Brandenburg solid in net after injury for Mavericks

Brandenburg solid in net after injury for Mavericks

Colorado Mesa goalie Brad Brandenburg makes a great save Saturday on a point blank shot from Dominican (Calif.) University’s Kiel Crowley-Galvin at Walker Field. The Mavericks won 5-4 to move into sole possession of first place in the Western Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association.

Brad Brandenburg was in severe pain, but he wasn’t going to give in.

The Colorado Mesa sophomore goalie took a shot near the groin late in the second quarter but returned to lead the Mavericks’ men’s lacrosse team to a 5-4 victory over Dominican (Calif.) University on Saturday afternoon at Walker Field.

The Mavericks (7-3, 5-1 Western Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association) move into sole possession of first place with the victory and have the tiebreaker over Dominican (6-5, 5-2 WILA), CMU coach A.J. Stevens said.

“This is a great win,” Brandenburg said. “This is our main competition in the west and if we don’t win the west, we don’t make any strides toward the playoff, which are expanding next year. This is a huge win to establish ourselves.”

Mesa has two WILA games remaining at Lindenwood (Mo.) University in two weeks and Adams State in three weeks.

Brandenburg was hit near the groin with 3:46 left in the second quarter and left the game, but he returned to start the third quarter.

“It was one of the worst ones I’ve ever had,” Brandenburg said. “You know if I came out of the game it hurt pretty bad.”

Brandenburg made seven saves in 56 minutes of work. Zach Weaver had two saves while Brandenburg was out.

“Brad played outstanding,” Stevens said. “He’s the best goalie in the west by far. He should be an All-American. He sucked it up. That’s the heart of a champion right there.”

Five players scored for the Mavericks, who built a 3-1 lead in the first half. Dominican came back to tie it twice in the second half before Josh Russell scored the game-winner with 5:52 left.

Mesa went to a zone defense to slow down Jake Fritz and Kevin Powers, who combined for nine goals in the Penguins’ 13-9 victory over Mesa last week in Kentfield, Calif. Fritz had two goals to lead Dominican.

“We just put that in three days ago,” Duresky said. “It really stopped them. They didn’t have a clue what was going on out there.”

Fritz and Powers, who were high school teammates, have combined to score 47 of the Penguins’ 123 goals this season.

“We felt like if we can take either one of them out, we could win the game,” Stevens said. “They have great chemistry. We wanted to take that away from them.

“We wanted two guys on the ball every time they came up to the goal.”

Mesa was much better on faceoffs against the Penguins in the rematch from last week, winning 6 of 13 opposed to 3 of 23 last week.

“(Thomas Spain) stepped up big,” Stevens said. “It makes a big difference having him on the field.”


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