A mistake in the second half led to a 1-0 loss for the UNM men’s soccer team on Saturday afternoon.
The Lobos hosted the Colorado School of Mines in their second-to-last game before they wrap up the spring season. New Mexico has posted a 1-3 record so far, and although the team will finish with a losing record, the Lobos are trying to stay positive.
“I think it depends on how you view the game. We’ve looked at the spring as a progression,” UNM head coach Jeremy Fishbein said. “A lot of the things we set out to do, we did an extremely good job. I thought the run of play, our ball movement and in terms of creating opportunities, we were fantastic.”
New Mexico had a few good scoring opportunities in the game. Just five minutes into the match, Lobo midfielder Simon Spangenberg took control of the ball and went one-on-one with the Mines goalkeeper. The sophomore from Belgium sent a shot on target, but the ball refused to go in.
He had another chance in the 30th minute, but that shot was from a much greater distance, resulting in an easy save for the keeper.
“You've gotta have an element of luck, which we didn’t really have today,” Spangenberg said. “You can’t always control everything. Sometimes you need to be a bit lucky to get that ball in. It’s going to come. I’m positive about that.”
A few other Lobo players saw chances, but the first 45-minute period ended in a 0-0 draw.
New Mexico also saw multiple opportunities in the first 10 minutes of the second period, but at the 57th minute mark it was the Mines who found found the back on the net in what would become the winning goal.
The shot came from the right side of the box, and the ball followed a straight path into the bottom left corner of the net, just out of reach for redshirt freshman goalkeeper Ford Parker.
“I think we tried to play it a little too much,” Parker said. “We gave a bad giveaway. They had a pretty good shot, and I was a little bit out of position. It’s unlucky I guess.”
The defense might have let one slip in, but the offense not finishing also hurt the team. Fishbein said he saw good possession and multiple chances being created but not a lot of finishing, which he hopes is something the group can improve on.
"We created 10 to 12 decent chances. To win games, you have to take those,” the coach continued.
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Fishbein said the team is going to focus on finishing the spring on a high note but will also be taking on the approach of knowing that these games are preparation for the fall, which means they are meant to show each player what they need to work on.
“You get one more game this spring with this group, and then you keep moving forward,” he said. “You have to look at it in that there’s quite a few positives. It sucks to lose, no question about it. Nobody likes to lose, and this isn’t a group that likes to lose. It will be a challenge, we’ll see how we react.”
Isabel Gonzalez is a sports reporter for the Daily Lobo. She mainly covers men’s soccer and basketball. She can be reached at sports @dailylobo.com or on Twitter @cisabelg.