The Roadrunners didn’t disappoint as they went on to improve their record to 9-3-1 (5-2 RMAC) and extended their winning streak to four games, after beating Regis 3-1 now 4-7 on the season.
The Roadrunners came into the game without junior midfielder Dustin Berg, who is out for the season with a broken foot has 16 points on the season. The Runners are led by junior forward Josh Belfrage (11 points on the season) and junior goalie Hayden Rus (0.64 GAA, .841 save percentage).
“Yeah you know, it’s always a great competitive match between Regis and MSU Denver,” head Coach Jeremy Tittle said. “It’s like a local derby and doesn’t matter who is doing well that year or who is not doing well, it’s always going to be a competitive match and not surprising at their home field they are going to fight tooth and nail and I thought we did as well.
The Roadrunners outshot Regis 14-3 in the first half. The Rangers, however, would have the first laugh as they took a 1-0 lead on a header from Eduardo Belmar on a cross into the box. Referee Chris Levesque was a busy man from the start, as it was a physically challenging game from the beginning. At one point, it caused head coaches Tittle and Regis’ Tony McCall to argue because player safety was in question.
“I felt like my integrity was being question about taking care of our players head injury and that was inappropriate but maybe they didn’t mean it that way but it sure sounded like that and that is something I’ll defend is players health,” Tittle said.
However, as the game went on, Regis didn’t let up on their physicality as they would commit three fouls in the box, one earning the Roadrunners a penalty kick. Junior striker Josh Belfrage would take it and convert it to even the score 1-1 going into halftime.
In the second half, Metro didn’t take its foot off the pedal as they pushed the lead to 3-1 with goals from senior forward Danny Arrubla and Belfrage who finished the night with two goals.
“He is a horse, man,” Tittle said. “Josh is an absolute horseman. He doesn’t know how to stop and sometimes we have to help him understand to be a little different but he did cover a lot of ground tonight. He was very good in his defending without giving up a lot of fouls and what a compose finish he had to get that third goal and that composure on that was fantastic.”
Regis didn’t give up the fight but the Roadrunners would eventually make the 3-1 score a final over the Rangers. The Runners couldn’t celebrate this win for very long as they had to take a bus to Rapid City, SD and take on South Dakota Mines on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Headed into this one, Tittle just wants to come away with three points and keep this winning streak going.
“Certainly three points, tomorrow [Saturday] we need a good recovery day but that is not going to happen until after we arrive in South Dakota because we have to get on the bus early and having a long ride after a hard game tonight, but we will be in good spirits for sure,” Tittle said.
The Roadrunners beat SD Mines 4-0 and are now (10-3-1).