The Paw Print
After loosing 2 points against CCU’s “Cougars” on the road on Friday, the “Grizzlies” were looking to bounce back for their 2nd to last home game for the season against one of the RMAC’s best 4 teams, Colorado Mesa on Sunday October 27th. ASU needed a win in order to keep its hopes high for entering the tournament, before meeting CSU Pueblo and Colorado School of Mines in their last 2 games.
The usual first minutes chaos in every game almost led to a goal for Mesa, and in the 3rd and 4th minutes ASU’s goalkeeper Jared Wilson had to make 2 huge saves after shots by Marco Escobar and Alan Hernandez, respectively. These 2 shots served as a wake up call for the “Grizzlies” who took the initiative and controlled the game for the following 20 minutes. Cody Weisenburger and Mathew Stefanko both recorded shots on goal forcing the “Mavericks” goalkeeper, Brandyn Bumpas, to make big saves in order to keep the game scoreless.
The possession in the first 25 minutes was also in favor of ASU’s players who were much more calm on the ball and were able to switch the point of their attacks really well, spreading Mesa’s midfield and defense lines. However after a misunderstanding between Andrew Hinkle and Aaron Fox, the ball was intercepted in the middle of the field by CMU’s forward Tim Hofer, who took it all the way to the “Grizzlies” 18-yard box to score the 1st goal in the game.
Up until half time ASU tried to equalize and regain control over the game. Ethan Jackson and Symon Fabbricatore both had shots that went wide of the goal. However the “Mavericks” were not harmless and also had couple chances to score where Wilson had to come up strong and keep the score.
The second half is remembered with a lot of fight in the middle of the field, a couple impressive individual dribbles by Mesa’s outside midfielders, as well as good defensive play by both teams. Coach Busen used his regular subs and kept his team as fresh as possible.
Ethan Jackson was standing out with his incredibly high work rate up top, Mat Anderson was the hardest worker in the midfield, and Mathew Stefanko like always was giving an example out of the back of what to never give up on the field really looks like.
Unfortunately for the “Grizzlies” a through ball deep from within Mesa’s half caught ASU’s defense “flat” and Marco Escobar found himself one on one with the goalie, to double the “Mavericks” lead.
ASU fought until the last second and even played with only 3 defenders in the back for the last 10 minutes of the game but was unable to score, and the game ended 2:0 for Colorado Mesa University.
These 3 points helped the “Mavericks” to get up to the 2nd place in the RMAC’s current standings. ASU’s “Grizzlies” on the other hand are currently 6th with 4 points in front of UCCS. However in order to keep its 6th place ASU will have to win both of its next 2 games, which are against CSU Pueblo on the road and Colorado School of Mines at home.