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Albuquerque, N.M. --- The New Mexico Lobos have played one of the toughest schedules in the nation, with three nationally-ranked opponents and a New Mexico State team sitting at 2-2.  The Lobos are home this weekend, but the tough schedule continues with Rice University of Conference USA visiting the UNM Soccer Complex on Friday night at 6 p.m. before hosting undefeated Michigan State on Sunday at noon.

The Lobos are coming off a weekend that saw them take on a pair of storied programs in No. 1 North Carolina and No. 12 Duke, giving both teams all it could handle.  The Lobos became the first and only team to score on North Carolina this season, and led at halftime before ultimately falling 2-1.  The Lobos then recovered from a sluggish start against Duke to take the play at the Blue Devils, but an early first half goal for Duke was all the scoring in the match as Duke won 1-0.

In Rice and Michigan State, the Lobos will take on two teams that are a combined 4-1-2 the season.  UNM’s four previous opponents, including this weekend’s opponents, are a stellar 16-5-2 so far on the young season.

The Lobos have been led this season offensively by Dylann O’Connor, who has both of UNM’s goals on the season, one against New Mexico State and one against North Carolina.  Defensively, it’s easy to point out sophomore Cassie Ulrich’s 29 saves, but over the weekend the Lobos got stellar performances by Savannah Viola, a true freshman forward who ended up playing all 180 minutes as an outside defender.  Brooke Ellison, Liz Nare and Brianna Webster were there usual steady selves.  Also of note was due to a pregame injury, Ashley Espinosa, who had played just 10 career games, ended up playing a career-high 81 minutes against North Carolina and then earning her second career start against Duke.

New Mexico hosting Rice
6 p.m. – UNM Soccer Complex
Live Stats(Computer):
Live Stats (Mobile Phone):
Live Web Stream (Free):!/watch-live
UNM Soccer Twitter: @ nmlobowsoccer

New Mexico hosting Michigan State
Noon – UNM Soccer Complex
Live Stats(Computer):
Live Stats (Mobile Phone):
Live Web Stream (Free):!/watch-live
UNM Soccer Twitter: @ nmlobowsoccer

About the 2013 Lobos                   
New Mexico last season went 11-7-2, and advanced to the Mountain West championship game for the third straight season after finishing in second place in the Mountain West.  The Lobos return six starters and 11 letterwinners, although they also have five squad members back as well as several redshirts and a host of newcomers (there are officially 16 freshmen on the 35-person roster).

New Mexico is 1-3-0 on the season.  The win was against New Mexico State in overtime 1-0 in Las Cruces.  UNM’s record is pretty deceiving, as the Lobos have three one goal losses to three nationally ranked teams, losing to No. 24 Texas Tech, No. 1 North Carolina, and No. 12 Duke. 

Lobos vs. Rice
The Lobos and Rice have played once before, back in 2009 when the UNM and Rice tied 1-1
Houston.  The only current member of the squad that played in that contest was Shelbie Luna, who was a freshman and played 17 minutes.  Rice is a member of Conference USA, and they play in the eight-team West Division.  Lauren Hughes is the reigning C-USA Offensive Player of the Week.

The Lobos are 12-11-4 against the current configuration of the rather enormous Conference USA women’s soccer lineup  (1-0 vs. Marshall, 3-1-1 vs. Tulsa, 3-5-1 vs. UTEP, 1-0-1 vs. North Texas, 0-0-1 vs. Rice and 3-5-0 vs. Colorado College).  UNM is 4-5-1 at home, 7-6-3 on the road, and 1-0-0 on neutral sites.

Date                        Opponent                                Score                       Att.          Site
Sep. 18, 2009          at Rice                                     T (2OT) 1-1             451          Houston, Texas

Lobos vs. Michigan State
The Lobos are 0-1 against Michigan State, having lost 2-0 in a neutral site game at Air Force in 2003. 

The Lobos are 13-10-4 against the current configuration of the Big 12 women’s soccer lineup (1-0-1 vs. Baylor, 2-2 vs. Oklahoma, 0-1 vs. Oklahoma State, 0-1 vs. Iowa State, 1-0 vs. Kansas, 2-3 vs. Texas, and 7-3-3 vs. TCU).  UNM is 10-4-1 at home, 3-5-3 on the road, and 0-1 on neutral pitches.

Date                        Opponent                                Score                       Att.          Site
Nov. 2, 2003            vs. Michigan State                  L 0-2                        108          Colo. Springs, Colo.


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