New Mexico made the most out of its home opener match and took down the CSUN Matadors with a 2-0 shutout on Friday night.
This was the team’s first scheduled match for the TLC Plumbing and Utility Invitational, hosted by UNM.
“It was good to get that one and just kind of validate that we are the team we think we are,” said head coach Jeremy Fishbein.
The Lobos were coming off two 1-0 losses from their opening weekend. The losses were against two ranked opponents, the then-No. 13 Indiana and the then-No. 9 Notre Dame. Both goals against the New Mexico came from penalty kicks.
But the Lobos were able to put an unsuccessful weekend behind them to dominate over the Matadors (1-1). They began attacking as early as the 6th minute when defender Tom Smart took the first shot of the match from inside the box.
In the 9th minute, forward Niko Hansen took a shot from the left side, but was not able to convert. Seconds later, forward Luke Lawrence took a shot himself but sent the ball too wide.
Ten minutes later, a header by Nicholas Rochowski looked promising but ended up being too wide.
The first goal came from Hansen during the 23rd minute. He scored unassisted after dribbling past two defenders. Hansen’s shot came from the right side of the box and went straight past CSUN’s goalkeeper, Kevin Marquez.
The Lobos took control of the first half, outshooting the Matadors 9-1. They also recorded five corner kicks while the Matadors got none.
“What a great first half performance. We were fantastic the first 45 minutes,” Fishbein said. “It was a good game, it flattened off at times but anytime you play a good team they're going to get a hold of the ball a bit.”
Five minutes into the second half, midfielder Josh Goss had a chance to increase his team’s lead but his shot was saved by Marquez.
The final goal of the night came in the 70th minute. Devin Boyce got his first goal of the season when he shot from the top of the box.
Get content from The Daily Lobo delivered to your inbox
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Boyce said “Any athlete knows that scoring a goal is the best feeling in the world. I think it just makes me hungry to go out, get the ball rolling and score a few more.”
Fishbein said he was happy with what he saw from his attacking third and that he expects the same, or better results on Sunday.
"Niko needed that goal and we need him to score goals. Great goal from Devin Boyce. I feel one coming from (Chris) Wehan next game,” he said.
The head coach said he was also feeling good about the back line.
“It starts from the back. Confidence comes from our defending,” Fishbein said. “I’m real proud of the guys. It’s good to get a shutout. We have yet to give up a goal in the run of play.”
The match ended with the Lobos leading 14-5 in shots, and 7-4 in corner kicks.
The Lobos will finish the weekend with a match against the Cal Poly Mustangs on Sunday.
The Mustangs took on the Air Force Falcons on Friday afternoon. Although Cal Poly (0-3) outshot the Falcons 13-10, and led 4-2 in corner kicks, the Mustangs ended up falling short and losing 1-0.
The Sunday game will start at 6 p.m. at the UNM Soccer Complex.
Isabel Gonzalez is a sports reporter for the Daily Lobo. She mainly covers men's soccer and basketball. She can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @cisabelg