by Joe Azar
Walker Field transformed into a frozen battlefield Friday night. Colorado Mesa University was a goal up against conference favorites Colorado School of Mines, but the Orediggers were inching closer to an equalizer. Mistimed tackles were frequent in the final ten minutes, including some brutal collisions that enraged both sides. Then against the run of play, the Mavs began a counter attack. Inside the 18-yard box, striker Roy Abergil had a chance to add to his goal total, instead he made arguably the best play he has all season providing the goal to his fellow Israeli teammate, Moshe Perez.
“We got a counter-attack play going towards our goal,” head coach Todd Padgett said. “And what can you say outside of what an individual play by Roy to create Moshe’s chance. That’s what Roy has now in his bag of tricks, he looks to create plays for others.”
With great awareness and a backheel pass, Abergil provided Perez with a clear-cut chance that he placed in the corner of the net. The final nail in the coffin after a fantastic game against top competition for the Mavs.
Despite not scoring the opener until late in the first half, CMU controlled the tempo of the game from the opening whistle and established themselves as the better team in the battle of RMAC titans.
“I think we were nothing short of brilliant the first half,” Padgett said.
Still, CMU couldn’t find their reward after a strong start. Then an unlikely hero in Roberto Diaz ended up on the receiving end of a free-kick and scored the first goal of his career.
“I was so excited,” said Diaz. “I was scared afterwards because I thought I was going to get called for offsides.”
Diaz wasn’t offsides, and his goal combined with Perez’s late goal allowed the Mavs to take down the Orediggers 2-0 and move into sole position of first place in the RMAC standings, culminating the progress made by CMU from the beginning of the season.
“The offense is catching up to the defense,” said Padgett. “The defense is always where we are going to hang our hat, and we expect our offense to catch up from there.”
It certainly doesn’t hurt the offense when Roy Abergil is in the game. After the win against Colorado Mines, Abergil equaled his goal total from last year with plenty of season left with his brace on Sunday against Colorado Christian. His two goals combined with Malik Mennana’s gave CMU a 3-1 win and have the Mavs cruising in the conference.
“We have things going the right direction now,” said Padgett. “We are excited about that, but we must improve.”
Undefeated in the conference and improving, CMU is back to the norm of being one of the premier teams in the nation and look to continue momentum against Westminster this Friday at home.