By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer
PORTALES — Things haven’t been going that well for the Newman men’s soccer team.
Not only had the Wichita, Kan.-based Jets lost seven in a row, the last six were at home.
Newman jumped on Eastern New Mexico University for goals early in each half Friday and edged the Greyhounds 3-2 at the ENMU pitch.
The Jets (3-8-1), former NAIA members, are in their second year in NCAA Division II. Coach Cliff Brown, in his 20th year at the school, said his team has been close in a number of the losses.
“The last four or five games, I think we should’ve won,” he said. “We had good chances; we just didn’t do anything with them.
“Today, I think the teams were fairly evenly matched. It was just one of those things where it went our way.”
Once again, a stiff south breeze played a role in the outcome. But while the Greyhounds (5-7) were held to a 1-1 tie with the wind in the first half, the Jets scored in the first minute of the second half and controlled play most of the way.
Freshman forward Renato Ramlochan scored just over three minutes in for Newman. ENMU tied the game late in the half on a goal by Cesareo Contreras, but the Jets jumped back in front 51 seconds into the second period on a goal by Pablo Molina.
Brian Alvarez made it 3-1 with just over 20 minutes left. The Hounds got back into it with nine minutes left when junior midfielder Hugo Gonzalez converted a penalty kick after a Newman foul in the box, but the Jets held on.
ENMU narrowly missed taking the lead as the half ran out. Andrew Perez got off a hurried corner kick in the closing seconds and sophomore midfielder Tyler Hart headed the ball in, but referee Milo Slater ruled the clock had expired just before the shot.
Hounds coach Carlos Elizondo thought the goal probably should have counted, but said the Hounds had plenty of chances.
“In the end, it was our own (failures) that brought us down,” he said. “We had opportunities, but we didn’t play like we did last weekend (in wins over St. Mary’s and Texas A&M-International), and we paid for it.”
The Hounds are home again on Sunday in a 2 p.m. match with College of the Southwest.