The Lobos hosted the Falcons at Robertson Field and pulled off the win after 90 minutes of regulation time and 20 minutes of overtime.
Though UNM was coming off a 4-2 win over Fort Lewis, head coach Jeremy Fishbein said the Lobos would not take a game against Air Force lightly. The Lobos defeated the Falcons 1-0 at home last spring. But then fell to them 0-1 in an exhibition in Colorado Springs last August.
“Air Force always presents a great challenge,” Fishbein said.
He described the Falcons as fit and tough, and said playing against them was a good opportunity for the Lobos.
“This was an interesting game,” he said. He added that he thought the Lobos’ performance in the first half was “pretty average.”
The game was scoreless until the 34th minute, when redshirt sophomore starter Chris Wehan scored from 25 yards out and gave his team a 1-0 lead.
The Lobos did not hold the lead for long, however.
Due to miscommunication during an Air Force corner kick, the Lobos allowed what Fishbein called a “soft goal,” and the game was tied in the 42nd minute.
The second half of the match went scoreless, but Fishbein said he was a lot happier with his team’s performance.
“We were very good,” Fishbein said. “We should’ve put a couple away. We had the run of the game the second half, pretty comfortable.”
The first half of overtime also went without a goal, but the Lobos restored their lead two minutes into the second half when sophomore midfielder/forward Niko Hansen scored off a combo play with Wehan.
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Fishbein said several of his players created chances to score, but didn’t quite manage to put the ball in the back of the net. He said he was happy with the goals Wehan and Hansen scored, but he hoped other players would step up as well.
“(They) both scored nice goals,” he said. “That’s what we expect out of them, but we can’t just be dependent upon two guys.”
Wehan said the game was certainly not easy because Air Force was a tough opponent, but he said he was pleased by the results.
“I actually thought that, compared to last weekend, it was a lot better,” Wehan said. “I was a lot happier with our performance.”
The Lobos will travel to Taos to face Denver University on Saturday.
Isabel Gonzalez is a sports reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @cisabelg.