Twenty seconds made all the difference on Wednesday night.
New Mexico was on its way to take the No. 10 team in the nation into overtime with a 0-0 scoreboard, but Saint Mary’s pulled off its 10th win of the season with a goal when the clock read 89:40. The Gaels are now 10-0 this season, while New Mexico is 3-6.
“We are causing our own problems…To give that one away late? Yeah that hurts,” said UNM head coach Jeremy Fishbein.
The Lobos were outshot 13-6, but this stat doesn’t tell the whole story. Alex Fetterly played his third game of the season as the starting goalkeeper, this was his first time facing a ranked opponent.
Last weekend, Fishbein switched around a couple positions including Nick Barreiro in the center and Bailey Letherman as a right-back, the first time he had ever done that. Matt Dorsey was pushed higher up the field. This lineup got the Lobos their first shutout of the season with a 2-0 result over Florida Atlantic.
However, FAU’s offense only had a total of three goals this season. Saint Mary’s offense was the first real test this lineup was getting, as the Gaels were coming in averaging three goals per game.
The winning goal was scored by Jakub Svehlik, his fourth of the season. The assist went to Jake Rudel, as he went around Fetterly (who he came out the net) before making the pass to Scvehlik.
There must be a valuable lesson in all this……a painful one. 0-1 loss to #10 ranked team in the country with 22 seconds left in the match. Man am I proud of our team. They are suffering and are handling our situation with humility and maturity. They are driven and hungry!
— Jeremy Fishbein (@CoachFishNM) September 27, 2018
Fishbein said that, with the exception of the Washington game, he thought the Lobos have looked like they had a chance to walk away with wins in games they have lost. What’s been costing the team these results, the coach said, has been “making little mistakes,” including not connecting passes. The energy for 90 minutes and the confidence to execute were also issues he mentioned.
“The consequences are pretty painful,” Fishbein said. “We are not a team playing with energy and confidence, faith and trust. I’ll take a lot of that responsibility. This isn’t who we see ourselves as, as the New Mexico soccer team.”
Out of the six losses New Mexico has suffered this season, four of those have been at home. This isn’t normal. Last year, the Lobos only fell once in Albuquerque. They went undefeated in 2016.
“It’s almost like there is more pressure at home,” Fishbein said. “It’s tough, it’s tough to play here at home. Whereas in the past, this was always kind of our fortress.”
The Lobos remain in Albuquerque this Saturday to resume Conference USA play with an 11am match against Florida International.