Two weeks ago when the Colorado Mesa University and Westminster College soccer teams faced off, the game needed overtime to determine a winner. The second matchup of the season wouldn’t be so close. CMU scored six goals Wednesday night for a dominant 6-0 victory.
“We just tried to use last Sunday as a lesson learned,” Head coach Todd Padgett said. “You’re able to learn a lot from losses if you’re able to let yourself learn. And I think the guys did a great job of being open to what was going wrong and fixing the problem.”
After Sunday’s frustrating second-half collapse against University Colorado-Colorado Springs, the Mavericks wanted to gain momentum rolling early. They did so emphatically. Just 49 seconds into the game, Moshe Perez dribbled past Westminster defenders to score the opening goal.
Kevin Del Mazo would then score their second goal in the first two minutes of the match, with a scrappy goal that put Westminster down 2-0 early in the game.
The offense had their firepower throughout the entire game, but credit should go to the defense as well for forcing the Griffiths such little possession of the ball throughout the game.
“We got it [our defensive shape] right,” Padgett said. “I thought that led to more possessions and generally more possessions will lead to more goals.”
Given the scoreline, it is surprising the Mavericks were only up 2-0 at halftime. It was a game that’s theme was about fixing mistakes, CMU came out in the second half and did anything but struggle in the second 45 minutes of play.
“We’ve been a very, very good first-half team,” Padgett said. “But we’ve struggled in the second [half]. I think what we saw today was just a little bit more of a consistent effort throughout the match. And obviously, I think that’s what led to the six goals.”
Del Mazo scored his second of the game with a beautifully curled shot in the 18-yard box in the 48 minute for the 3-0 lead. Malik Mennana then got his first goal of the night to make the game 4-0.
The next two goals came from unlikely contributors. Niall Saffery got his first goal as a Maverick with a thundering shot just outshot of the box. Then Ken Dizon finished the scoring with a goal in the final minute of the game, to bring the final score to 6-0.
Freshman goalkeeper Miguel Alaniz also got his first minutes of action as a Maverick, replacing Briley Guarneri in the final four minutes of the game. His first bit of action was facing a Westminster free kick close to goal, which he saved. After the game, he was greeted by a stampede of his teammates running over to congratulate him for his first appearance on the field.
“What we’ve said all along is the dynamic and the chemistry of this team is fantastic,” Padgett said. “They support one another. It puts a smile on your face as a coach when you see a man step up and do well; and not only do well but being supported by your teammates. That’s what being a team is all about.”
After Wednesday’s win, the team will travel to South Dakota Mines. Kick-off is scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m.