CMU men don’t let down after big win
There was no letdown for the Colorado Mesa men’s soccer team.
Two nights after defeating nationally ranked Colorado School of Mines for the first time in the program’s history, the Mavericks dominated Colorado Christian in a 3-1 victory Friday night at Walker Field.
“We came out well,” CMU senior captain Michael Bagheri said. “One of the things we worried about was coming out slow, especially after a big win like that.
“I thought we showed we’re in it for the long run. We want to win conference, the RMAC tournament, win that and go to the NCAA tournament. We want to go as far as possible.”
The Mavericks (7-4-3, 5-2-3 RMAC) controlled play from the start with 23 shots, including 13 on goal.
Colorado Christian (3-10, 3-6 RMAC) was limited to six shots, three on goal. CMU goalkeeper Brandyn Bumpas had two saves.
“We said, ‘What if this was the game to get us into the playoffs, how would we perform tonight?’ ” CMU coach Josh Pittman said. “The guys reacted very well. I thought they moved the ball better tonight than they have in the last few games.”
Freshman Spencer Jackson gave the Mavericks a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute on a shot from the right side.
“I should’ve been on the back post on the first (scoring opportunity) and wasn’t,” Jackson said. “It just happened. I saw an opening and took it. Alan (Hernandez) crossed it, and I slipped it by.”
The Mavericks continued to pepper the Cougars’ goal through the first half.
Twelve minutes later, sophomore defender Blake Carlson scored on a header in the left corner near the post. It was assisted by Marco Escobar.
The Mavericks took 10 shots, including seven on goal in the first half. They led 2-0.
“We try and do that every game,” Bagheri said. “Sometimes it doesn’t work. I felt we came out strong. Our goals didn’t come right away, but they came, and that’s what we needed to do.”
“We needed to be very disciplined,” Pittman said. “We don’t want to give up any set pieces. They are a very big team. They get timely goals. They’ve done it all year. They’ve had a couple interesting wins this year. We just needed to manage the game and move the ball well. We did.”
Mesa continued controlling play in the second half.
The Mavs’ Legofi Crawford just missed a breakaway goal in the 50th minute, and Stan Schrock took a shot that hit the left post and trickled away.
Finally, Crawford found the net in the 61st minute on assists by Sean Foster and Bagheri for a 3-0 lead.
“Ethan (Johnson) got stuck on the side, but he found me in the middle,” Bagheri said. “LC had a great finish.”
Colorado Christian’s Luke Burgard scored from the right side on an assist by Calvin Beck with 2:08 left.
“It was disappointing giving up that goal,” Pittman said. “We pride ourselves on defense. We don’t want to give up any goals this year.”
It was the 10th goal the Mavericks allowed this season.