The University of New Mexico Lobos defeated the University of Virginia Cavaliers on Sunday evening, advancing to their second consecutive Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament for men's soccer. With a final score of 3-1, UNM will advance to play the University of Connecticut Huskies at UConn next Sunday.
The Lobos got started quickly in this game, playing an aggressive style that has been one of their calling cards all season. The cherry and silver team managed a quick three corner kicks in the first six minutes, and Kyle Venter scored off a header from Michael Calderon in the sixth minute. The Lobos finished the first half having taken 14 shots, to UVA's meager 4 and needing only one save from keeper Patrick Poblete.
However, the second half was played in a bit looser fashion, and it showed immediately, when the Cavaliers squeezed out an equalizer goal in just the third minute of the second half. The Lobos would manage a pedestrian - compared to their blistering first half pace - six shots in the second half, but they were far more efficient shots, since two of them resulted in goals. Calderon assisted James Rogers in the 58th minute, and had his own garbage time insurance goal just twenty seconds before the match was over.
The Lobos played with great grit, especially given their lackluster second half last week, in losing the MPSF championship to Air Force, who, not for nothing, has already been eliminated from the tournament by Washington.
Next up is the University of Connecticut, who claimed a 1-0 victory over Northeastern at home on Sunday night as well. The Huskies are particularly impressive at home, as they haven't lost a match there in 37 games, dating back to 2009. The Lobos will come into Storrs looking to push the pace and play their style of soccer, no matter where the match is being held.
There are conflicting reports of what time the match will take place, but it will be on Sunday the 25th, and various bars, especially Coaches Sports Bar and Grill, will almost assuredly be broadcasting it no matter the time. Turn out on Sunday and support the Lobos as they move through the NCAA Tournament.
Updates on 2 fronts: The game will be at 11 MST and you can stream it on the Lobos website. Also, Coaches is closing so I'm not confident they'll be broadcasting the game on their last day of business. Here's to hoping!