Whigham’s goal helps Colorado Mesa finally beat Dixie

One goal was enough.

With less than 13 minutes left in regulation Thursday night, the Colorado Mesa University women’s soccer team netted a goal and held on to defeat Dixie State College 1-0 at Walker Field. It was Mesa’s first win in three games against the Red Storm.

“I’ve been here for four years, so it’s nice to finally beat them,” Mesa senior Kaselyn Butters said. “We really deserved it. We worked hard. Dixie is a good team too, but we played our game and got it done.”

Butters played a big role, taking four shots, including three on goal, but it was the shot she didn’t take that turned out to be the difference.

Kaitlynn Holt crossed the ball from the left side in front of the net, where Butters made a run. Butters, though, let the ball go past her and Sophia Whigham put the ball in the upper left corner of the net for a goal at 77:51.

“I was wide open, too,” Whigham said. “I saw it happening probably five or 10 seconds before it happened. I started making my run from the midline like ages ago. It worked out for the best because Kaselyn was right in front of me, but she knew I was coming, so she let it go.

“I thought she was going to finish it, but she said she thought someone was running behind, so she took a chance and let it go.”

Butters was glad she passed up that opportunity to shoot.

“It was great being involved in that,” Butters said. “We worked well together and all did the runs we were supposed to do.

“It was a nice feed. Sophia is a composed player and she knew where to place it.”

The goal was especially nice with the history of hard luck the Mavericks have had finishing on the offensive end.

“We are very unlucky all the time,” Whigham said. “This team is known for hitting the crossbar like three times a game. The odds were it’s bound to go in. Coach said keep shooting.”

Mesa (1-2) took 12 shots, five on goal.

Butters had a couple of opportunities to score earlier, including a wide-open shot in front of the net 15 minutes into the game, but kicked underneath the ball, chipping it high over the crossbar. She had another shot from the right corner of the penalty box to the left corner of the net, but Dixie goalkeeper April Beck was there to make one of four saves.

“I had a couple chances here and there, but as the season goes on we’ll get better at finishing,” Butters said.

Dixie (1-2) took 13 shots and Mesa goalkeeper Arielle Harris saved every one of them.

Mesa plays Grand Canyon (Ariz.) University at 7 p.m. Saturday at Walker Field.


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