Mesa men’s lacrosse team ends losing skid with rout of Tampa
Colorado Mesa men’s lacrosse coach A.J. Stevens didn’t need to give a Knute Rockne-type speech.
The Mavericks, coming off a tough road trip and a three-game losing streak, were hungry to prove themselves, even though their preseason hopes have been dashed.
Mesa (6-6) pulled away in the second half to defeat the University of Tampa (Fla.) 11-4 on Saturday at Walker Field.
“It’s one of those things, we’re too good of a team to have a losing record and that became very emotional for us,” Stevens said. “We knew we had to win this game (for a chance for a winning record). I didn’t have to do anything to motivate them. They were ready to go.”
The Mavericks shut down Tampa (11-6), limiting the Spartans to one goal in the second half. Tampa was averaging 12 goals a game entering the weekend.
“That was our best effort of the year, by far,” Mesa goalie Brad Brandenburg said. “Me and the other goalie (Zach Weaver) faced minimal shots. All the credit goes to our defensive midfielders.”
Tampa took 30 shots, but only 16 on goal. Brandenburg and Weaver combined to make 12 saves.
“Both our goalies played really well,” Stevens said. “This was the first time all year we platooned them.
“We just wanted to change things up. I think any coach, when you lose three in a row, would want to change the scenery a little bit. I think it worked.”
Brad’s younger brother, Steve, led the attack with three goals, all in the fourth quarter.
“We definitely knew we had to run our system,” Steve Brandenburg said. “If we did our job, we were the superior team. We tried to come in, run our system and the goals would pour in like they did.”
Josh Russell had two goals and two assists. Michael Beimford scored two goals and had one assist and James Sharp scored one goal with two assists.
Colorado Mesa closes out its season at 1 p.m. Saturday against Adams State at Walker Field.
Colorado Mesa gave up 14 first-half goals in a 19-6 loss at Lindenwood (Mo.) University.
Allie Henderson scored four goals for the Mavericks (3-9, 3-5 Western Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association), with Alison Stone adding two more, but CMU couldn’t slow down Lindenwood’s attack, which peppered the net with 23 first-half shots.
Lindenwood (14-1, 9-0 WILA) scored six straight goals to break open a 3-2 game in the first half and built a 10-3 lead.