No. 6 Lobos defeat No. 2 UCLA in Los Angeles

The No. 6 UNM men's soccer team overcame a first half deficit behind a pair of goals from senior forward Devon Sandoval to defeat No. 2 UCLA 3-2 Friday night in Los Angeles in the season opening match for both teams before 1,104 at Drake Stadium. Sandoval scored the game winning goal in the 74th minute off an assist by forward Blake Smith.

The Lobos (1-0) scored three second half goals to grab the win over the Bruins (0-1), who took the lead in the 43rd minute on a header by Ryan Hollingshead. New Mexico managed to equalize at 1-1 just 11 minutes in the second half when Sandoval lofted a header into the right corner of the goal. The Lobos took their first lead at 2-1 just 3 minutes later when Sandoval found Smith on the left side and Smith took advantage of UCLA goalkeeper Earl Edwards, who had come off his line in defense.

"It was a pretty hard-fought game," said UNM head coach Jeremy Fishbein. "We thought we would be tougher than UCLA and that we would press them and cause them a lot of problems. But that was a very good team and one of the best teams we have ever played.
"I thought we mixed it up well playing softer when we needed to, but then we were able to battle when needed," he said. "We played with a lot of class, and I was just really proud of our guys."

The Bruins equalized at 2-2 in the 61st minute on a Evan Raynr header from a free kick. The game looked to be going to extra time before Sandoval and Smith teamed up for the game winner.

UCLA outshot UNM 13-5 for the game and 6-1 in the first half. The Bruins also earned three corner kicks to one for the Lobos.

Playing in his first collegeiate match, UNM goalkeeper Patrick Poblete pulled in five saves off seven shots on goal, including a pair in the waning minutes of the match to secure the win.
UCLA's Edwads had no saves on the game.

"They scored two really good goals off him, and there wasn't much he could do about them," Fishbein said of his redshirt sophomore 'keeper. "But he came up big, and he was great at the end. He was composed and had a great showing. I think our goalkeeper coach Savva Biller instills so much confidence in those guys and tonight was big for Pat."

UNM midfielder Michael Calderon had two shots for the game.
The Lobos now travel to play in the Tulsa Invitational next Friday and Sunday. UNM matches up against the host Golden Hurricane on Friday, August 31 at 7 p.m. and then play SMU at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 2.

Inside The Lobos Top Stories