A game at home and one on the road this weekend resulted in two different outcomes for Colorado Mesa University men’s soccer team. At Walker Field, the Mavericks routed Colorado State University-Pueblo 3-0. On the road against University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, a disastrous second half doomed CMU, who lost with a shocking 3-1 scoreline.
On Friday the Mavericks rolled past CSU-Pueblo with ease. Moshe Perez and Malik Mennana created a give-and-go play and Perez found an opening to give the ball to Mennana on the break. Mennana made sure the open chance didn’t go to waste, scoring a goal just 1:27 into the game to give CMU a 1-0 and Mennana his third goal of the season.
Perez would also be involved with the next goal nine minutes into the match. His shot was saved by Thunderwolves goalkeeper Erich Frey. However, Frey wasn’t able to hold onto the ball. Matthew Miller got the rebound and scored to give the Mavs a 2-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the game.
Then Mennana got his second goal of the game in the 28 minute. From 30 yards out he fired a shot that scored. His long-range goal was the sixth of the season and gave CMU a comfortable 3-0 lead they would ride to the end for their ninth win of the season.
Looking at the scoreline it should be no surprise this game was dominated by the Mavericks. CMU outshot CSU Pueblo 22-7, with seven Maverick shots on target opposed to the Thunderwolves three.
Goalkeeper Briley Guarneri’s three saves were enough to earn him his sixth clean sheet of the season. Nine wins for the Mavericks mean nine wins for Guarneri as well.
On Sunday at UCCS things went CMU’s way at first. In the 27 minute, Perez got his goal to continue his usual stellar performance. His sixth goal of the season. came when his shot slipped from UCCS goalkeeper David Meyer’s hands and crossed the line.
The Mavericks would enter halftime with a 1-0 lead thanks to Perez, but the second 45 minutes of play it went downhill for the visitors. Two minutes into the half the Mountain Lions equalized with a goal from Nathan Dee, his first of the season.
CMU’s defense would concede two penalties following the game-tying goal. In the 54 minute Blake Barnes would give the hosts the lead when he beat Guarneri from the spot. Less than 10 minutes later another foul led to another penalty kick for UCCS. Slater Elkind was given a yellow card as did CMU as a team for arguing the call. Barnes once again scored to give the Mountain Lions a cushion. The Mavericks continued to attack in an attempt to get an equalizer, but their efforts weren’t rewarded with a goal, and CMU would suffer an upset loss, their second defeat of the season.
Once again the Mavericks outshot their opponent, with 16 shots in favor of CMU and 11 for UCCS. The Mavericks also doubled the Mountain Lions’ shots on goal 6-3.
With the loss, CMU moves to 9-2-1 on the season with a 5-2-1 record in the RMAC. Despite having a better record overall, the Mavericks are now in 3 place in the conference, behind Colorado School of Mines in first place with a 7-1 RMAC record. Fort Lewis has as many wins as CMU, however, the Skyhawks have one less loss. Their 5-1-2 record has them jump the Mavericks into second place in the conference.
The Mavericks will have a game on Wednesday at Walker Field against Westminster College. The teams met two weeks ago in Salt Lake City in a game also during the middle of the week. It was a challenge for the Mavericks, who fell behind entering the second half before an equalizer by Jacob Roldan sent the game into overtime. Perez would give CMU the overtime winner a little over seven minutes into the extra period of play.
The Mavs will then travel to South Dakota to face South Dakota Mines. Both teams played previously on the same weekend CMU faced Westminster. At Walker field, the Mavericks coasted to an easy 3-1 win thanks to goals from Trentin Atkin, Miller and Perez. The lone goal conceded by CMU in that game was a defensive blunder where Guarneri was caught out of position. Kick-off on Wednesday is scheduled for 5 p.m. and Sunday’s kickoff is set for 1 p.m.