While Michael Pehlps continues to stir up controversy that will almost surely turn into nothing, local sports at the University of New Mexico have already kicked off with a bang.
Amongst the award-winners of last year's Lobos bunch, both men's and women's soccer must surely stand as the most proud. While the men's basketball program brought in the most press and the men's and women's cross country teams were both the most impressive, there can be no doubt hat the soccer teams both made significant gains on already-impressive prior records.
The men's soccer team opened their season with two friendly matches in California last weekend. On Thursday, they beat Cal State Northridge 3-2, in a game that went to extra time, even though it didn't need to. Just after halftime, the teams had already decided to play out some extra minutes, getting the most of their exhibition, despite its non-status as a so-called important game.
On Saturday, the Lobos defeated San Diego State 2-1. Michael Calderon was the only Lobo to score in both games, but the Lobos had six shots in the second half of Saturday night's game. The men's team - losers in last year's prelude to the quarterfinals last year - appears to be off to a good start. The men's team will play their first in-season game on Friday, August 24, at UCLA.
The women's team, no slouches in the NCAA Tournament themselves, have begun their season in a bit more of an odd-fashioned manner. After battling TCU to a 1-1 draw, called early because of weather, the Lady Lobos lost to Texas Tech a mere two days later.
The women's team doesn't return to Albuquerque until September 16, when they will play New Mexico State University, in a twist on the Rio Grande rivalry that matches up women's soccer teams instead of the men's basketball squads.
Both soccer teams will be looking to improve on their standings from last year, and seem to be in good position to do so. Now might be the time to mention the Lobo Pride Pass, which debuted last year, but seems to be an even wiser purchase this year. With plenty of winning to go around, at the price of a good football ticket, it seems like a wise investment.