The Midwestern State Mustangs knew the game against the West Texas A&M Buffs would be a battle.
In 2018, the Buffs defeated the Mustangs 1-0 in overtime during the regular season, before they met again in the post season, where the game had to be decided in penalty kicks. MSU defeated West Texas A&M 5-4 knocking them out of the NCAA playoffs.
This year, the 19th ranked Mustangs had to defend Stang Park against the fourth best team in the country.
“Them being fourth in the nation. I think we owed a win after last year, too. We were one in the country last year when they came and beat us, and took that away from us, so it was good to get a little bit of revenge there. Honestly, we expected it, so honestly the celebrations were a bit muted to be fair. Its what we expect. We wanted to win the game and we expected nothing less so,” said Ross Fitzpatrick.
“They’re a very good team. It was just kind of like a little bit of a perfect storm. I mean, they knocked us off both times last year so the guys kinda had that motivation going. A little extra motivation, so no I mean they’re a very good team. We have to go down there again in a month and play in Canyon, so it will be another battle I’m pretty sure of it,” said Michael Meachum.
“It was a scrappy game for sure you know. Its just always been like that. Its just one of those rivalry games. Its kinda like Red River Rivalry. You don’t know whose gonna win it, but you know, but you know you gotta go play your heart out for those ninety minutes,” said Taylor Lampe.
After the 3-0 victory, goalkeeper Taylor Lampe earned his 22nd career shut-out as a junior setting a new program record for most career shut-outs.
“I mean its awesome to be recognized with names like that, and its also an honor to be able to get it with the teammates that I have now and the people I have been with before. All the defenses I have played with. So, its actually a huge honor. We still got more games to play, so maybe I can make it a little more than just 22,” said Taylor Lampe.
MSU suffered some key loses due to injury earlier in the season, but the Mustangs reload with fresh new talent . Sophomore Carlos Vargas stepped in and helped lead the defense to shut out the past two opponents.
“We got a new guy Carlos Vargas. He hasn’t played because Patty was injured, and Rory has broken his foot and those sorts of things. So, you have two All-American center backs that haven’t been able to play, so having a sophomore come in and play in two games like that at home was huge,” said Michael Meachum.
“Obviously really happy. Coming here everybody told me this was our rival, and I just expected that we’re not going to like them. But when I got on the field, I really felt that rivalry and you can see it in the game. It was just really really good to get that win,” said Carlos Vargas.
“Just the ability to bounce back after the loss to St. Mary’s. We could’ve handled that many different ways, but to come back out and score six goals in two games and keep two clean sheets was massive and showed what this team is really made of,” said Ross Fitzpatrick.
The MSU Men’s Soccer Team is made up of some tough competitors, and the battle for a fourth consecutive conference title has only just begun.