Two second-half goals made up for a blunder in Colorado Mesa University’s 3-1 win over South Dakota School of Mines on Sunday.
CMU struck first off a corner kick 21 minutes into the first half. Kevin Del Mazo whipped a cross into the box that found Trenton Atkin for the opening goal.
“No we just have a few more targets in dangerous areas,” Head coach Todd Padgett said. “Having a few more targets is great, but obviously having a few more targets that can do something is a coach’s dream.”
What isn’t a coach’s dream, however, was the goal conceded by the Mavericks with two minutes to go in the first half. Goalkeeper Briley Guarneri punched the ball out of his 18-yard box to clear the Hardrocker’s attack. The problem was no one on the CMU defense was able to continue pushing forward with the ball, leaving Guarneri stranded out of position. Sterling McKenzie capitalized on the mistake to tie the game entering halftime.
“Poor decision followed by a poor decision,” Padgett said. “Followed by a poor decision and probably another poor decision. You look at the goals scored on us all year and they’ve more often than not it comes down to our mistakes. If we’re going to keep on making those mistakes like that it’s going to come back to bite us.”
CMU was able to bounce back and take the lead for good in the second half. Moshe Perez sent across and once again it found the head of a CMU player for a goal. Matt Miller put enough strength to his shot and rainbowed the ball in for the goal and a 2-1 Maverick lead.
“The second goal that was scored by Matt Miller was a world-class goal,” Padgett said. “And not only was it a world-class goal, but it helped us get the rhythm and tempo back in the match.”
CMU had a chance for another after being awarded a penalty. Perez fired a great shot, but goalkeeper Kyle Daledovich made a better save. He guessed correctly and beat Moshe’s shot to keep the game at 2-1. That is until Perez got another crack at goal in the 76th minute, where he fired a rocket to finally get his goal, his 5th of the season.
“Obviously [Perez] was a bit disappointed about his missed PK,” Padgett said. “It was a well-taken PK, but it was just a better save. That happens sometimes. His response to get the third goal was fantastic. But I think what I noticed the most about Moshe was his leadership. Late in the game, there were a couple times Moshe ran back 70 or 80 yards to help defend. And if one of our best offensive players is providing that example then we’ll be all the better for it.”
The Mavericks finish the week in second place in the RMAC standings with a 4-1-1 conference record. CMU will remain at Walker Field next weekend with games against Colorado Christian University and Metro State University on Friday and Sunday.