LAKEWOOD – After an eight-goal outburst in the first meeting against Colorado Christian, the Colorado School of Mines men's soccer team only needed two goals in Sunday's series finale as the Orediggers captured a 2-0 victory at the Cougar Soccer Field in Lakewood.
Mines has now won a season-best four straight and seven of its last nine, outscoring foes 20-to-4 in that span with five shutouts, and at 10-3-2 overall and 7-2-2 in the RMAC, the Orediggers have moved into second place in the conference standings with 23 points. With its 15th straight setback, CCU dropped to 1-15-0 and 0-12-0 in RMAC play.
Much of the opening half was played in the Cougars' side of the field as Mines controlled the time of possession en route to six shots and two corners. However, it was not until a set piece 7:47 into the second that the Orediggers finally broke the silence as sophomore Tannor Randle netted his first collegiate score on a 40-yard free kick.
Preseason RMAC Player of the Year Tesho Akindele just missed on his league-leading 17th at the 71:22 mark with a header that deflected off the post, but just 3:24 later in the 75th minute, senior Zach Page-Belknap was good on his shot attempt, connecting on a pass from freshman Joe Haines for the game's final margin and his third of the season.
The final result was never in jeopardy as Mines finished with decisive advantages in shots (14-to-3), shots on frame (8-to-2) and corner opportunities (5-to-0), while senior Manville Strand improved to 10-3-2 in goal with two saves for his fourth shutout this season and 21st of his career, three back of the program record held by Kevin Galloway (2003-06).
The Orediggers close out the road portion of the regular season with a rare mid-week affair at 3 p.m. on Tuesday against unbeaten NSCAA No. 1 Regis (12-0-1, 10-0-0 RMAC) in Denver.