#7 New Mexico Men's Soccer 2012 Preview

New Mexico Lobos

Overall Rank: #7
Conference Rank: #1 Mountain Pacific
New Mexico Men's College Soccer 2012 Team Preview
New Mexico Team Page


It’s not often that a team goes undefeated in division one men’s soccer but the Lobos did it last season. Head coach Jeremy Fishbein and his squad knocked out 18 teams and tied four times on their road to the College Cup. The Lobos were finally stopped by a penalty kick in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA tournament after moving up to the number one seed. The unfortunate end to their ongoing rein was more fuel added to a fire, a fire that will most likely continue into the 2012 season. The Lobos will come out this year just as strong as they were last season, looking to take the Mountain Pacific Conference and the NCAA by storm for a second season in a row.  

2011 Record: 18-0-4, 10-0-0
2011 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Jeremy Fishbein

The Lobos are the team to watch this season. With almost the exact team returning to the pitch, they will definitely be looking to recreate the 2011 season with a different ending. Both offense and defense saw little damage in the roster so Coach Fishbein won’t have any trouble prepping the players this preseason. For the offense, seven players return including leading scorers Blake Smith and Devon Sandoval. The stout defense only allowed 11 goals in 22 games played last season and with six defenders plus a pair of keepers returning this season, they look to add a few more shutouts to their resume. Keeper Victor Rodriguez tallied 63 saves in 22 matches while his counterpart, Javier Lane, was able to add a few more saves while not allowing a single goal in his three matches played. This experienced team is nothing shy of a powerhouse and will most likely be taking that fire to the top of the list to the number one spot.

What weakness? To look at a team like this and say they have any disadvantages would be a weak statement in itself with no proof to back it. One could say that new recruits can drag down a team in the preseason, but the Lobos new additions aren’t without talent and have their fair share of mentors on the team. The schedule for New Mexico this season isn’t necessarily an easy schedule but there isn’t a huge threat in the conference matches. Again, an upset can come to New Mexico if they don’t continue to play smart but Coach Fishbein isn’t likely to let that happen. With very few powerhouses on the schedule, the Lobos will need to be careful not to begin to play relaxed or they may not be ready to compete with the higher ranked teams going into the post season.

Final Projection:
New Mexico will most likely continue their reign in the Mountain Pacific conference and it will certainly carry into the NCAA tournament with a bid. As long as they can repeat their 2011 season they will see the number one spot again this year and could take the College Cup title. Coach Fishbein and the Lobos will be working hard during the preseason and regular season to stay conditioned and healthy to prevent any mistakes. A pair of exhibition matches, one being against San Diego State and a couple of matches during early regular season play against UAB and UC Irvine, will help give them an idea of the competition the 2012 season will bring.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Blake Smith, Sophomore, F, 10
Assists: Devon Sandoval, Senior, F, 8
Shots: Devon Sandoval, Senior, F, 60
Saves: Victor Rodriguez, Senior, GK, 63

Madness 2013 MLS Draft Rankings:
#18 Blake Smith
#22 Kyle Venter
#23 Victor Rodriguez