The 2008 Lobo Soccer Season is officially underway! The realization that
"nothing is going to come easy" hit us right in the face this weekend. Two
games to open the season in sunny/smoggy Southern California at the Loyola
Marymont Crown Plaza Classic. We opened play on Friday vs the host LMU
Lions. We felt good going into the game and maybe, a tad too confident. In
the 24th minute, junior transfer, Euan Holden, hit a left footed curling
free kick from 25 yards into the upper left corner of the goal for our
first goal of the season. We controlled play until the 60th minute when a
Lobo miscue led to a LMU counter attack and an incredible goal from 30
yards. It appeared that the Lion left winger was attempting to cross the
ball, but miss hit the ball and found the far post upper corner from an
impossible angle. Lobo goalkeeper Staver was looking for the cross and
could only watch the ball dip over his outstretched glove. We continued to
press and dominated the majority of play. Two great chances, which should
have been goals, just missed the mark and after two ten minute sudden death
overtime periods, the game ended in a very disappointing 1-1 tie. LMU
celebrated, while we were furious with our inability to finish quality
chances. After the game I asked myself why I continue to make my living
this way? The rigors and mind games of the season are upon us! I wish I
could say we put the game behind us and immediately began to focus on
Sundays game...a sleepness night and the ongoing loop of the game and our
chances repeating itself in my head...over and over and over and
We had a great team meeting Saturday night and everyone felt very positive
about Sundays match vs the University of San Diego. USD had tied #5 ranked
St. Louis in Fridays neutral match and would prove to be a challenging
opponent. The game kicked off at 11:30 AM and at 11:35 we were down a goal.
A miss clearance, a slip and 1-0 USD. We were in for a tough game. To our
boys credit, we quickly regrouped and never lost our focus. We dominated
possession and gradually began to control the game. We did everything but
put the ball in the back of the net. We hit the post, whistled shots just
over the post...everything but score. I was still very confident and happy
with our play, but as the clock began to show 10 minutes left in the match,
I started getting that hollow feeling in my stomach. With four minutes
remaining in the contest, a great service from the right flank by Ryan
Farquharson, found 6'5" Chris Wrights head to even the score at 1-1.
Regulation exhausted, we entered overtime very confident. We had possessed
the ball the majority of the game and USD had chased us all over the field.
Their legs were shot. Less than two minutes into the first overtime,
Farquharson played a beautiful ball over the top to Stephen Brown, who had
made a tremendous run from deep. The GK came off his line and Brown
casually lifted the bouncing ball over his head for the winning sudden
death goal. 2-1 Lobos in a thriller! We played very well and were rewarded
in the end. Four Lobos made the all-tournament team: Chris Wright, Jack
Smithson, Simon Ejdemyr and Zach Tierney. Wright was the tournament MVP.
We play our next four games at home with NCAA Tournament participant
Michigan State this Friday at 7:30 PM and NCAA participant and #21 ranked
Louisville on Sunday at 4:00. Two great games vs tremendous opponents.
Thanks for your support and see you this weekend! GO LOBOS!
Head Men's Soccer Coach
University of New Mexico
Thanks as usual, Duke. I love to read Coach Fish's comments!
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