The Lobos hadn’t scored a goal in the first half of any game this season. Wednesday night they scored three.
The No. 21 New Mexico saw most of the ball as they recorded a 3-0 victory against the University of San Francisco. The Lobos outshot the Dons 9-4 and lead 5-1 in corner kicks.
"I think we got everything we wanted to out of this game," said UNM head coach Jeremy Fishbein. "We had a good first half, scored good goals, got a shutout, a lot of guys got minutes, and we got to rest some guys."
The opportunities began as early as the second minute, when a foul by the Dons awarded the Lobos a free kick. Junior midfielder Chris Wehan took the shot but it went too high and too wide.
In the 16th minute, junior midfielder Josh Goss sent a cross that barely missed Wehan. Two minute later Wehan had another opportunity. This time, he was able to convert and put his team on a 1-0 lead.
But this was a team effort. Redshirt sophomore defender/midfielder Lucas Seligman sent a cross that deflected from junior forward Niko Hansen.
The second goal came from freshman midfielder Simon Spangernberg in the 29th minute. Assisted by Goss, Spangernberg took the shot straight on from about 35 yards away.
"I didn't think," Spangernberg said. "I had the ball, I saw the goal, and I just shot it. I was really happy about it, but this was a team win."
The last goal was an own goal by the Dons just two minutes before the first half was over. USF’s freshman defender Hunter Ashworth deflected a cross from Goss. The ball went straight past the Dons keeper, Ryan Buckingham.
The second half of the match saw less action.
“The second half performance we just controlled the tempo of the game,” Seligman said. “When you have that lead, you get to control the speed of the play. We just kept possession. We played it a little bit safer.”
Fishbein said although he would have liked to see more goals in the second half, he was still happy with his team’s performance.
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“It would have been nice to keep that same rhythm, the same quality in the second half,” he said. “But I think more importantly, we gave a lot of guys minutes, and they deserved that.”
The Lobos are now focusing all their attention on Sunday, when they face the University of Kentucky Wildcats.
The Wildcats (5-2-1, 2-0-0 C-USA) are coming off a 3-0 win over the Florida Atlantic University Owls (0-7-1, 0-2 C-USA).
Kentucky is currently on a three-game winning streak. All three of the wins were clean sheets. This is thanks to Wildcat keeper Callum Irving recording his 21st career shutout, which so far is the UK all-time record.
Isabel Gonzalez is a sports reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @cisabelg.