A tough Washington defense resulted in a 2-0 result against the University of New Mexico men’s soccer team on Monday night.
While the Lobos were able to upset the No. 22 Seattle Redhawks on Friday, the No.24 Huskies gave New Mexico less real chances to score. A total of 19 shots were recorded, nine belonging to the Lobos, but none of those were on target.
UNM head coach Jeremy Fishbein knew this opponent would be tougher than Seattle, as he was aware that the Huskies were getting experience on the pitch as early as July while they represented the United States in the International University Sports Federation America Games. Fishbein said that to beat a team like Washington, the Lobos would’ve had to be at their best, which he admitted they weren’t.
“To beat a team like that, you can’t give them openings and you gotta take your one or two chances that you are going to get,” Fishbein said during the post game interview. “That’s what we said going into the game, you can’t give them anything. There’s going to be a couple moments and whoever takes advantage of those moments is going to win the game. We didn’t do it tonight.”
The first half of the match was scoreless, but the Huskies didn’t waste much time in the second period. Redshirt senior forward Kyle Coffee took less than three minutes to register the first goal of the night. Junior midfielder Jared Townsend received a long cross and then passed it on to Coffee to finish the job.
The insurance goal came in the 72nd minute from a counter attack that Townsend got rolling. This second goal was scored by redshirt-senior Scott Menzies. With Monday night’s result, the Huskies are 2-0 this season, with both victories registered as shutouts.
Although the Lobos didn’t get the two wins they wanted, Fishbein said that going 1-1 against Top 25 opponents during the first two games of the season is nothing to be ashamed of.
“It’s early, we played two great teams, we came out with a split,” the coach said. “We have to continue to be solid defensively, probably gotta be a little more creative offensively, mix it up.”
New Mexico will be in California for the next two games: CSUN on Friday and Cal State Fullerton on Sunday. Fishbein said that while Washington defended in a block of eight, his next opponents should be more wide open and come after the Lobos a little more, a style that suits New Mexico better.