The Mavericks hit the road this past Friday and came home victorious, defeating Colorado College 34-17. The team has struggled to find consistency throughout the season, but Friday was different. The Mavericks played collectively and used an all-around team effort to earn a playoff spot.
The Mavericks came into the game with a 2-3 record, and a win would put them in the playoffs, something Head coach Mackenzie Lewis wanted her team to know before the game.
“I told them right before the game that they could control their season in one game,” Lewis said. “It’s crazy that it came down to that, but they had complete control in their outcome and they showed up.”
Lewis is referring to the quick turnaround that occurred in the standings. The loss earlier this year to UNC became a victory for the Mavericks since UNC played with illegal players. The Mavericks also received another forfeit win due to UCCS not having enough players.
With the team having a chance at playoffs, they started the game playing stellar defense. After seven minutes into the game, outside center Michael Tombre intercepted a pass and scored a try to make it 5-0. The team hit the conversion, feeling confident with their 7-0 lead. Colorado Mesa University continued to play with resound confidence in the first half and coasted into halftime with a 12-0 lead.
It was a home game of sorts for the Maverick players, as they had multiple family members attend the game. It was a boost for the players who were looking for an outside spark.
“Having family in the stands, they played the way that they know how to play, so it was really something else to see them come together at the right moment,” Lewis said.
The added motivation let the Mavericks play with a fierce defense. With a 12-0 lead to start the second half, they seldom let the Tigers garner any offensive momentum. Instead, CMU looked to pile it on offensively. The team had five tries from five different players, putting together a balanced attack to put the game away in the second half. The Tigers mustered some offense late in the game, scoring a try with 10 minutes left. The Mavericks struggled at times on the outside, allowing the Tigers to gain momentum down the field, but it was too late as the team had sealed a commanding win.
“It was a well-deserved win and at the exact right time, we needed to win. We’ve consistently carried 18 or 19 kids a game, and so to see these other teams that are rostering a complete 23 is tough, but my 18 or 19 are making it happen. It’s pretty cool to see that they just stuck with it,” Lewis said.
The Mavericks will look carry their momentum into practice and prepare for their playoff matches on Oct. 28 and Oct. 29.