Mistakes prove costly in 4-1 loss to Regis

Colorado Mesa University’s Patrick LaPorta is taken down by Regis’ Taylor Diem during the second half of Sunday’s game at Walker Field. The takedown netted a direct kick for the Mavericks, but they were unable to score on it.

Regis proved why it’s the No. 1 ranked men’s soccer team in all of Division II.

The Rangers took advantage of some Colorado Mesa mistakes Sunday afternoon for a 4-1 RMAC victory at Walker Field.

“We didn’t play well today,” CMU coach Josh Pittman said. “We didn’t do the things we’ve been doing well. They put us under pressure more so than any team we played this year. They forced us to turn the ball over in bad parts of the field. When we do, we get exposed.”

Regis (13-0-1, 11-0-0 RMAC) clinched the RMAC regular season title and will host the RMAC semifinals and championship game. It is the Rangers’ first RMAC regular season title since 1996.

“Mesa is one of our toughest opponents every year,” Regis coach Tony McCall said. “Every team has a team it has difficulty with and we always have difficulty with Mesa. To come in here and clinch the regular season is a big deal for us. I’m so proud of our kids. They worked really hard for this.”

The Rangers, who are third in the nation in scoring (3.58 goals per game), have trailed early before and have rallied to win every game they trailed.

“This is a special group,” McCall said. “We’re pretty dynamic. We have pace up top and our forwards scores goals. We had eight or nine chances and scored four. It’s satisfying to close it out early.”

Colorado Mesa (8-5-3, 6-4-2) took a 1-0 lead in the seventh minute on a goal by Alan Hernandez. It was assisted by Patrick Wall.

Regis responded — quickly — with two goals in the next 10 minutes for a 2-1 lead. The Rangers added another before halftime and finished it with one early in the second half. Regis scored four goals on six shots on goal. The Rangers had 10 total shots.

Colorado Mesa took seven shots with four on goal.

The Mavericks have already clinched a RMAC tournament berth, but could finish anywhere from second to sixth with two games left. The top two teams receive a first-round bye in the RMAC tournament. Six points (two wins) separates the second- through sixth-place teams.

“Getting the two spot might be difficult, but we’d definitely like a home playoff game,” Pittman said. “We want to get some guys back, healthy. Hopefully, we can get back to the way we were playing.”

Mesa was without Skyler Roy (hamstring) and Austin Jex (concussion). Kevin Escobar returned Sunday from a leg injury, but was limited.

Mesa seniors Steven Bagheri and Jeremy Gwerder were recognized before their final home game.


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