Men’s Basketball Falls in Texas

by Bryce Reedy

The men’s basketball team opened up their regular season this weekend with the Heartland Conference Shootout down in Dallas, Texas. CMU competed in two games against Dallas Baptist University (DBU) and St. Edward’s University, and the Mavericks would fall in both games to start the season off 0-2.

Heading into the set of games, head coach Andy Shantz was looking for one thing in particular over the weekend.

“I hope that we get a little bit of continuity,” Shantz said. “We have been kind of banged up in the fall so we have had different people in and out of practice a little bit. So hopefully we can go down there and start getting into a rhythm in terms of our rotation and our guys starting to get comfortable with one another.”

The first game the team had to gain some continuity was against DBU. And in the first half it was apparent that the team had not played with one another. CMU went into halftime down 46-29. The team committed seven turnovers and shot a mere 35 percent from the field. The Patriots however shot 52 percent from the field.

“The first half we didn’t really play like us,” Hawley said. “So basically in the locker room [Shantz] told us to play like us and kind of calm down and not make so many mental mistakes.”

The Mavs second half was much better than the first, but it was not enough as the Mavericks fell 99-78. CJ Davis, James Sylvester and Eimer Lopez each scored 19 points for CMU.

“It was a rough start,” forward Nate Hawley said. “Obviously not the way that we wanted the [season] to start. But they were a really good team and they jumped on us right from the get go. We didn’t respond very well. But our second half compared to our first half was a lot better so I think it was a learning experience.”

CMU had a chance to go even on the road trip against St. Edwards. Unlike against the Patriots, the Mavericks came out of the gates with more energy than the night before. However, even with the increased energy, CMU was trailing once again heading into the locker room, down 35-31.

“It was kind of interesting, because we didn’t [come out with energy] last night and then tonight we came out tonight almost a little too hyper,” Shantz said. “We weren’t executing the offense as well as we could have.”

The Mavericks were unable to come back in the second half and fell 71-66 to fall to 0-2 to open up the season. Davis led the team with 23 points on the night.

“I thought we improved from [the night before],” Shantz said. “We got some contributions from off the bench. We just have some guys in some different roles so we are trying to figure that out.”

“I think we are going the right way for coming together as a team,” Davis said.

Despite going 0-2 on the road trip, the team learned a lot about themselves and what they have to improve on if they want to compete at a higher level.

“That is why we play these games early,” Shantz said. “We want to play some good people to see where we are at before conference play. We did that and so now we have some things to work on to get better.”

The Mavericks will now travel to Gunnison for two games this upcoming weekend.

Men’s Soccer Falls in NCAA Tournament

by Joe Azar

Entering Sunday’s game, Head Coach Todd Padgett praised his team for the difference in confidence his team had entering the NCAA Tournament this year in contrast to 2015. Coming off the RMAC double, CMU had the expectation to contend nationally, showing no fear in their opening round matchup in the tournament against Midwestern State. This year, players had no doubt in their ability to win.

Unfortunately for the Mavs, faith and confidence don’t always win in the cruel sport of soccer.

Despite having the more chances in the game, Christian Okeke scored a goal with 1:18 to play to break the hearts of CMU players as the Mustangs knocked out the Mavericks in the opening round of the national competition.

“Most heartbreaking loss I’ve taken in all my years of soccer,” tweeted CMU defenseman James McGhee.

The Mavs finished with seven shots on goal as opposed to the Mustangs’ three. Moshe Perez continued his breakout season despite not making the difference on the scoresheet. The Israeli midfielder created multiple chances for his team, having a season-high six shots with three of them on goal. Luis Schraidt finished with two shots on goal.

The best opportunity for the Mavs to score came from Kevin Del Mazo, who took a shot that was on its way to the back of the net, but MSU goalkeeper Noah Fazekas was able to save the shot. Fazekas finished with six saves on the day.

CMU suffers its first loss since a 2-1 defeat on September 11 against St. Edwards. That loss and Sunday’s defeat were the only two times this season that the Mavs were beaten as the finished with an impressive record of 14-2-5 and a clean sweep in RMAC Competitions.

“ Absolutely gutted and heartbroken after today,” goalkeeper Briley Guarneri tweeted. “But overall a great season and something to remain prideful of.”

