September 5, 2011

New Mexico Tops Santa Clara Men’s Soccer 2-0

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Visiting New Mexico capitalized on its chances Sunday night at Buck Shaw Stadium, using a pair of second-half goals to knock off host Santa Clara 2-0. Both teams are regionally ranked in the most recent NSCAA Far West Regional Poll.

After a scoreless half, Lobo freshman James Rogers dribbled through a pair of Bronco defenders near the top of the penalty box, finding the net on a shot up and inside the near post.

New Mexico (2-0-1) – an NCAA tournament invitee a year ago – added a clinching score with 10 minutes remaining, courtesy of an unassisted effort from junior Blake Smith. The Lobos were coming off a scoreless tie with Cal Poly and will return home to host its TLC Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Lobo Invitational next weekend.

Santa Clara (1-1-1) generated 15 shots but just two were on target. Junior forward Erik Hurtado matched a career-high with five shots for the Broncos. Senior goalkeeper Kevin Klasila had six saves, five coming in the first half.

The Lobos applied serious pressure on the offensive end right from the start. Klasila was able to keep New Mexico off the scoreboard in the first half despite facing eight shots.

The game was hotly contested, with both sides combining for 26 fouls and six yellow cards. The final score may not have been indicative of how close the game really was, as SCU held a 15-11 shot advantage overall.

The Broncos will conclude their season-opening five-game homestand next Friday and Sunday, when they host Nebraska-Omaha and Cleveland State.

SCU's Carlos Montes (#11) pictured above (widgic.com photo)