Mavs’ GK rock solid in victory over Regis
Briley Guarneri’s ribs on his right side were a little tender Saturday, but Sunday he was feeling like his old self, so there was no way he was going to miss Colorado Mesa’s men’s soccer game against Regis.
The junior goal keeper was hit by a Colorado Mines player on the Orediggers’ winning goal Friday night, and later ended up in the emergency room, but checked out OK.
“I keep watching the video trying to convince myself it’s not a foul. It’s always a foul,” Guarneri said. “The guy came straight underneath me and full-bodied me.”
Once the game started, Guarneri forgot about his sore ribs and was directing the No. 6 Mavericks’ defense in a 3-0 shutout over No. 18 Regis, a much-needed bounce-back from the 2-1 loss to Mines.
“Slater (Elkind) was clicking today, he played probably his best game of the year, and Noah (Rosenberg, a redshirt freshman who got the start) played fantastic,” Guarneri said. “I didn’t know what to expect from him, but he played a great game.”
Saturday’s film session pointed out some issues, and the Mavericks corrected them quickly.
“It was a fantastic response. We watched a little bit of video (Saturday) and I think it paid dividends because they really saw for a second time the things we were talking about,” CMU coach Todd Padgett said.
With Guarneri barking out positioning, the Mavericks allowed only two shots on goal, so the keeper stayed on his feet most of the game. With a little more than three minutes remaining, he dove toward a shot that sailed wide of the net, landing on the sore side of his body.
“There’s not much padding you can put there,” he said with a grin. “Like on that last ball, I lay out, I’m catching the full force either way.”
Regis (3-1-0, 1-1-0 RMAC) played a style similar to Mines, sending the ball to the back of the Mesa defense to generate shots. Unlike Friday, the Mavericks flooded the back line to turn away the Rangers.
“I thought the back four was fantastic, we looked like ourselves, back to our identity,” Padgett said. “We were moving the ball from side to side and we were creating bags and bags of chances. It could have been a little more than three (goals) but we’re happy with three.”
Kevin Del Mazo was involved in all three goals, getting the Mavs (5-1-0, 1-1-0) on the board on a free kick in the first half. Mesa was constantly on the attack, with 12 on goal.
After a second goal was waved off for an offside penalty, Del Mazo sent a pretty crossing pass from the left flank to Matthew Miller, who beat Regis keeper Ciaran Gibson into the right corner. With just less than 17 minutes to play, Moshe Perez drew the defense in the middle and slipped the pass to Del Mazo on the left side for the final goal.
“We felt this could be the most dynamic side we’ve had and now we’re seeing it,” Padgett said. “It’s now a matter of doing it consistently. We didn’t do it on a weekend, we did it on a Sunday. Now the trick is how do we do it Friday and Sunday and put a full weekend together.”
The Mavericks’ three-game win streak was snapped in a 3-2 loss at Westminster College in their RMAC opener.
Ryanne Parker scored both goals for CMU (3-3, 0-1 RMAC), the first coming in the first four minutes of the second half to cut into Westminster’s 2-0 halftime lead.
The Mavericks were limited to only two shots in the first half and seven in the game.
After the Griffins (4-2, 1-0) scored 15 minutes later, the Mavericks managed only two shots and one corner kick. Parker took a pass from Mikayla Hix and found the net with about 2½ minutes remaining, pulling the Mavericks back within one goal.
It was the final shot attempt for CMU, which got five saves from freshman keeper Jessica Jolley.
Blake Graf placed sixth Saturday in the Mountaineer Invitational in Gunnison, covering the 8-kilometer race in 27 minutes, 9.2 seconds.
His finish led the Mavericks to third place with 70 points, behind national powers Western State (29 points) and Adams State (46).
Mesa’s women finished second in the 5K behind Western State, scoring 73 points. The Mountaineers had the top four placers and scored 17 team points to run away from the pack.
CMU’s Ashlyn Brent placed 10th overall, ninth among collegiate racers, in 19:46.