Alumni weekend is a time when former athletes come home to visit old teammates and have some fun. Or is it? This year, Metro State alumni showed MSU Denver teams they were here to compete — old school versus new school.
The former athletes schooled the youngsters.
In men’s soccer, the alum team defeated the Roadrunners 3-2 and in volleyball, lady alum won 3 sets to 2.
Although MSU Denver midfielder Carlos Mendez easily walked the ball into the net at the 6:27 mark, the rest of the game wasn’t as easy for the Roadrunners. Mendez woke up a sleeping bear in former Metro goalkeeper Ryan Vickery, who had 14 saves for the alumni team.
“I thought it was just going to roll into the box and I would pick it up but he came in and snuck past me,” Vickery said.
Vickery, who played for Metro from 2007 to 2009, said he doesn’t have time to play soccer and that the alumni game is the only time he does get to play.
“It’s always good to be able to come out and play with the alumni men, it’s always a good game and we have a lot of fun,” Vickery said.
The Roadrunners went into the second half of the game leading the alumni team 1-0, but Philip Owen tied things up, getting the ball past redshirt freshman Thomas Obering at the 52:39 mark.
Roadrunner midfielder Brenden Hughes responded promptly and put MSU Denver back on top (2-1), off a penalty kick.
Alumni player Josh Elbaum tied things up again, setting the stage for the alum win.
Scott Crawford, who played for Metro 2008-2011, scored the winning goal for the alumni team with 12.5 seconds left.
“That last goal, we just wanted to play for a win. Last year they won, and that was my senior year, so I wanted to be a part of a winning alumni team,” Crawford said. “There was one more chance in the game and that is what we were looking for and we just got that opportunity.”
Mendez had mixed feelings about his one-time teammate, Crawford, scoring the winning goal of the game.
“It’s bittersweet that Scott got that last goal against us because he is a good buddy of mine,” Mendez said.
Mendez said that he isn’t worried about this season, but he knows that there is some work to be done.
“Freshman are still trying to find their own and it is just how quickly you can adjust to the games,” Mendez said. “Right now, guys play great in practice and they get in a game and think it is a different game but it’s not.”
Head coach Ken Parsons thought the alumni team had a good game and said that his Roadrunners still have some work to do.
“I think the alumni did a good job to create four or five opportunities going forward and scoring three of them and we probably left four or five goals unfinished on the field,” Parsons said. “I thought we lost a lot of goals on the field and not in the back of the net and that was the bottom line.”
The ‘Runners will play the first two regular season nonconference games in Fayette, Iowa, Aug. 31 and Sept. 2 against Upper Iowa and University of Mary.