Mavericks tie Highlands in testy women’s soccer game
Friday night’s women’s soccer game between Colorado Mesa and New Mexico Highlands looked more like a prize fight.
Five yellow cards, multiple altercations and taunts marred a 1-1 double-overtime draw.
“To be completely honest, the game got out of control,” CMU coach Erin Sharpe said. “I’m pleased with how my girls reacted. We kept our heads under pressure.”
All-American and RMAC preseason player of the year senior Julissa Rodriguez led an unrelenting NMHU attack, taking 14 of her team’s 20 shots and five of Highlands’ seven shots on goal.
The Mavericks succeeded in curbing her offensive power by forcing shots from a distance, only allowing her clean looks at the net on set pieces.
“We contained her really well,” Sharpe said. “All of her shots were from deep and weren’t dangerous.”
After a scoreless first half that saw four total shots on the goal, the Mavericks (6-6-3, 5-3-3 RMAC) struck first when sophomore Tayler Franklin buried a cross from Darion Wiegert in the top of the net to give them a lead they carried into the 89th minute.
Highlands (9-6-1, 7-4-1 RMAC) benefitted from a little luck late in the game when a failed attempt to clear the ball spun into Mesa’s net for an own goal, forcing overtime.
Freshman goalie Sarah Schnetzler helped the Mavericks seal the draw, with two of her six saves during the second overtime.
The Mavericks are out to avenge an early season draw against CSU-Pueblo in the second of a four-game homestand to close the season.
“We’re out for revenge,” freshman midfielder Daniela Salinas said. “It’s win or die against them.”
Sharpe also said the loss of four players, including two key midfielders, Franklin and sophomore Veronica Rodriguez, will affect the Mavericks on Sunday.Franklin sustained a concussion and Rodriguez was rushed to the hospital after lying motionless for several moments after a hard fall. Rodriguez is out with a tailbone injury, but Sharpe said she didn’t sustain any spinal damage.
“We’re focused on getting healthy,” Sharpe said. “We lost four girls tonight and quite honestly, those four probably won’t be back Sunday.”
Danny Molineaux scored his fifth and sixth goals of the season, both in the second half, in the Mavericks’ 2-0 victory at CU-Colorado Springs.
Molineaux took four shots, connecting at the 67:04 mark when he dribbled in from 30 yards out and beat the keeper.
About 15 minutes later, Molineaux took a feed from Brandon Burton and scored from 15 yards out for the Mavericks (5-10-1, 5-7-1 RMAC). Micah Conrads made six saves for the shutout.
Colorado Mesa hit in positive numbers in only one set, the only one they won in a 25-18, 25-19, 13-25, 25-15 loss at CSU-Pueblo.
The Mavericks (8-12, 3-9 RMAC) had six kills and only two hitting errors in the third game, hitting .211. They matched kill for error in the first game and had more errors than kills in the other two, finishing with 33 kills and 36 hitting errors.
They consistently hit into the ThunderWolves’ block, with CSU-Pueblo (10-10, 6-6) recording seven solo blocks and teaming up for 11 more. Palisade High School graduate Bernadette Pitre, the T-Wolves’ middle blocker, had three solo blocks and was in on seven more, and had a dozen kills.
Antoinette McCormick led Mesa with nine kills and Haleigh Higgins added seven.