went to penalty kicks, and officially goes down as a tie.

“It’s a tough way to end the season,” Fishbein said. “I couldn’t be prouder of the team and how they carried themselves through the season.”

Junior forward Devon Sandoval said the Lobos should have won the game, but that it just wasn’t their night.

“It was a pretty physical game, the emotions were high,” he said. “We were confident going into the game, and I felt like we played well and had the better of the chances, we just didn’t put them away.”

UNM had a handful of chances to score near the end of the game and extra time but failed to find a winner.

After extra time, each team converted four of its first five penalty kicks to go to sudden death. Both teams made their sixth shots, and after USF made its seventh, Lobo freshman forward Carson Baldinger stepped up and his spot kick was saved to end the game.

Fishbein said he had no regrets about what happened in the game and said a match decided on a penalty shootout is part of the game.

“You have 110 minutes to take care of your business, and to be honest we should have,” he said. “We had the run of play at the end of the game and we should have put the game away. You can look back — if we had been on the other side of things we would have said it’s the greatest thing ever.”

The Lobos were 10-0 at home and dominated their opponents in nearly every statistical category this season.

UNM outscored teams 47-11 and was No. 6 in the country in scoring offense. Junior goalkeeper Victor Rodriguez had 10 shutouts on the season, and the defense was No. 11 in the nation for the least goals allowed.

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Additionally, UNM only loses two players to graduation next year: senior midfielders Michael Green and Lance Rozeboom.

Sandoval said the team accomplished every goal put in front of it except winning a national championship.

“Looking back on it, it was definitely a successful season,” he said. “We accomplished almost everything we wanted to. We won conference, the conference tournament, and had a first-round bye and a home game in the NCAA tournament, and that was our goal.”

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