No. 1 New Mexico rolls past UNLV
Roundup: No. 2 Creighton clinches share of MVC crown
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- It was a historic night at the UNM Soccer Complex as top-ranked New Mexico downed UNLV 3-0 in its final regular-season game of the year.
The win made the Lobo men’s soccer squad just the second team in school history to close out an undefeated regular season, as they improved to 16-0-2 and a perfect 10-0-0 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play.
Having already clinched the regular season conference title and the No. 1 seed in the upcoming MPSF tournament, the Lobos were looking to cap off a season already laden with epic statistics. The team shattered the program’s previous record of 11 consecutive games unbeaten with its Oct. 9 victory against Air Force, and finished the year on a 12-game win streak and four consecutive shutouts.
In fitting form, it was the senior class who kick started the scoring, each slotting away a penalty kick in in opposite halves to help send the No. 1 Lobos into the postseason as the last undefeated team in the nation. Lance Rozeboom’s first-half shot worked as the game winner, coming in the 41st minute of a very evenly matched first half. Giovannie Rollie drew the foul in the box and Rozeboom, having shouldered the responsibility of PKs all season, finished the play to put the Lobos up 1-0 with his third goal of the season.
A physical game by UNLV was to be expected, as the Rebels had already fallen out of the MPSF race and were playing in the last game of their season. New Mexico dominated the second half, outshooting UNLV 11-3, and 19-7 overall.
The second-half pressure paid off when they drew another foul in the box. Head coach Jeremy Fishbein immediately gave the nod to Michael Green this time, who put away his second goal of the season to give UNM a 2-0 lead in the 60th minute.
The physicality continued as the Rebels logged three yellow cards and two red cards in the second half alone. New Mexico persevered though, and in the 81st minute Lawrence Robledo put the nail in the coffin, logging a third goal after following up on a blocked shot taken by Adrian Mora Delgado.
New Mexico goalkeeper Victor Rodriguez got the win for the Lobos with four saves; his personal record matches the Lobos’ 16-0-2. The shutout was his 10th of the season. Ryan Harding started in net for the Rebels, making five saves and allowing all three goals in just over 84 minutes of play. He was ejected in the 85th minute by way of a red card and replaced by Simon Cook.
No. 2 Creighton 2, Evansville 0
OMAHA, Neb. -- Dion Acoff scored one goal and assisted on the other to help No. 2 Creighton past Evansville by a 2-0 score in its regular-season finale in front of 3,540 fans on Saturday night at Morrison Stadium. With the victory Creighton clinched a share of the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title, its 11th league championship in program history.
Creighton, which finished the regular-season unbeaten at home, improved to 16-2-0 on the year and with a 5-1-0 MVC mark shared the Valley title with Missouri State.
The Bluejays got on the board in the 14th minute when Acoff's crossing pass was deflected by an Evansville defender to Bruno Castro at the top of the 18-yard box. Castro unleashed a shot and beat Evansville keeper Eric Teppen to his left to give the Jays a 1-0 lead. The goal was Castro's fifth of the season.
Acoff added an insurance goal in the 67th minute, when he finished a beautiful run after Jose Gomez sent a perfectly placed through ball between Evansville defenders. Acoff slotted his shot into the back of the net from about 12 yards out for his third goal of the season.
The two-goal lead gave first-year Bluejay coach Elmar Bolowich the opportunity to sub in senior goalkeeper Bryan Hoie for the final 10 minutes in net. Hoie had played just over nine minutes total in his first five seasons with the team. Hoie didn't face a shot in his 10 minutes on the pitch, combining with fellow senior Brian Holt for the school-record setting 14th shutout of the season. Holt stopped one shot, while senior Jace Peters kept a ball from crossing the line with a header early in the first half.
The Bluejays went 9-0-0 at home this year, posting a school-record eight shutouts in Omaha. Creighton outscored opponents 20-1 in its nine home matches this year.
Evansville, which played the final 3:50 of the match with 10 players after a red card was issued to Jarrett Robbins, finished its season winless in league play at 0-5-1. The Purple Aces concluded their season with a 5-11-1 record overall.
No. 9 Indiana 1, Ohio State 0
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Ninth-ranked Indiana sent seniors Nick Blevins, Chris Estridge, Tyler McCarroll, Tommy Meyer and Alec Purdie out in style with a 1-0 victory against Ohio State (10-6-1, 4-2) on Saturday afternoon on Jerry Yeagley Field at Armstrong Stadium. With the win Indiana ends the regular season with an 11-3-4 record and a 3-1-2 mark in Big Ten play.
"This was a great way to finish here at home," Indiana head coach Todd Yeagley. "There was a lot to be played for here today. This 11th win is a good sign for this group. Finishing the regular season with only three losses shows this group has done a lot of good things this year."
With solid play from the Hoosiers' back four and goalkeeper Luis Soffner, a goal from sophomore Nikita Kotlov in the waning seconds of the first half was all IU needed. With 14 seconds left in the half, sophomore Matt McKain lofted a ball into the box from the right wing. Kotlov got on the end of it, taking a hard shot to the lower right from close range that snuck under Ohio State goalkeeper Matt Lampson.
The goal was the sixth of the year for Kotlov, five of which have came over the past six games. Three of his six goals have come in Big Ten matches.
The Hoosiers were on the attach from the get-to, with a header from freshman Eriq Zavaleta from one-yard out saved by Lampson less than six minutes into the match. Zavaleta was active all day for Indiana with a game-high four shot attempts.
In the 26th minute, Purdie took a shot off a run up the middle that was wide right of the net, giving Indiana another near miss at the goal. With less than five minutes to play, Zavaleta was doing work in the middle of the field receiving a ball from sophomore Jamie Vollmer off the left wing. Zavaleta weaved through a pair of defenders before laying the ball off to Kotlov, but the sophomore was unable to get much power behind his shot and the weak roller was scooped up by Lampson.
Indiana held a commanding 7-2 advantage in shots in the first half, with four of those on frame.
Ohio State came out in the second half looking for the equalizing goal, but the Hoosier back line of Meyer, Estridge, McKain and sophomore Caleb Konstanski would not break, with goalkeeper Luis Soffner facing nine second-half shots but needing to make just two saves for his seventh solo shutout of the year and the team's eighth clean sheet.