Top-ranked Mustangs bury Mavericks, 3-0 - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Top-ranked Mustangs bury Mavericks, 3-0

Mustangs celebrate after Patrick Fitzgerald scores a goal against Colorado Mesa. / Source: KAUZ Mustangs celebrate after Patrick Fitzgerald scores a goal against Colorado Mesa. / Source: KAUZ
WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) -

Patrick Fitzgerald scored twice and Carlos Flores threw in the backbreaker as No. 1-ranked Midwestern State ran past 19th-ranked Colorado Mesa 3-0 in the NCAA Division II South Central Region semifinals Sunday afternoon at Stang Park.
 
The Mustangs, who extended their unbeaten streak to 21 matches improving 19-0-2, play host to the next two playoff rounds next weekend.
 
MSU takes on No. 8-ranked Colorado School of Mines Thursday night for the South Central Region title at Stang Park. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Earlier in the afternoon, No. 2 California Baptist and Cal Poly Pomona pay for the West Region championship beginning at 4 p.m.
 
The winners move on to the national quarterfinal round Saturday night at 7 for the right to move on to the Final Four set for Nov. 30 and Dec. 2 at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Mo.
 
The Mustangs left little doubt in eliminating Colorado Mesa from postseason contention for the third consecutive year.
 
"We kept possessions well and created great chances today," MSU coach Doug Elder said. "We did a lot of good things out there. The movement was good and the defense was good. I wouldn't say we played flawless soccer but the energy and composure was there."
 
Midwestern drew first blood in the 40th minute when Kristian Martinez served a header from the middle of the box back to Fitzgerald, who redirected it with a header just inside the near post.
 
It was Fitzgerald's fifth goal of the season, but first in the run of play. He reverted back to his usual goal scoring routine in the 60th minute after Colorado Mesa was called for a hand ball in the box.
 
The Waterford, Ireland native converted his fifth penalty kick of the season to give MSU a two-goal lead.
 
It could have been worse for the Mavericks (16-4-1). MSU senior forward Scott Doney hit the crossbar with two headers and CMU was forced to save two others off of the line.
 
Doney contributed to the put away tally by claiming the ball just outside of the Mustangs' offensive third. He worked the ball to Flores on the flank who worked a beautiful give-and-go with Ross Fitzpatrick which resulted in the Heartland Conference Freshman of the Year's fifth goal of the campaign.
 
"It's one game, but we've been here before," Elder said. "We played hard and played solid and didn't have a lot of up and downs, but we need to understand we need to continue to play with energy and passion when we play a good Mines team."
 
Midwestern State is gunning for its sixth overall and second-straight national quarterfinal appearance.

 Copyright 2017 KAUZ Sports/MSU Athletic Communications All Rights Reserved

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