Here’s a summary of CSU-Pueblo athletic activities, as well as a reminder of events coming up.
Football @ New Mexico Highlands
CSU-Pueblo athletics spent a successful weekend away from home. With football improving their record and men’s soccer clinching the last playoff spot in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference playoffs.
CSU-Pueblo football is 9-0 as of Saturday, Oct. 29, defeating New Mexico Highlands 37-0.
However, it wasn’t pretty sight for the ThunderWolves Saturday. With a less than impressive first half the Pack stood at a 7-0 lead. With multiple three and outs the ThunderWolves when into halftime knowing that something had to change.
The offensive explosion came in the second half in the hands of freshman running back J.B. Matthews who ran for his career high of 173 yards and three touchdowns. This was Matthews’ second three touchdown game of the season.
Matthews’ career game was overshadowed, however, by the amazing play of the Pack defense, who leads the nation, allowing just 11.2 points per game. They halted the New Mexico Highlands’ offense, which was averaging 31.1 points per game before the game Saturday.
This game was the first shutout Highlands suffered since they lost to the TunderWolves 66-0.
The Pack will close out the season with back-to-back home games against Western State Saturday, Nov. 5, and against Western New Mexico Saturday, Nov. 12.
Men’s soccer v. Colorado Mesa University
CSU-Pueblo Men’s soccer began their weekend with a bang delivering a win that guaranteed them all but a spot in the playoffs. In a tight race for the final playoff spot against Colorado Mesa University, the two universities squared off Friday, Oct. 28.
The Pack was able to complete an amazing comeback from 2-0 to defeat Mesa 3-2.
At halftime things looked grim, which saw the Pack starting at a 2-0 deficit and the possible loss of their playoff hopes. Good thing there was still another half to play.
ThunderWolves coach Roy Stanley decided to stir things up by making a hockey type “line-change.” It worked. The fresh players came out with a sense of determination led by senior forward Robert Kinsey. This was the beginning of the Pack’s comeback.
In the 62nd minute, Kinsey played a ball to sophomore Trason Merritt, who in netted the ball to the right of Mesa keeper Micah Conrads. This put the score at 2-1. The second goal came ten minutes later when Kinsey headed a free kick in for his 35th goal of his career, tying the school’s all-time record.
It was all Pack now and just two minutes later Kinsey scored his second of the game and his 36th of his career, making him the all-time leading goal scorer in CSU-Pueblo men’s soccer history.
The win gives the Pack a huge advantage on Mesa for the final playoff spot. The last game of the season against Metro State College will decide if the clinch the final Playoff spot or not.
Men’s soccer v. Metro State College
The Pack suffered a 4-0 defeat by the Roadrunners Sunday, Oct. 30. The loss, however, did not cause them to lose the final playoff spot because of Colorado Mesa’s loss to Regis University. The Pack earned the final playoff spot.
The Pack was handled by the Roadrunners and the Pack only managed to attempt 2 shots on goal during the game, which could have possibly been the result of an emotional hangover after their comeback just a few days prior.
The team had a couple of days for preparation before they traveled to play Metro again, Tuesday, Nov. 1, for the quarterfinals of the playoffs.