Women’s Soccer Reaches RMAC Playoffs

by Bryce Reedy

Heading into the weekend the women’s soccer team ranked fourth in the conference and were on pace to get a home playoff game for the RMAC playoffs in the coming weeks. That meant two huge games against CSU-Pueblo and New Mexico Highlands. When everything was said and done the Mavs finished the weekend going 1-1.

Going into the weekend the Mavs were riding two wins against Fort Lewis and Adams State the previous weekend. During those games the Mavericks were able to score four total goals, which was their highest goal total for back to back games all year. This was thanks to an increased emphasis on finishing in practice.

“We have been working on it in training,” head coach Jason Clare said. “Trying to just recreate situations that come up in a game. Where there is pressure and they have to have the composure to finish and things like that.”

The weekend was also a success for defenseman Mackenzie King, who scored two goals on the weekend, including the game winner against Adams State in overtime.

“I think just keep sending in those balls,” King said regarding her success the previous weekend. “[Just keep] getting those opportunities and taking advantage of those opportunities. All of us. All of us need to keep shooting and making sure it gets in the back of the net.”

Heading into this weekend though was going to be a tough task for the team as they had to go on the road to CSU-Pueblo, who was the second ranked team in the RMAC.

“It’ll be a big game,” King said. “We need to get focused and keep working hard. Play how we can play.”

The game turned into a tough offensive game for the Mavericks as they were held to a mere three shots on the night. Meanwhile, the Thunderwolves were able to put up 11 shots, with five of them being on goal.

Both CMU and CSU-Pueblo were held scoreless through the first 20 minutes before the Thunderwolves broke the tie. Thanks to a pass from Rianna Lockhart, Danelle Dondelinger was able to get her first goal of the year in the 23 minute of the match.

Four minutes later the Thunderwolves were able to score again, this time it was Laikyn Koss who scored her seventh goal of the season. That made it 2-0 CSU-Pueblo, and they would not look back in this one as that would be the final score.

Following the loss, the Mavericks had to drive 16 hours down to New Mexico Highlands to take on the 3-10-1 Cowboys. This game would prove to be crucial for CMU because if they were able to come away with a win then they would clinch a spot in the RMAC playoffs for the first time since 2012.

Unlike the previous game, the Mavericks were the aggressor offensively in the first half. CMU outshot NMHU 6-1 in the half, including the first goal of the match from midfielder Ryanne Parker. The goal was assisted by Lauryn Lee in the 35 minute to give the Mavs the 1-0 lead heading into the half.

In the second half the Cowboys were able to fight back and tie the game up at 1-1 in the 75 minute. No one would score for the remainder of regulation, thus forcing the Mavs to go to overtime once again.

CMU however was not going to let this one slip away from them. Two minutes into the first overtime period midfielder Halie Bergeron fired one past the Cowboy defense for her second goal on the year and the game winner for the Mavericks.

With the win the Mavericks moved to 8-6-2 and clinched a spot in the RMAC tournament. Currently the Mavericks sit at fifth in the conference, half a game behind Metro State for the final spot that gets to host a home game in the tournament.

CMU’s final regular season game, and senior night, will be Oct. 30 at 1:30 p.m. against Black Hills State University (0-10).

Men’s Soccer rallies to remain unbeaten in RMAC

by Joe Azar

Entering this weekend, CMU’s run in the RMAC propelled them to a national ranking and the top spot in the conference. The last time the Mavs dropped points was over a month ago in a scoreless draw on the road against Metro State.

This past Friday both teams faced off at Walker Field, with the Mavs showing the progress they have made during their winning streak in a 3-0 CMU victory en route to another weekend sweep.

Unlike the game back in September, the Mavs were not held scoreless for long. Five minutes into the game, Moshe Perez took a corner kick that ended up for grabs inside the box. It ended up at the feet of defenseman Slater Elkind, who took a shot that rocketed into the upper corner of the net to give the team a 1-0 lead over the Roadrunners. It was the third consecutive game CMU scored in the opening five minutes of the match.

“If you look back at the season, one of the issues we were having early were slow starts,” head coach Todd Padgett said. “And it seems as though that is something that we have corrected.”

