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Cal State Bakersfield midfielder Alex Flores tackles UNM junior Michael Calderon. UNM went on to win 2-0 at the UNM Soccer Complex on Sunday.

Deft defense helps deliver two shutouts

assistantsports@dailylobo.com
@JROppenheim

UNM men’s soccer head coach Jeremy Fishbein said his squad displayed its best performance of the season on Sunday.

The No. 14 Lobos kept California State Bakersfield in check all game, capturing a 2-0 win Sunday at the UNM Soccer Complex. The victory completed a two-game weekend home stand, as UNM defeated UNLV 11-0 on Friday night.

“The way we were going to play tactically, it didn’t have to be pretty,” Fishbein said. “We were going to clog up the middle … Our guys were great.”

UNM (12-3-0, 5-2-0 MPSF) recorded its third straight shutout following a 2-1 loss at Air Force on Oct. 12, and its seventh shutout of the year.

“It was a great weekend for us,” UNM senior forward/midfielder Levi Rossi said. “This was a really important weekend after dropping games to Air Force. We needed to get back to our style and play our style. We did that.”

The Lobo defense limited CSUB’s scoring opportunities throughout the match. The Roadrunners (7-4-4, 4-3-0 MPSF) had two shots and just one on goal. Their first shot attempt didn’t come until the 62-minute mark.

UNM took advantage by scoring a goal in each half.

Rossi scored his first goal of the season at the 17:03 mark. After junior midfielder Michael Calderon fired a crossing corner kick from the left side toward the net, Rossi got his head on the ball and scored from 16 yards out.

“The ball came in right over the top,” Rossi said. “I was completely free, so I just waited for it to hit my head.”

UNM struck again at 70:23 when sophomore defender Adrian Mora Delgado converted a second-chance goal. Following a corner kick, the CSUB defense deflected two UNM shots before Mora Delgado found the back of the net for the second time this season.

UNM took 14 shots, including six on goal.

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“We could have been up 2-0 or 3-0 at halftime, which would have been nice,” Fishbein said. “But I thought we defended with a lot of confidence, and we played extremely well against this team.”
UNM senior goalie Victor Rodriguez saved CSUB’s only shot on goal.
He has seen only one shot on goal in the last two games.

Roadrunner goalie Eric Shannon made four saves.

“Today was a huge one for us. Bakersfield is one of the top teams in the conference, probably in the country,” Rossi said. “We played really well and we got the job done.”

During Friday night’s 11-0 win over UNLV, senior forward Devon Sandoval scored three goals. Other goal scorers included James Rogers, Michael Kafari, Calderon, Ben McKendry, Nik Robson, Lawrence Robledo, Casey Phillips and Josh Dye.

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