By: Joe Jacquez
Thursday was a great night for college soccer at John D. Riggs Stadium as both the Men’s and Women’s teams were looking for a clean sweep of Chandler-Gilbert Community College.
After beating Scottsdale 1-0 last Thursday, the men’s team was looking for their second straight win ahead of next week’s huge game against Pima. The game didn’t start out well for Mesa.
The Coyotes got on the board first as sophomore Nathan Rice took advantage of some defensive confusion and scored in the ninth minute at 36:54. The assist went to freshman forward Ryker Seifert.
Chandler-Gilbert added on later in the half as freshman Connor Follett scored at the 14:06 mark on a rebound off MCC goalkeeper Carlos Becerra to give CGCC a 2-0 lead. The assist went to sophomore Cody Shultz.
Heading into the break, the Coyotes had a 2-0 lead.
The T-Birds struck quickly to start the second half as freshman Marlon Bonilla scored on a pass from freshman Bryan Perera to make it a 2-1 game. Perera leads the team in points, goals and assists this season.
It was a defensive struggle for the rest of the half, as the T-Birds failed to net the equalizer and they fell to the Coyotes 2-1. The loss dropped Mesa to 5-3 on the season.
“On defense, we only made two big mistakes, but both resulted in goals against us. We also missed some huge opportunities to score, and we missed those shots. We are usually a pretty good finishing team, but for some reason, the last two games we have not scored as many as we should have,” Barmettler said.
“Right now we’re 5-3 … We’re looking pretty good … We’ve got to win as much games as possible so we can get home seed and be in a comfortable spot for the playoffs,” said sophomore Ignacio Reye.
Meanwhile, the Women’s team was looking to rebound from their 1-0 loss to Scottsdale last Tuesday. Coming into the game, the Lady T-Birds had only scored one goal in their previous two contests.
The Lady T-Birds got on the board first thanks to a goal from sophomore forward Ana Morris at the 14:03 mark. The goal sailed over CGCC goalkeeper Tiana Pretzer to give Mesa a 1-0 lead. Then right before the half, Victoria McClelland scored just inside the left post to give Mesa a 2-0 lead. Both were credited to sophomore forward Jordan Drake
All the momentum was on the T-Birds side going into the second half. The next 45 minutes was a defensive struggle and Mesa made their 2-0 lead stand, picking up the victory to improve to 3-2-2.
Mesa goalkeeper Danielle Torres picked up her third shutout of the season, thanks in part to a great performance by the defense.
After the game Coach Guarneri talked about how his team took advantage of opportunities
“I liked our intensity. We didn’t play pretty soccer, but at the end of the day you don’t have to play pretty, you gotta put away your chances, and tonight we put away our chances,” Guarneri said.
Both teams will be looking to get wins in their next matches at Pima.