Mesa, AZ - Tough, physical and gritty are the best ways to describe the Mesa Thunderbirds men's soccer team 2-1 victory over the #3 ranked Phoenix College Bears Thursday night at John D. Riggs Stadium.
"It's the biggest win the program has had in a long time," Mesa Head Coach Brian Ronan said after the match.
At times, the match resembled more of a rugby game than a soccer game. With a 0-0 tie at halftime, it was Mesa's Kevin Olivarez who broke the scoring open in the 47th minute on an assist from Hunter Wellcome.
The T-Birds held to that lead for 30 minutes until the Bears were able to tie it back up at one in the 77th minute. The match did not stay tied for long as Jesus Garcia was able to draw a penalty in the Mesa box in the 79th minute, allowing him a free kick, which he converted.
From there, Mesa held strong on defense, with its strongest player standing between the posts, goalkeeper, Morgan Barta. Barta made six saves against a Phoenix team who ranks 10th nationally in goals scored.
With the victory, the T-Birds are now 7-5-2 both overall and in conference play. Mesa will play on the road this coming Saturday against the #20 Yavapai Roughriders at 3 pm.