The Lobos regular season finale was somewhat representative of how the season has gone.
They had weathered plenty of pressure, and appeared to be on their way to forcing overtime against the No. 19 Charlotte 49ers. Then, Charlotte forward Tommy Madden struck with less than three minutes left in regulation and gave the 49ers a 1-0 win.
"Tonight was a tough one, it was a tough way to lose," head coach Jeremy Fishbein said in a release. "Second-phase ball off their corner kick was deflected by our player into the net - story of our season thus far. This team deserves better, but our second season starts on Wednesday."
The Lobos struggled to create chances all night, and failed to create a single shot in the first half. Charlotte, on the other hand, had nine, and the onslaught began early. The first shot of the night for the 49ers came in the second minute of the game and they had five before the game hit the 20 minute mark.
However, they struggled to put shots on goal and didn’t force a single save from goalkeeper Ford Parker in the first half.
In the second half, the 49ers found a way to put those shots on goal, forcing four saves from Parker in the period. The Lobos finally mustered their first shot in the 64’ minute, when Grayson Dupont put a ball wide of the post. The second and final shot of the game came less than three minutes later as Matt Puig put the ball over the top of the net.
The 49ers goal came from an assist by Joe Brito, as Madden slotted home his first goal of the season and gave his side the win heading into the conference tournament.
The Lobos will be the No. 7 seed in the tournament and will face No. 2 seed Old Dominion at 4:30 p.m. local time on Wednesday in Charlotte. The winner of that matchup will face the winner of the Charlotte versus UAB game in the semi finals. ODU paid the Lobos a visit in the conference opener back in September and left town with a 2-1 win.
Cameron Goeldner is a sports beat reporter and photographer for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers men’s soccer, women’s basketball, softball and the Albuquerque Isotopes, but also contributes content for all other sports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Goeldfinger.