GOLDEN – With just two games remaining on the regular season docket, the Colorado School of Mines soccer teams can move closer to securing a first-round bye in the upcoming RMAC Championships on Friday as the Orediggers welcome UC-Colorado Springs to the CSM Soccer Stadium in Golden.
Due to the looming snow showers, the men kick-off first at 1 p.m., while the women take on the NSCAA No. 18 Mountain Lions at 3:30 p.m.
Assured of a berth in the RMAC postseason tournament, the men (10-4-2, 7-3-2 RMAC) are currently one-point ahead of UCCS and Metro State for second place and with two wins over the weekend will clinch the No. 2 seed and a spot in the semifinals. With two victories of their own, the women can also snag one of the two semifinal slots as the Orediggers (12-4-0, 9-3-0 RMAC) sit one point back of the Mountain Lions and Regis for the overall conference lead.
Winners of eight of the last 10, the women extended their win streak to six straight with their third consecutive weekend sweep in RMAC play, knocking off N.M. Highlands (3-2) and Colorado Christian (2-0) in their final two road games of the regular season last weekend.
Junior Anna Evans upped her conference-leading totals to 12 scores and 31 points with a pair goals and an assist over the weekend, while senior Megan Woodworth, the Mines all-time career assists leader with 41, added to her RMAC lead which now stands at 10 with two helpers Friday at NMHU.
The Orediggers have won seven of the eight all-time matchups with UCCS dating back to their first meeting on Oct. 3, 2008. Mines has outscored the Mountain Lions 21-to-3 in that span with five shutouts, not allowing a score in the previous three meetings, including a 3-0 road decision on Sept. 28.
In rare mid-week action on Tuesday, the men took on the last unbeaten and NSCAA No. 1 Regis in Denver, and despite stymieing the second-ranked scoring offense in Division II, the Orediggers suffered their second one-nil defeat of the season to the regular season RMAC champs.
Mines generated more shots than any team Regis has faced this season, outshooting the Rangers 17-to-11 and 4-to-3 in SOG as seniors Zach Page-Belknap and Alex Nass, junior Tesho Akindele and sophomore Tanner McManus all tallied a shot on goal. The eight corner attempts by the Orediggers were also the most allowed by Regis in game this year.
Friday's contest will be the 44th time Mines and UCCS have met on the pitch with the Orediggers leading the all-time series, 28-13-2. In their first meeting this season, the Mountain Lions halted Mines' five-game unbeaten streak with a 1-0 home shutout and their second win in three contests over the Orediggers.