Mesa men's soccer team clinches RMAC berth
Colorado Mesa didn’t score, but it accomplished what it set out to do when the season started.
The men’s soccer team clinched a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference tournament berth with a 0-0 tie against Metro State University on Friday night at Walker Field.
“That was crucial,” Mesa senior captain Jeremy Gwerder said. “We came out here to win, but to get that point was big-time. That was a solid point that we needed.”
It is the second time Mesa has qualified for the tournament in the program’s six-year history. The first came in 2010.
“That’s what we wanted,” CMU coach Josh Pittman said. “We’re very happy. That was our initial goal. Tomorrow morning we’ll revise our goals and see what we can do.”
The Mavericks (8-4-3, 6-3-2 RMAC) are in fourth place in the RMAC with three games left. Six teams qualify for the RMAC tournament.
The Roadrunners (8-6-1, 5-5-1 RMAC) remain in sixth place — the final tournament spot — with three games left.
“I don’t think either team is real satisfied with a tie,” Metro State coach Ken Parsons said. “I think we both had opportunities in front of the goal that we didn’t score. It was probably a fair result, but both teams had opportunities to win this game.”
Mesa did it with solid defense, making it 307 consecutive minutes without allowing a goal.
Mesa sophomore goalkeeper Micah Conrads made five saves, most of them in the first half. Conrads has a school-record seven shutouts this season and a school record nine for his career.
“Defensively, we wanted to be sharper,” Gwerder said. “When we got to overtime, the key was to play safe and make sure the ball doesn’t go toward our goal.”
On the offensive side, the Mavericks had some scoring opportunities, taking 14 shots, including four on goal. Metro goalkeeper Issa Bissau made four saves.
Mesa hasn’t scored a goal in 327 minutes, going back four games.
“A little early we made a couple mistakes, and they countered us quick,” Pittman said. “They’re so dangerous on the counter. We got a little bit, but we were fortunate we didn’t give up a goal.
“On the flip side, we were unlucky. We created five or six opportunities, and two or three of them were wide.”