“When you score quick it takes a lot of pressure and frustration off of you,” striker Roy Abergil said. “Sometimes when you don’t score you start to get frustrated and more nervous because you know you’re the better team, and it’s absolutely a game changer when you score so early in the game. “

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Malik Mennana dribbles past Metro State players. Joe Azar | Criterion

Despite the early goal, the Roadrunners continued to get pressure and get on the nerves of CMU players. As the halftime whistle blew, Abergil and midfielder Moshe Perez confronted some of the Metro players after members of the Metro State team made some anti-semitic remarks towards the two Israeli players.

“It’s always a great game against Metro and it’s always an emotional game,” Padgett said. “So the conversation we had at halftime wasn’t about ‘X’s’ and ‘O’s’ it was about the task at hand. The task at hand was getting the three points and maintaining our position in the conference.”

Moshe and Abergil got their revenge against the Metro players and secured three points on the night with two late goals. After a defensive clearance, Perez had plenty of time to find Abergil on a long ball across the field. The goalie attempted to grab the ball, but whiffed it on the slide, leaving an open net for Abergil to get another goal on the season.

On the third goal, it was Perez to Abergil once again, this time on a pass inside the box to an open net after the Metro goalkeeper could not catch up to the two players after attempting to score on a corner on the other side of the field. There would be no shutout this time as CMU once again took down an RMAC opponent and extended their win streak to double-digits.

On Sunday afternoon against UCCS, the Mavs were faced with a more challenging situation to keep their undefeated streak in the conference alive. CMU started the game forcing passes along the wings, which the Mountain Lions read and defended well in the opening half. The visitors would get rewarded for their strong play 28 minutes in when Alex Vonholle took a shot from 12 yards out that beat goalkeeper Briley Guarneri and put CMU down 1-0.

“We came out flat, we came out uninspired and we came out lethargic,” Padgett said. “And that hasn’t been an issue when we’ve been on this run.”

“I think we came out a little too confident and a little too sleepy,” Abergil said. “And at halftime, we had a talk that we have to pick it up and pick up the energy for the team, and I think from the opening whistle in the second half you could see that.”

In the second half, CMU began to breakthrough UCCS’ defense. In the 60 minute, Kevin Del Mazo crossed the ball into the box that Luis Schraidt shot into the left corner of the goal for the equalizer.

“I just happened to be in the right position,” Schraidt said. “I was just happy to score.”

The game would remain tied for only eight minutes. Perez delivered a ball over eight defenders for Roy Abergil to get a one-on-one chance with the goalkeeper. Like many others before him, the UCCS goalkeeper lost that battle to the Israeli striker, who netted his 48th career goal that proved to be the game-winner. That was the seventh time this season Perez assisted Abergil and the midfielder now has five assists in the last four games.

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Luis Schraidt celebrates his goal on Sunday. Joe Azar | Criterion

“We have a good connection,” Abergil said. “We just look into each other’s eyes and we know what’s going on. I know what Moshe’s going to do and he knows what I’m gonna do and that’s exactly how that goal happened.”

With the 2-1 win, CMU is now one win away from clinching the RMAC regular season championship and the right to host the RMAC tournament in two weeks. Regardless of the results this upcoming weekend, CMU made Walker field their fortress once again this year, going undefeated at home with only one draw out of 12 home games.

Next weekend they look to become RMAC champions against No.14 Regis on Friday and on Sunday they take on South Dakota School of Mines, who are the second worst team in the conference.

Men’s Soccer continues run in RMAC

by Joe Azar

    It has been over a month since CMU has tied or lost a game, and this weekend they laid waste to their RMAC rivals once again, taking down Westminster 3-0 before finishing their week with an emphatic 4-0 away win against CSU-Pueblo.

    On an uncommon Wednesday night game, it only took the No. 24 ranked Mavs five minutes to get on the scoreboard against the Griffins. Kevin Del Mazo provided a cross to Malik Mennana who chipped the ball over the goalkeeper for the early score. That was Mennana’s third goal of the season, as the junior forward has now scored two goals in the last three games.

    Speaking of goals, Roy Abergil is not one to normally miss out on chances to put one in the back of the net. Wednesday night he beat the goalkeeper after a Moshe Perez assist to put CMU up 2-0 at the half.

