Soccer brotherhood

Escobar brothers bringing more offense to Mavs

Marco Escobar, center, and his two brothers, twins Kevin, left, and Nestor, right, have helped spur the Colorado Mesa offense in its first four games. The brothers have either scored or set up five of the Mavs’ six goals.



QUICKREAD

Volleyball

New Mexico Highlands (3-5) at Colorado Mesa (6-2), 7 p.m. Friday, Brownson Arena

CSU-Pueblo (7-1) at Colorado Mesa (6-2), 7 p.m. Saturday, Brownson Arena

■ The Mavericks open conference play at home after going 3-1 in two tournaments to open the season. Libero Megan Rush made the all-tournament team in the Oredigger Classic and CMU’s Holiday Inn Crossroads Classic.

■ Mesa is 4-0 against South Central Region opponents, and from here on out, every match counts toward regional rankings.

■ Casey Ball is averaging 3.23 kills per game, Christian Otzen 2.80 and Kelly Regimbal 2.14 for the Mavericks, who have a team hitting percentage of .181, with a high of .340 against Oklahoma Panhandle State last week.

■ Setter Jordyn Moody averages 8.5 assists per game, Krista Ubersox 4.4 per game. The Mavericks have played two offenses, a 5-1, with one setter playing all six spots in the rotation, or a 6-2, where the setter subs out for a right-side hitter in the front row, with the second setter subbing into the serving position.

■ Three RMAC teams are in the American Volleyball Coaches Association national rankings: Metro State is No. 9, Colorado Mines No. 17 and Regis No. 25. Adams State is receiving votes. Former RMAC member Nebraska-Kearney, now in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association, is No. 1 in the nation.

Women’s Soccer

No. 2 Fort Lewis (3-0) at Colorado Mesa (3-0-1), 4 p.m., Friday, Walker Field

Colo. Christian (2-2) at Colorado Mesa (3-0-1), 3 p.m., Sunday, Walker Field

■ The Mavericks begin conference play at home after a pair of 2-0 victories over Angelo State and Western State Colorado last weekend. Mesa is 3-0-1 in regional games.

■ CMU goalkeeper Sarah Schnetzler is coming off two shutout victories to earn the RMAC defensive player of the week award. She made two saves and faced a total of seven shots.

■ Fort Lewis moved up to No. 2 in the nation with a 3-0 victory over Angelo State last weekend.

■ Colorado Christian split a pair of games last weekend, defeating Washburn 3-2, but losing 1-0 to Saint Martin’s.



When you’ve played the game with your brothers growing up, you develop a rare bond.

Brothers Marco, Kevin and Nestor Escobar have a chemistry on the soccer field that is unmatched.

“It’s fun,” Marco said. “I know how they play. They know how I play. It’s awesome.”

The brothers’ connection translated to success at the high school level and already is making a difference for the Colorado Mesa University men’s team this fall.

The Escobar brothers have scored or created five of the Mavericks six goals through four games this season. Kevin scored two goals and was pulled down for a penalty kick in the first game. Nestor has one goal, and Marco has one goal.

“They are very skillful and very intelligent and very athletic,” CMU coach Josh Pittman said. “They are three of the most intelligent players we have on the team. You put intelligence into skill players and you have some exciting things happening. They can all pass and score. They read each other very well.”

The Mavericks (2-1-1) are off to a much better start than a year ago, when it took six games to record their first victory. Colorado Mesa plays its home opener at 
7 p.m. Friday against defending NCAA Division II national champion Fort Lewis (3-1-0) at Walker Field. Colorado Christian (1-3-0) visits at noon Sunday.

No. 22 Fort Lewis, which also won the RMAC title last year, saw it’s 13-game win streak, including the run to win the national title, come to an end last weekend.

“We’ve got to play (the Skyhawks) twice anyway,” Pittman said. “I’d rather play them early now, before they get rolling. A lot of times they get in a groove and play tough. Our conference top to bottom is so tough. For us, it’s another game in the RMAC and we’ve got to find ways to get points.”

Mesa faces the Skyhawks with a lot more confidence this year after opening the season with two road wins, including one over nationally ranked Northeastern (Okla.) State University last weekend.

The Escobars are a big reason.

The brothers grew up playing soccer in the neighborhood streets of Edwards before the family moved down the road to Gypsum. Despite being in ski country, they didn’t ski much because of the expense.

Marco is a junior midfielder. Kevin and Nestor are freshmen midfielders and identical twins.

“On the field, we know where we are,” Nestor said. “If I pass the ball, I know where he is without looking. We have good chemistry between us.”

Kevin and Nestor are playing with Marco again for the fist time in two years.

“We know how each other plays,” Marco said. “We grew up playing with each other. They have a more similar style playing with each other than me because they’ve been playing together for so long.”

That familiarity makes it easier to score goals, often a difficult task against a solid defense.

“It makes a great difference,” Kevin said. “We connect with each other and move for each other. It makes the game more simpler.”

Their bond made it an easy choice for Kevin and Nestor to follow Marco to Colorado Mesa.

“It’s close to home. We can go home when we can, and our parents can come and visit,” Marco said.

“It was the only option I wanted,” Nestor said. “I already knew Pittman from before, and I liked how he coached.”


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