The University of New Mexico’s men’s soccer team was held scoreless on Monday night in its match against No. 24 Washington as the Lobos fell to the Huskies 2-0.
New Mexico (1-1) seemed to come out with less energy than it had in Friday's season opener, in which the team dispatched of No. 22 Seattle by a score of 4-2.
As the Lobos and Huskies felt each other out, both appeared to be defensive minded. As a result, the game went into halftime in a scoreless tie, but Washington applied stronger and more consistent pressure throughout the first frame.
The Huskies registered four shots over the first 45 minutes of play, but junior UNM goalkeeper Ford Parker was up to the task and protected the net. The Lobos managed two corner kicks and registered two shots in the first half, but the Husky defense held too as the score remained 0-0.
In the second half, Washington wasted no time bringing the heat — scoring the game’s first goal in the 48th minute.
UNM was unable to find the equalizer as it probed the defense and tried to generate a scoring chance. Instead it was Washington that broke though, providing an insurance goal at the 71:38 mark off Mark Menzies to make the score 2-0.
New Mexico had its chances, but failed to register a single shot on goal despite registering seven corner kicks in the match. The Huskies outshot the Lobos 10-9 overall and made the most of the opportunities with six of them being on goal.
The UNM offense was led by senior Antoine Vail and sophomore Nick Taylor, each of whom took two shots in the game.
Parker, who played all 90 minutes, tallied four saves against Washington — including one impressive effort in the second half. A Husky player appeared to have a good angle to sneak a shot attempt through and tried to go top shelf, but Parker was able to jump up and get a hand on the ball to record the save.
But ultimately the Lobos couldn’t match what their opponent brought onto the field, especially offensively and the Huskies improved to 2-0 on the season with the 2-0 victory.
UNM Head Coach Jeremy Fishbein said Monday’s result was disappointing but that the team would quickly rebound.
“You win or you learn, and that’s how we have to approach this,” Fishbein said, “We’ll be the better for it and it’s nothing to hold your head down.”
Fishbein said in order to prepare for its next match, a Friday matchup against California State University-North, the team will need to work on execution when handling the ball and connecting passes.
The Lobos play at CSUN on Friday, Aug. 31 at 8 p.m. in the first of a three-game road trip.
Alanie Rael is a freelance sports reporter for the Daily Lobo. She primarily covers volleyball and track and field, but but also contributes content for football. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @AllyRael.