For 85 minutes of soccer, the defending Division II national champions had Division I University of New Mexico on the ropes on the Lobos home turf in Albuquerque.
Fort Lewis College led UNM 1-0 deep into Fridays exhibition before surrendering a late goal then the win in overtime. UNM, led by ex-FLC head coach Jeremy Fishbein, defeated FLC 2-1.
We got a little bit tired toward the end, FLC coach Oige Kennedy said late Friday night. But for 85 minutes, we dominated.
Byron Cephers finished a free kick from Thomas Hoang in the first 20 minutes of the game to take a 1-0 advantage.
In the final five minutes, however, we got a little tired and gave the ball away a little bit, Kennedy said.
Kennedy, nonetheless, was pleased with his teams effort.
Thats a very strong program, and our guys all played at a Division I level (Friday night), he said. I think the guys showed that the top end of Division II is not too far away from the top end of Division I.
FLC will open its regular season next weekend against archrival Colorado School of Mines in a nonconference game, then will play fellow regional powerhouse West Texas A&M two days later. Both regular-season games will be played in Golden.
Thats a big opening weekend for us, Kennedy said. Those are two big games. But like Ive said before, well play anybody, anytime, anywhere.
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