After an 0-3 start to the season, the CSU-Pueblo men’s soccer team simply needed a change in lighting to help earn their first victory of the season.
The ThunderWolves, playing the first ever night game at Rawlings Sports Complex, pulled out an impressive 2-0 win Wednesday night against a very fierce and aggressive Montana State University-Billings team.
Defender Connor Marcone (Fr., San Diego) headed a pass from Robert Kinsey (Jr., Denver) to put the ThunderWolves on the board not only for the first score in the game but for the first goa all season; The Pack had been shutout in their previous three games by unfavorable deficits.
Less than two minutes before halftime, Chad Smith (Fr., Las Vegas) added another goal for the ThunderWolves putting them up 2-0, a lead that they did not relinquish the rest of the game.
Five minutes into the second half though, the Yellowjackets from MSU-Billings tried to sting their way into the heart of the Pack defense by adding a taste of rough play on the field.
In a mix up over ball control near the ThunderWolves bench, an illegal use of hands granted MSU-Billings player Will Whitworth a red card, and an immediate ejection from the game.
The Pack did not let this bother them as they went on to play strong defense and performed smart ball control.
Along with this steady display of fine defensive shield the Pack presented for the YellowJackets, Goalkeeper Jacob Blum (Jr., Peoria, Ariz.) stood out for the ThunderWolves, making a couple of very impressive acrobatic saves to preserve the shutout.
Coach Roy Stanley credited the win to finally being able to have a productive back four.
“My back four really had a good composure tonight,” coach Stanley said. “We had been shifting our back four throughout every game, and this group did a great job.”
Stanley got it right with a f a oursome of young talent which included Marcone, Connor Sax (Fr. Tacoma, Wash.), Drew Yocom (So., Fort Collins, Colo.), and Denim Douglas (RFr., Greensville, Tex.). Together, coach Stanley said they held good composer and made excellent decision on when to attack and manage the clock as well.
In addition, the excellent play on both sides of the ball, the Pack’s faithful fans came out in support as a crowd of nearly 300 supporters helped lift the team as sounds of vuvuzelas and loud chanting filled the breezy September night sky.
The Pack looks to extend their fine play Friday as they take on the Grizzles from Adams State in a 12:30 game.