Despite controlling game, Mavs tie Grizzlies 1-1

Colorado Mesa’s Stan Shrock heads the ball away from Adams State’s Morgan Mahboub on Sunday at Walker Field.

With just over 10 minutes left in the second half of Sunday’s 1-1 nonconference tie against the Colorado Mesa men’s soccer team, Adams State coach Tim Busen grabbed one of his assistants and started talking strategy.

At the time, the Grizzlies trailed 1-0 and only had two shots, neither on goal. The coaches talked about loading the field with forwards to find a few more opportunities.

“Next thing you know a goal went in,” Busen said. “I don’t even know how it happened. I have to look at the tape.”

What happened was that the Grizzlies’ first shot on goal found its way past Mesa goalie Micah Conrads after a pass from a free kick.

The free kick was set up moments before, when CMU midfielder Sean Foster was called for a foul near midfield in Mesa’s defensive end of the field.

Midfielder Peter Freeman launched the free kick toward the net. After a few bounces, Hawken Hanna got his foot on the ball to tie up the game.

The goal was the one sour spot in a game largely dominated by the Mavs, whose defense allowed only four shots — two in regulation.

The defensemen kept Adams State’s forwards from making many runs into the box, setting Mesa up for plenty of offensive possessions based around quick touches and short passes. Including overtime, the Mavericks had 20 shots, 13 on goal.

Mesa’s only goal of the game came in the 16th minute, when former Central High School player Stevie Palma knocked in a rebound from his own shot.

“I was just my thing, going on the left side making a run,” Palma said. “I saw that it was clear and open and I just called for the ball, took my shot. It didn’t go in the first time, so I got it off the rebound and put it in.”

Otherwise, the Mavericks were stopped by Adams State goalie Paul Pizza, who finished with 12 saves. Pizza was filling in for starting goalie Michael Miller, who was out with injury.

Palma led CMU with four shots and is optimistic the winless team can turn it around in time for Friday’s game against Colorado School of Mines.

“As much as it sucks to tie, I’d rather take it over a loss any day,” he said. “The way that I look at (the loss) is like a building block.”


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