Have you heard the big news on campus? No, I don’t mean when the M was an L, when it was a W, when it wasn’t anything, and when it went back to being an M. No my fellow Orediggers, I am talking about the postseason for our fall sports teams on campus. To say the least, Mines athletes have been doing what they do best: dominating the field, pitch, court, and course. So just in case you may have missed this great news, lucky for you, I am here to get you up-to-date.
We have already had a few teams get their postseason underway. The fun started three weeks ago when our cross country teams went to the RMAC championships which saw the women take second and the men winning first. Our cross country teams then proceeded to do it all over again last week at the NCAA South Central Regional Championship with the women taking second and the men winning once again. Now our cross country teams will head to Sacramento Saturday, November 23rd to try and claim Mines’ second and third national championship titles ever.
Our soccer teams also got their postseason action underway a week ago and there have been plenty of fireworks during RMAC tournament play. In the revamped postseason format, the women took care of business at Stermole Stadium in the RMAC quarterfinals, beating Fort Lewis 3-0, and the semifinals, beating MSU Denver 2-0. Then they headed down to Colorado Springs to take on #1 UCCS, who they lost to in double overtime in front of a raucous crowd on Homecoming weekend. Shortly after, the women got their revenge beating the Mountain Lions 2-0 in front of their home crowd. This meant defeating the only perfect team in Division II women’s soccer. However, the fun didn’t stop there as our men’s soccer team continued the winning in RMAC tournament play.
After clinching the regular season championship along with the right to host all their RMAC tournament games, the men routed Dixie State 6-0 which set up a championship date with the Regis Rangers. On what was a beautiful evening in Golden, Colorado the 2019 RMAC men’s soccer championship game got off to a dull start which didn’t see much happen in the first half and then things got crazy. It was clear when the second half started that both teams were more aggressive out of the gate and Mines was rewarded with a goal by Ian Kugler after 69 minutes. Unfortunately, the joy of leading lasted a mere 108 seconds before Regis equalized and the game remained tied until a winner-take-all penalty shootout. In what was a back-and-forth shootout, which seemed like it would go on forever, it took nine rounds and a great save by tournament MVP Drew Johnson to give Mines the 7-6 penalty shootout win for the RMAC tournament championship. The RMAC tournament championships locked up an NCAA tournament berth for both soccer teams and play for a national championship will begin this week. While our cross country and soccer teams have already had some postseason fun, our football and volleyball teams are about to join the party.
After edging out soon-to-be Division I team Dixie State 35-27 in their closest game of the year for Senior Day at Marv Kay Stadium, Mines made sure their postseason hopes weren’t put in jeopardy by destroying Chadron State 70-28. After going undefeated for the first time in 15 years and finishing in the top 10 of the Division II football rankings, Marv Kay Stadium will have the pleasure of hosting an NCAA football playoff game back-to-back years. The Orediggers will take on Sioux Falls (8-3) at home on Saturday, November 23rd. Mines football certainly has a tough road to an NCAA Division II football national championship, which includes probable matchups against undefeated Tarleton State and Minnesota State, they certainly have the firepower to go all the way this season. We have talked about Mines’ insane football statistics throughout this season in The Oredigger and they have once again only gotten better since we last talked about them. The 2019 Orediggers football team has gone on to average 45.3 points a game, 500+ yards of offense a game, and have one of the best defenses in the country. Mines also has some star playmakers too such as QB John Matocha who has gone on to become one of the best quarterbacks in Division II as a freshman, and Michael Zeman who ran right past the 1,000 yard mark (and then some) against Dixie State despite only starting half of the games this year.
Before our other teams get some NCAA playoff action underway later in the week, our volleyball team will kick off with a Tuesday night quarterfinal at Lockridge Arena against Colorado Mesa at 7 pm in the RMAC volleyball tournament. Faced with the task of needing to win to lock up a home playoff game, the volleyball team delivered by sweeping UCCS on the road this past Friday to finish 20-6 on the year. The women will go on to compete this week for an RMAC championship and will hopefully be the fifth Mines team this year to win an RMAC championship. We have a lot of postseason action coming up on campus and I can’t wait to see the stands filled with Orediggers!
So my fellow Orediggers it is time to celebrate the time of the year that’s better than Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas combined, get loud, and be proud of our Oredigger athletes!