Chip and charge
Mavs blank Highlands in chippy RMAC game
It was chippy, as usual, between the Colorado Mesa and New Mexico Highlands women’s soccer teams Friday night.
Last fall, two CMU players ended up being taken to a hospital in Las Vegas, N.M., after the teams played.
It wasn’t that serious this time in the Mavericks’ 3-0 victory at Walker Field, but there were still plenty of altercations — and ejections.
RMAC referee Vincent Kofa issued three yellow cards and stopped play midway through the second half to eject 10 spectators from the game.
After the game, Kofa would not comment about the ejections.
“It’s always a rollercoaster with Highlands,” CMU coach Erin Sharpe said. “There is still a culture there. Quite frankly, the first half was relatively mild, but the second half it picked up to where it left off last year. It got a little bit nasty, but I thought we did a good job of keeping our composure.”
The players were starting to get chippy with each other, but Kofa tried to calm the players by talking with them. Eventually, he started issuing yellow cards.
Three Mesa players were injured Friday night. Midfielder Veronica Rodriguez got the worst of them, sustaining a concussion, Sharpe said. Rodriguez was one of the players who went to a hospital in a 1-1 tie last year in Las Vegas, N.M.
“I think all the returners were ready for a little bit of revenge,” senior midfielder Kelci Crispe said. “We knew we had to come into this game and play quick, but we also wanted a little revenge. Getting the three goals helped us.”
Crispe scored two of them, both on assists from Sarah Pope on crossing passes. The first goal came in the 18th minute, giving CMU a 2-0 lead. Crispe scored her second goal in the 81st minute.
“The first one I was following in on the goalkeeper, which the coaches said from day one we needed to do,” Crispe said. “The second one, the through ball from Sarah, was amazing. We worked on one-on-one with the goalies all week, if I messed that one up, I’d be pretty bummed.”
Kaitlynn Holt gave the Mavericks (5-0-2, 2-0-1 RMAC) an early 1-0 lead on an assist from Daniela Salinas in the fourth minute, but Holt didn’t see the ball go into the net.
“I saw Daniela take it down and looked for a cross,” Holt said. “I saw the ball and was hoping to get my head on it.
“I didn’t even know I scored until my teammates were picking me up. It was a nice surprise. They said, ‘Kait, you scored!’ ‘I did?’ “
The 5-foot junior was able to get her head on Salinas’ cross while getting hit by a defender, knocking her to the ground.
Holt took a shot in her shoulder, which went numb briefly, she said.
The Mavericks scored three goals on 11 shots — 8 on goal — improving from last weekend when Mesa failed to score a goal against Fort Lewis and had two goals on 34 shots against Colorado Christian.
“Our focus this week was to score goals,” Sharpe said. “(The Cowboys) have been struggling a little bit with their record, but they’re still in every game, so for us to get three goals against them is good for us. We had to play more defenders because of the numbers they’re throwing at us. To get three goals with fewer attackers is pretty good.”
Highlands (2-5-0, 0-3-0 RMAC) took 11 shots, six on goal. Mesa goalie Sarah Schnetzler made six saves.
Sophomore Rachel McLaughlin pushed Colorado State’s No. 4 singles player, Lauren Pick, to three sets before falling in the first round of the singles competition in the CSU Invitational.
The singles are split into 10 flights, with McLaughlin playing in the Yellow Flight, losing 3-6, 7-5, 6-0 in the first match of the three-day, round-robin event.
Two CMU players won their first matches. Michelle Phillips defeated Katie Howe of CSU-Pueblo 6-4, 6-2, and Skyler Nelson beat the ThunderWolves’ Kellie Manes 6-1, 6-1.
All four doubles teams lost matches to teams from CSU or Northern Colorado.