The UNM men’s soccer team fell 1-0 to the Kentucky Wildcats during a grueling double overtime match on Sunday.
"It's pretty disappointing," said UNM head coach Jeremy Fishbein. “I don't think we deserved to win it. But we had our chances, so I'm not saying we deserved to lose either. That was a tough one."
The first half was not at all in favor of the Lobos.
The Wildcats (6-2-1, 3-0-0 C-USA) saw a lot of the ball on the New Mexico side of the field. They outshot the Lobos 8-2, although none of those shots were particularly dangerous. Lobo keeper Jason Beaulieu was able to make three easy saves.
Kentucky also led 3-1 in corner kicks. New Mexico only led when it came to fouls. The Lobos recorded 10, whereas the Wildcats only recorded three.
"In the first half we just really didn't come out well," Fishbein said. "I thought we were fortunate to go into halftime 0-0.”
But the second half was a lot better for the New Mexico.
The Lobos began attacking more and tied the Wildcats in shots with six a piece.
In the 70th minute, Kentucky’s junior midfielder Paul Sime received a yellow card, which awarded the Lobos a free kick. Junior midfielder Chris Wehan took the shot, but he sent the ball too high and too wide on the right side.
Wehan led his team with four shots recorded throughout the match. In the 86th minute he took a powerful shot that was blocked by the Wildcat defense.
Just seconds later, junior defender Chris Gurule took a header that was slightly too wide on the left. But none of these efforts were able to put any goals on the scoreboard during regulation.
The first overtime saw two shots from New Mexico and one for the Wildcats, but no goals for either side.
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The game-winning goal for Kentucky came with just 1:26 remaining in double overtime.
Kentucky’s sophomore forward Stefan Stojkovic slipped the ball into the Lobo net with an assist by his teammate, junior midfielder Napo Matsoso.
“We really wanted to win today because we were 0-1 in conference,” said UNM freshman midfielder Kasper Kajermo.
Kajermo also said that losing with less than a minute and a half left in double overtime made the loss even more difficult for his team.
“But we didn’t play our best. So we can only blame ourselves,” he added.
Fishbein said the Lobos (6-3-1, 0-2-0) did well defensively but were lacking in the attacking third by not being able to put the ball in the net.
"We had a couple decent [chances],” he said. “But to win games guys have to put those away."
Fishbein said he was confident going overtime and wanted his players to go in with a winning mentality.
“I thought we were playing really well at the end of the half,” he said. “I thought we were good, we had good energy, and I thought we were going to win. That was the mentality of the guys, too. That was a tough one."
Isabel Gonzalez is a sports reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @cisabelg.