In the final two home games of the regular season, the Colorado Mesa University (CMU) men’s soccer team was victorious against two RMAC rivals. On Friday it was a 2-0 over Colorado Christian University (CCU) followed by a 1-0 win over Metro State University (MSU) on Senior Day Sunday.

It was an own goal that opened the scoring for the Mavericks on Friday against the Cougars. Roberto Diaz crossed a ball into the box intended for Matthew Miller, but it was a Cougar defender who made contact with the ball and put it past his own goalkeeper.

Eight minutes after the opener came CMU’s second. Moshe Perez broke free from the defense and fired a 30-yard rocket for his ninth goal of the year.

Bryce Reedy | The Criterion
Roberto Diaz

Despite the victory, however, the team felt frustrated they couldn’t get more goal over an inferior side.

“I thought we played particularly well in the first half,” Head coach Todd Padgett said. “Would’ve liked to see a third [goal] happen in the first half to be perfectly honest. I thought the second half was a little lackluster. I thought we lost some motivation, thought we got a little complacent and a little satisfied. Hence why I think the score stayed 2-0.”

Sunday’s game brought the festivities of senior day. Trentin Atkin, Malik Mennana, Dustin Wagner, Roberto Diaz and Slater Elkind had the spotlight, celebrating their career at CMU.

On the pitch against the Roadrunners, it was a close battle between the second and third place team in the conference. One goal was all that separated both teams. In the 39 minute, Kevin Del Mazo’s shot was saved by Roadrunner goalie Tucker Schneider, but Schneider could not control the ball. Miller pounced on the rebound to give the Mavericks the lone goal they needed to win the game.

“I think it was a great character win for us,” Padgett said. “I thought we really played well for the majority of the game. I thought we were a little unlucky not to get a second or even a third. I thought we defended well. Metro’s a good team, their personnel is up there with anybody in the RMAC. They’re going to give teams fits for the remainder of the year.”

The Mavericks and the Roadrunners won’t have to wait long for a rematch. This upcoming weekend CMU will travel to Denver to take on Metro State once again.

“I think one of the things we hang our hat on is the team travels well this year and in the past,” Padgett said. “We don’t change a lot in terms of what we do whether we’re at home or away from home just in terms of general tactics.”

The Mavericks also have another game against the Cougars this upcoming Friday. With the RMAC tournament looming, CMU looks to continue their positive momentum for the final two regular-season games.

“We are simply looking to improve as a team,” Padgett said. “Most of what we’re doing right now is focused and concerned about what we do well. And what we don’t do so well we’re trying to improve. But we’ll take that mentality on for the next week. We’ll see where we fall in the conference picture and who we’re going to play in the conference tournament and we’ll figure out what we need to do to adjust that week following.”

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Joe Azar
Joe Azar is a senior in the Mass Communication department. Over the past three years Azar has been involved as a writer and editor for The Criterion, as well as working for CMU TV. Upon graduation, Azar plans to pursue a career in sports broadcasting.

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