[ELITE EIGHT: #7 NEW MEXICO] Expectations are high at New Mexico after the Lobos went 10-0-0 in the MPSF and ran off 13 straight wins en route to their first unbeaten season (18-0-4). But they are also motivated to improve on their 2011 NCAA Tournament run that ended after two games when they fell in a shootout at South Florida.
RETURNEES. The Lobos return nine starters from last year's team, including all-MPSF first-team picks Kyle Venter, Blake Smith and Devon Sandoval. Coach Jeremy Fishbein also welcomes back two second-team all-conference picks (Victor Rodriguezand Travis Campbell) and two third-team selections (Matthew Gibbons andJames Rogers). "Obviously we have high expectations after last year," said Smith. "I think our team goals should be, and as does the rest of the team, to take it one game at a time. Our goal is to win every game and push past the Sweet 16 this year."
NEWCOMERS. Fishbein added senior transfer Nik Robson, who scored 28 goals in three seasons at UCF, and Costa Rican Michael Calderon, who spent two seasons at Fairleigh Dickinson. Preseason wins at Cal State Northridge (3-2) and San Diego State (2-1) only have added to the optimism in Albuquerque. Playing up front underneath Sandoval, Calderon scored in both games.
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