The University of New Mexico Lobos came out a bit sloppy against the Houston Baptist University Huskies this weekend, allowing a goal in the 16th minute. The number-four ranked Lobos ultimately put two in the back of the net on Sunday morning, though, to come out on top in Houston.
The Lobos continue their march toward redemption from last year's undefeated season - a remarkable season that, due to the odd rules of soccer, concluded in the third round of the NCAA Tournament with a match that sent the Lobos home, but did not count as a loss.
The Huskies have lost five games this season, but the Lobos have taken only a single loss. Their tenacity, in the face of a 13-hour weather delay and a site change for the game, shows how focused this team is on improving last year's considerable accomplishments.
The Lobos opened conference play with this game and now face nine consecutive conference matches, in order to determine the automatic bid for the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. Ultimately, the conference games wind down with another match against Houston Baptist on Saturday, November 3. In between, of course, there are plenty of tough matches, none against the old giants of the MPSF, Sacramento State or Colorado. CSU Bakersfield, another MPSF team that qualified for the NCAA Tournament last year, will be visiting Albuquerque on Sunday, October 21, however.
In a year full of individual accolades that continue to pile up for the Lobos, the most promising praise is the national ranking and the idea that, after a couple years worth of repeated success, our team deserves to be considered among the national title contenders.
This weekend, the Lobos will look to continue their assault, as two in-conference visitors will visit Albuquerque: Air Force plays on Friday at 5 and Denver's match will start on Sunday at 1. Both matches should showcase the Lobos talents and serve as an excellent time to get behind a local team that could make waves when it comes time for the championship rounds.