Pack stumbles in opener

The CSU-Pueblo men's soccer team saw its fall season opener spoiled by a physical Palm Beach Atlantic (FL) team on Saturday.  The men dropped a 7-1 decision to the university from Florida.

Coach Roy Stanley saw a lot of good things in the first 20 minutes of the game.  He said, "I thought that in that opening sequence, we created a lot of opportunities."  Stanley initially instructed his men to try to take advantage of an aggressive Palm Beach Atlantic back line by chipping the ball over the top of the visiting defense.  However, the men saw most of their attacking efforts blunted by Palm Beach Atlantic's physical defensive play.

The visitors went ahead in the 15th minute, and doubled their lead in the 19th.  The Palm Beach Atlantic midfields and forwards worked the ball around the field quite well for the duration of the first half, and their play led to some breakdowns in CSU-Pueblo's defense.  "We must get better defensively," said Stanley.  "They were tall, but I didn't think they were much thicker than we were.  We just made some critical mistakes at the back."

Still, the men did their best to get back into the game in the second half.  Trevor Martinet (Sr., Pueblo, Colo.) saw a good medium range effort parried by the Palm Beach Atlantic keeper, and Dylan Cook (Jr., Albuquerque, N.M.)  had a look at goal about 15 minutes into the second half.  The Palm Beach Atlantic defense had dropped back a bit by now, so the Thunderwolves tried to counter by driving in on the wings.  The men finally broke through with an angled shot from Nate Garcia (So., Albuquerque, N.M.) about 15 minutes from time.

Unfortunately, the visitors piled home the pressure almost until the final whistle.  Aside from one or two opportunistic efforts towards the end of the match, the men didn't see much of the ball and weren't able to produce much.  Palm Beach Atlantic tallied their final two goals in the last 12 minutes of the game.

The men will look for a better result on Sunday when they take on Newman (KS) at the Rawlings Soccer Complex.