(Editor's note: MSUB media release)
Chris Boyd scored the game-winning goal with less than four minutes on the clock Thursday night at the Northwest Nazarene University Soccer Field, lifting No. 16 Colorado Mesa University to a 2-1, neutral-site win over the Montana State University Billings men’s soccer team.
Keeping himself onside by a matter of inches, Boyd tucked the game-winner – and his second goal of the match – into the back of the net with a left-footed strike from the top of the box on an assist from Colton Shafer in the 87th minute. The Yellowjackets furiously fought for three ensuing corner kicks, but could not equalize a second time.
“We knew that Colorado Mesa was a very good team, and we had a game plan that didn’t really work in the first half,” MSUB head coach Thomas Chameraud said.
“We felt like had some opportunities to go forward, but we were lacking technical finishes after our last pass. We made some adjustments at halftime, and the difference in the second half was night and day. We had control of the game, created big chances, but when you don’t put away big chances against a
ranked team they will finish you.”
Players for both teams endured a 5-plus hour delay, as Thursday’s original kickoff time of 3 p.m. was pushed back due to unplayable air quality earlier in the day. MSUB moved its record to 1-2-1 with the defeat, with junior Austin Shafer scoring his first goal of the season.
The Mavericks (3-0) struck as time wound down in the opening half, when Boyd got on the end of a pass from John Roberts and comfortably punched home his first goal of the day from within the box. The Mavericks carried the deserved 1-0 lead into the halftime break, after a quiet opening 45 minutes from the ‘Jackets.
MSUB turned the tables coming out of the locker room however, and fully overtook momentum throughout the majority of the second half.
“I think that was the best 45 minutes we have seen all season,” Chameraud commented on the team’s second-half performance. “Now we have to repeat that energy level consistently whether we are playing a ranked opponent or not.”
The Yellowjackets had a chance to equalize in the 55th minute, when a cross into the box carried over the head of CMU goalkeeper Connor Durant. An ensuing shot from Tybalt Thornberry carried high over the bar however, as the Mavericks maintained their narrow lead.
Just two minutes later the ‘Jackets found themselves level, on Shafer’s first goal of 2021. The play built all the way out of MSUB’s defensive third, and culminated with Mathias Kjølner on the ball on the left side of the goal box. He slotted a dangerous pass towards the near post, and Shafer’s shot had just enough on it to clear the goal line off the hands of
MSUB goalkeeper Georgios Theodoulidis had a stellar reaction save at the 22 minute mark in the match, reaching his hand out to knock away an on-target strike by the Mavericks’ Gabriel Peres from inside the six-yard box. Theodoulidis made five total saves in the match, as the Mavericks out-shot the Yellowjackets 13-9 and placed seven of their attempts on frame. Durant meanwhile had a pair of saves to help keep his Mavericks unbeaten on the young season.
Ryan Hanley had a prime look towards goal with 16 minutes left on the clock, but his header attempt from the six-yard box was pushed over the crossbar. Durant’s final save came two minutes before the game-winning goal, as he denied Kjølner on a promising attempt from within the box.
THE BUZZ: Shafer was selected as the St. Vincent Healthcare Player of the Game…it was Shafer’s fifth goal of his career…the assist was the first of Kjølner’s career…the Yellowjackets were without senior captain Luca Battistotti, who missed a game for just the second time in his career serving a one-game suspension for a soft red card in MSUB’s last
match…MSUB is now 0-1-1 all-time against CMU.
NEXT UP: The ‘Jackets return to the pitch on Saturday afternoon with a noon kickoff scheduled against Westminster