Missing five starters, CMU women stay undefeated
The Colorado Mesa University women’s soccer team continued its undefeated season, topping Adams State 2-1 in a defensive game Sunday at Walker Field.
CMU (6-0-2, 3-0-1 RMAC) has combined to win its past three games 7-1 and is tied with Regis atop the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
Jessica Kent jump-started the Mavericks’ offense after a sluggish start, scoring her first goal of the year on a top-shelf header off a corner kick to give Mesa a 1-0 lead.
The Mavericks had to survive this game, according to Mesa coach Erin Sharpe. CMU was missing five players, including Veronica Rodriguez and Leilani Wiemicki. Sharpe credited the large number of late chances Adams had off set pieces to the makeshift lineup.
“Some of them were pretty tough calls on us, but that being said it was us getting through this game,” Sharpe said. “We had five starters out and had some other player step up who didn’t necessarily have that experience managing the game. It was a learning experience for us today.”
Sharpe said she expects the starters injured in a physical win over New Mexico Highlands to return to the field for Friday’s game against Colorado Christian.
The unpredictable offensive formations for the Mavericks set up the second goal of the night. After surrendering a ball that just squeaked over the line, the Mavericks pushed the ball up the middle of the field.
Sarah Pope faked right and went left, stepped over the defender, and then blasted the ball off the keeper, who couldn’t push the ball past the right post.
“We had to play gritty soccer today,” Sharpe said. “Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do to win. The second goal was pretty and it starts from our defense keeping possession and Sarah, my goodness, she beat four defenders on that run.
“We’re unpredictable offensively and we’re coming from all different sides. We change formations based on where the ball is and where the defense is so we can be dangerous all over the field.”
That unpredictability will be key next Sunday, when the Mavs battle Regis for the top spot in the conference.
Regis is second in the RMAC with 19 goals, but is in the middle of the pack defensively, ranked fifth in the RMAC with 1.23 goals against per game.
“Our intensity and our midfield is working really good at switching the point of attack,” Pope said. “I think we have a really well-rounded team, and any subs that are in the game are going to do a really good job. It doesn’t matter who is injured.”