For the first time since 2010, and the first time under Head coach Todd Padgett, the Colorado Mesa University’s men’s soccer team is 4-0 to begin the season. Back in 2010, that team ended up with a 10-7-2 overall record and lost in the first round of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) tournament. However, this team is not like the one we’ve seen before. This team is the best we have ever seen come through this program.
Entering the season, the biggest question everyone was asking was whether or not this team was going to be able to score without Roy Abergil. That concern has since been buried away.
They have outscored opponents 7-1 through four games and outshot those opponents 60-26. That is an average of 15 shots per game to the opponents 6.5. Not only that but over 50 percent of the Mavericks shots taken have come on goal.
Moshe Perez and Kevin Del Mazo have been offensive pacesetters that opposing teams have had a hard time dealing with. Their speed on the outside combined with their ability to find the open man in transition is a combination most teams can’t deal with. Both already have 6 points on the year, with both tallying 2 goals and 2 assists.
The two of them have a connection unlike most. They always seem to know where the other is on the field at all times. This was best demonstrated against the previous #7 ranked team in the country, St. Edwards when Perez found Del Mazo across the box near the far post. Del Mazo took the cross and finished it to give the Mavericks a 2-0 cushion in the game.
However, while the offense will always get a large amount of credit when a team is winning, it has been the Maverick defense that has been even more impressive. Lead by goalkeeper Briley Guarneri and defenders Slater Elkind and Dustin Wagner, the Mavericks have been defensively stout through four games.
Defensively the Mavericks are not letting any opponent get comfortable. They are allowing a mere .385 shot percentage for the opposition. CMU’s length and speed combined with their communication have caused opposing teams to have no answer.
The preseason RMAC goalkeeper of the year, Guarneri, is currently on pace to break his single season record for most shutouts. He has had 11 the last two years, but already with 3 he only needs 9 more through the team’s final 14 games.
But here is the scariest part. They are only going to be getting better and putting up even more outrageous statistics as they begin conference play.
Last season the Mavericks did not lose a game in the conference. They finished 12-0-2 and put up at least 3 goals in 8 of those matches. But this 2017 squad is even more versatile than that team.
Unlike last season, the Mavericks have a number of different players that can beat you on any given night. Last season, the team was heavily reliant on the offensive output from Abergil. Not this year. And with only one other RMAC team in the top 25 (Regis at number 18) look for the Mavericks to roll over the conference once again.
If CMU just matches what they put up last season, that would give them a 16-0-2 record. That would secure them not only the top spot in the RMAC playoffs but the number one seed in our region in the NCAA tournament.
We are only four games in and the Mavericks have already climbed up to the number 6 team in the nation. But they have as good a chance as any to finish the regular season at the top of that ranking.
Enjoy it while you can fans because this team is the best team we have ever seen come through this program.