    In the second 45 minutes of play, Abergil scored a penalty kick goal for the third score of the night. The Mavericks outshot the Griffins 21-9, with 14 of those coming on goal. CMU has made Walker Field a fortress once again this season, winning every game minus their opening night tie at home.

    Friday night the Mavs traveled to Pueblo to face the Thunderwolves. In the only regular season encounter between the two conference foes, the Mavericks were able to score two goals in the opening six minutes.

    Abergil once again took advantage of fellow Israeli Perez’s assist in the fourth minute to put CSU-Pueblo down early. Two minutes later, CMU’s No.10 Luis Schraidt got on the scoresheet. In the 29 minute, Perez added to the Thunderwolves misery with a goal of his own to put the Mavericks up 3-0 at the half.

    Abergil would get yet another brace after slotting home a rebound in the 60 minute to seal the win. CMU’s captain has scored 19 goals in 13 games, second most in the entire nation for Division II soccer.

    The entire team is on an offensive roll as well. In the last month the Mavericks have scored three or more goals in six of their last nine games and have outscored their opponents 25-5.

    Briley Guarneri now has 10 wins on the season, eight of those being a clean sheet. The sophomore Goalkeeper has a minuscule 0.61 goals against average.

    The Mavericks will be home this upcoming weekend for a tough matchup on Friday against Metro State. The Roadrunners were the last team to hold CMU to a scoreless draw back in the RMAC opener for CMU, Sept. 16.. The Mavs will also face UCCS on Sunday at home.

Men’s Soccer sweeps crucial homestand

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Roy Abergil battles for the ball | Joe Azar

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.

Women’s Soccer exceeds win total from last season

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Goalkeeper Jenelle Richmond-Buccola fires up her team with a pre-game dance | Bryce Reedy

by Bryce Reedy

    Women’s soccer was looking for their first win during their four game road trip, spanning back to last weekend, as they faced off against the Colorado Christian University (CCU) Cougars and the number seven ranked Colorado School of Mines Orediggers.

    One more win on the season would give them five, which would be enough to surpass their win total from last year.

    The first matchup was against the Cougars, who came into the matchup on a three game losing streak. Heading into the matchup, the Mavericks were looking to put an end to their scoring woes that they had over the last couple of week

    Once the game kicked off, it was the Cougars who struck first. In the 16 minute, forward Mollie Monson received a cross from Maddison Hogan and Monson was able to head it in past CMU goalkeeper Katelyn Houston.

    The Mavericks went into half time down 1-0 despite outshooting CCU 7-3 in the half.

    Coming out of the break the Mavs were firing on all cylinders. In the 51 minute CMU tied up the score thanks to defender Mackenzie King who hit one from 30 yards out into the upper corner of the net. King would finish the game with five shots, all on goal, to lead all players.

    The next Maverick score came seven minutes later off of a rebound. This time it was defender Jocelyn Ceccarelli who was able to score for CMU for her first goal on the year.

    CMU would not score for the remainder of the game, but neither did CCU thanks to the Maverick defense along with solid goalkeeping from Katelyn Houston, giving the Mavericks the 2-1 victory. The Mavericks finished the game with 17 shots, 10 of which were on goal.

    With the victory the Mavericks moved to 5-4-2 on the year, which gives them more wins this season than the team had all of last year.

    The Mavericks next test was against the number seven ranked team in the nation in Colorado School of Mines. And the Orediggers scored early against the Mavericks.

    The Orediggers were able to score their first goal of the match one minute into the game. The score came from midfielder Brooke Stoermer after a cross gave her enough room to turn around and fire it past Houston.

    The second goal of the game came 15 minutes later for the Orediggers. Stoermer was able to pass the ball up the field to give Jaclyn Knott a wide open chance in the box. The score was 2-0 heading into halftime. Both teams had six shots during the half, but the Mavericks were unable to capitalize like the Orediggers.

    During the second half it didn’t get much better for the Mavericks as Mines was able to score their third goal of the match in the 60 minute. CMU would also get out shot in the second half, 6-3. The final in this one was 3-0, which moved Mines to 11-1 on the season and the Mavericks to 5-5-2.

    The Mavericks will now return home for two games against Fort Lewis and Adams State University this weekend. Fort Lewis will be Friday at 7 p.m. and Adams State will be Sunday at 1 p.m..