Third tie not an option for Mavericks, UCCS
Colorado Mesa men's soccer team looking to advance in RMAC tournament
Twice this season, the Colorado Mesa University men’s soccer team has tied with the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. The first was a 1-1 draw at home where the Mavericks generated many scoring chances without success.
The second, defense ruled in a 0-0 draw in which the Mavericks launched 17 shots and played a man up after the 75th minute.
Today, the Mavericks (10-5-3) get a third chance at UCCS (6-7-3), one that can’t end in a tie. CMU hosts the Mountain Lions in the opening round of the RMAC tournament with a trip to the NCAA Division II playoffs possibly hanging in the balance for the Mavericks.
“You need everything,” CMU coach Josh Pittman said of what a postseason run will take. “You need a lot of healthy bodies. You need to manage a good game, especially against a team like UCCS. You need to finish well. You need good goalkeeping. We need to be on top of things because we play a very dangerous team (tonight).”
James Roberts, a second-team All-RMAC selection, and Mathew Cox lead the Mountain Lions with six goals each. Roberts and Colton Briscoe are the squad’s assists leader with three each.
Senior captain Michael Bagheri said part of what drives the Mavericks to make a playoff run is a group of seniors, although made up of many transfers, that has come together better than any of them anticipated.
“It’s been a great year as far as chemistry goes,” Bagheri said. “I mean L.C. (Legofi Crawford) came in this year, and it’s like he’s been here for four years. I transferred in after taking some time off school, and Skylar (Roy), too. We’ve all bonded, and I feel like that’s why we’ve had a good season this year.”
■ CMU’s Micah Conrads was selected the RMAC Goalkeeper of the Year on Tuesday. Conrads notched a 6-0-2 record during the regular season and sported a 0.83 goals-against average. It is his second year starting for the Mavericks and his second year with a goals-against average under one goal per game.
He served as the anchor for a defense that had a 0.78 goal-against average, which ranks in the top 20 for NCAA Division II schools.
CMU sophomore defender Blake Carlson joined Conrads on the All-RMAC first team. Mesa senior midfielder/forward Marco Escobar also made the first team.
Junior midfielder Nestor Escobar and junior defender Oliver Querin were both third-team selections for the Mavs, and each finished with two goals this season.
For the CMU women’s soccer team, senior midfielder Leilani Wiernicki was a second-team All-RMAC selection, and senior defender Sam Burneo was picked for the third team.
CU-Colo. Springs at Colo. Mesa
ToDAY: First round of RMAC soccer tournament, 6 p.m., Walker Field