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Junior defender Kyle Venter is helped off the ground by a teammate on Oct. 5 after a 1-0 double-overtime loss to Air Force at the UNM Soccer Complex. The Falcons defeated the Lobos again on Friday, this time 2-1, in Colorado Springs, Colo. UNM bounced back on Sunday with a 2-0 win at Denver University.

UNM returns for seconds, Falcons dish out defeat

The No. 9 UNM men’s soccer team experienced déjà vu this weekend when it faced Air Force and Denver University for the second consecutive week, but this time on the road.

Like last week, UNM rebounded from a Friday loss to Air Force with a Sunday win against Denver.

The Lobos (10-3, 3-2 MPSF) had two second-half goals in a 2-0 win against Denver on Sunday. Sophomore forward James Rogers scored in the 51st minute off an assist by senior forward Blake Smith.

Rogers tallied his fifth goal of the season.

Rogers and Smith provided assists 20 minutes later, when senior forward Devon Sandoval scored his ninth goal of the year.

The Lobos outshot Denver 14-12. UNM goalie Victor Rodriguez made five saves.

Lobo head coach Jeremy Fishbein said the Pioneers played tough with the Lobos for a majority of the contest.

“We got the shutout even though we meddled around at times,” Fishbein said. “Yet, this was a win that had to happen.”

UNM entered the match following Friday’s 2-1 loss at Air Force, its second setback to the Falcons in as many weeks.

Fishbein said the team’s performance was disappointing.

“We went 1-1 on the weekend, and that’s not good enough,” he said on Sunday. “I thought we made some good adjustments to how we were playing, which was a positive today.”

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Junior defender Caleb Downey scored the deciding goal for Air Force in the 75th minute. Senior defender Jake Jones had the assist. Downey also had the game winner in a 1-0 overtime win at UNM on Oct. 5.

Senior midfielder Kevin Durr had the Falcons’ other goal, which came five minutes into the game. UNM senior midfielder Nik Robson tied the match with a penalty kick in the 51st minute. It was Robson’s third goal of the season.

New Mexico outshot Air Force 16-11 for the game, but the Falcons had a 6-5 shot advantage in the first half. Rodriguez had one save for the Lobos.


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