One slip-up costs Mavericks
Six games into the season, the Colorado Mesa University men’s soccer team is learning a bit about mistakes.
“We’re playing against some of the best teams in the country. You slip up one time and, essentially, that’s the game,” Mesa coach Josh Pittman said Sunday after the Mavericks fell 1-0 to Metro State at Walker Field. “That’s what it’s been all season. It’s come down to one situation and we’ve been on the short end.”
Against Metro, the one slip-up came in the 70th minute, when Metro’s Marc Herschberger, who was standing near the right side of the goal, took a header from Oladele Johnson and sent it into the upper left corner of the net.
It was the only blemish for the Mavs’ defense, which allowed only one other shot on goal the rest of the game.
The offense, though, struggled to get inside the box and finished with two shots on goal.
In the first half, the two teams evenly split possession. Defensively, Mesa had a few small slipups in the midfield with missed steals, but the back line and midfielders kept things from getting out of hand, although there were several close calls.
In the 26th minute, Metro’s Scott Crawford got free after a missed tackle by Phil Neuwirth and led a rush with Scott Grode and Herschberger against two Mesa defenders.
Before the three could make a play, Mesa midfielder Marco Escobar rushed Crawford from behind to get the ball back.
In the 39th minute, Metro defender Jeremy Brooks took a shot from the far left side of the box, which hit the right post.
Mesa came out of the second half pushing the offense and had four shots in the first 20 minutes, including one on goal by Escobar that went right at Metro goalie Issa Bissau.
Historically, the Colorado Mesa women’s soccer team has struggled against Regis University, but Sunday, the Mavericks turned a page.
Their 3-1 win over the Rangers was the program’s first win against Regis in nearly five years and the third since the 2003 season.
“It’s the first time since I’ve been here, and I know it was a couple of years before I was here that this program beat Regis, so it’s a big turning point for our program,” Mesa coach Erin Sharpe said. “To beat an opponent like that is very significant.”
The Mavericks’ last two wins against Regis were Sept. 24, 2006, when they beat the Rangers 2-0, and a 1-0 victory on Oct. 12, 2003.
Sunday, Regis controlled the tempo and limited Mesa’s scoring chances, but the Mavericks made the most of what they got, scoring three goals on five shots. The Mavericks’ only shot in the second half was a goal by Tayler Franklin.
The offense primarily worked around midfielder Kelci Crispe, who finished with both a goal and an assist.
Her goal came in the 16th minute on a shot from the left side of the field, about 30 yards from the goal.
She struck in an arch, which slipped into the top of the net, over goalie Ellen Augsburger.
“That’s definitely one of Kelsie’s strengths is shooting from distance and she knows that she’s got to look to do that more and more, especially when you’re playing against keepers that are a little bit shorter,” Sharpe said.
In the 40th minute, Crispe brought the ball along the right sideline and put a cross on the ground intended for Kaselyn Butters, but instead was grabbed farther down the line by Kaitlynn Holt, who put it in the net.
Franklin scored her goal in the 70th minute following a corner kick that put the ball in front of the net.
“The fact that we’ve got a lot of different people scoring in great ways is very, very exciting because the problem we’ve had, particularly last year but for a little while now, is execution and we’re finding a way to get it done,” Sharpe said.
Regis had 20 shots, nine on goal but were kept in check by a Maverick back line that limited the Rangers’ abilities to get in the box.
CMU goalie Arielle Harris finished with eight saves.