Defense leads CMU to penalty-filled victory over Argos
After an 8-7 win over Notre Dame de Namur on Friday night, Colorado Mesa men’s lacrosse coach A.J. Stevens said the Mavericks “have got to get their heads on right.”
It was an ugly Western Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association victory at Walker Field, where Mesa struggled to stay out of the penalty box and put shots on net. But the Mavericks (5-2, 2-0 WILA) limited a much-improved Argos squad, holding them to 0 for 5 on extra-man opportunities and forcing 16 turnovers.
Late in the third quarter with Mesa leading 5-4, the Mavericks went two men down after a two-minute, nonreleasable crossing-checking penalty from Zach Bullett and a 30-second offside technical from Michael Giffen. Playing four-on-six, the Mesa defenders and goalie Brad Brandenburg held on as Notre Dame de Namur ripped five shots in the span. Brandenburg made two clutch saves, and Mesa completed a clear to end the threat.
“The defense played a heck of a game,” Stevens said. “Defense, man down, we always work hard, and we’ve always been real strong with man down. When they were playing two men down, at that point, they’re just trying to survive. They get in as tight as possible, and they’re just trying to make (the Argos) pass the ball until the penalty is finally down.”
Brandenburg finished with 11 saves, one short of tying his season high. Defensively, the Mavericks stopped four clears by Notre Dame de Namur and topped the Argos in ground balls 24-19.
On offense, David Solomon, Daniel Caddoo and Stephen Dunn each scored twice. Solomon score the decisive goal in a man-up situation with 10:43 remaining in the game.
Set up by a faceoff win and ground ball pickup from Alex Boyle and an assist from Michael Beimford, Solomon scored after making a cut toward the net.
Solomon also had two assists, and the redshirt sophomore, who transferred from the University of Maryland, led the Mavericks with four points.
Dunn, who had an assist, leads the Mavs with 19 points.
“Today we were just trying to get back on track,” Stevens said. “We had a rough trip in Florida. We were just trying to use this game to refocus and pay attention to conference play.”
With the win, the Mavericks improve to 3-0 at home. Mesa hosts Dominican on April 13 at Walker Field.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Stevens said. “We’ll have to watch a lot of film to get a grasp on what (Dominican is doing).
“Today we lacked focus. We need to be more alert out there and know what’s going on.”
CMU midfielder Kade Robinson received the WILA offensive player of the week. The senior scored five goals and had two assists in three games last week.
Colorado Mesa women’s lacrosse player Ashley Eickhoff earned the RMAC player of the week award after she scored eight goals in a 21-8 victory over Puget Sound last week.
Eickhoff’s eight goals are a single-game high in the RMAC this season, and the sophomore leads the conference in goals scored per game (3.38).