Afriyie, Westcott lift Mavs to first victory
It’s rare in college sports to see a freshman make a difference, but when the Mesa State men’s soccer team beat Colorado Christian University on Sunday, it was all about the youth.
Two freshmen, Evens Afriyie and Danny Westcott, provided all the scoring the Mavericks needed in a 3-0 victory at Walker Field.
“I was happy,” Westcott said. “We haven’t been scoring a lot, so it was good to get a couple of goals in there.”
The victory was much needed for the Mavericks, who had been winless. The relaxed mood on the field afterward reflected the joy that came with getting a victory.
“A win is a win, so we’re never going to insult one, and we needed it,” Mesa State coach Josh Pittman said.
The Mavericks got on the board early, with Afriyie scoring off of a pass from Ivan Goldberg in the first minute, a goal that set the pace for the game.
Thirty-eight minutes later, Westcott was able to give the Mavericks some insurance, scoring two goals in less than a minute and half to put Mesa up 3-0.
Westcott, who came off the bench, scored his first goal in the 39th minute off of a pass from Sam Dixon, and scored 1:22 later off a deflection by Colorado Christian goalkeeper Jared Jacobs. The goals were Westcott’s second and third for the season.
“Danny’s a poacher,” Pittman said. “He’s got great feet and puts himself in a position to create chances, and it’s only a matter of time before he finishes a few and gets his goals. It’s good to get him back on the goal scoring sheet.”
The Mesa State defense limited the Cougars to only five shots, two on goal, which goalkeeper Josh Tinaglia blocked.
Despite the win, Pittman didn’t feel like it was the best the Mavs have played this year.
“We weren’t as sharp as we normally have been, but the difference is that we got the ball in the back of the net,” he said. “It’s just a funny game. Sometimes you play great and don’t score, and sometimes you don’t play as sharp and score three goals, and we probably could have had more.”