Golden, Colo. – The CSU-Pueblo men's soccer team suffered a 5-1 loss against powerhouse Colorado School of Mines, Sunday on the road.
It was a David and Goliath match-up from the start, as School of Mines now holds a record of 4-0-1 (2-0 RMAC) and is ranked first in the RMAC weekly standings. The Pack, however, has fallen to 1-5 overall (0-2 RMAC) and is ranked last in the RMAC weekly standings. Going into the week, Mines was also ranked 17th in the NSCAA poll.
The fear of defeat did not scare these ThunderWolves, they walked onto that field prepared for a dogfight. Just one minute in, Jonny Sawyer (Jr., Aurora, Colo.) took his first shot of the day, but was wide left. Matt Marchena (So., Littleton, Colo.) followed suit at the seventh minute with a high shot to the net, just missing the score, and again at the thirteenth minute with a shot that looked to be good but was blocked.
This was how the first half went. The Pack continued to make good passes, take shots, and work effectively at maintaining possession, they just couldn't find the back of the net.
A goal by Oredigger Vince Koch went in the Mines favor to put them up 1-0 at the half.
It wasn't until well into the second half that the Orediggers started to take control of the ball, and subsequently, the scoreboard. At the 67th minute Mines forward Baski Baker took the drop off pass from Tesho Akindele to make the score. Then at the 77th minute, Alex Gunberg added another.
RMAC Player of the Week, Tesho Akindele followed with a header, off a Jared Herselman assist to put the Mines up 4-0 over the Pack.
A penalty kick by Baski Baker at the 80th minute put the nail in coffin on the Pack's hope for an upset. Still, the ThunderWolves did not go quietly into the night, with a little under two minutes left in regulation, T.J. Thiebaut (So., Pueblo, Colo.) took at shot from 14 yards with an assist by Mountain Mitchell (So., Kailua, Hawaii), to get the Pack on the scoreboard.
It was too little too late, but showed that the Pack fought strong till the end. "We battled," said head coach Roy Stanley. "No way do we feel we gave up goals softly, we we're very close to scoring some goals, and we stayed in good positions."
Stanley said, "We feel positive about our ability to hold onto the ball in good areas of the field, we took control of the ball for at least 75 percent of those first 35 minutes."
According the Stanley, everybody deserved to play in this game, which was why backup keeper Joe Weber (Fr., Frisco, Texas) and several other non-starters saw about ten minutes of playing time.
"We've had some hard times," said Stanley "but this is a competitive group of mature guys who want to win." "We have our heads held high and are ready for another good week of practice."
So the Pack may have left Golden, Colorado with a loss but they learned that not only can they can play against a nationally ranked team, but they can play well, they can work as a team, and they have heart. It's not always about the win.
The Pack will travel to Colorado Mesa on Friday afternoon; kickoff is at 4:00pm.