Despite dominance, Mavs settle for tie with Highlands

It was so frustrating, the Mavericks could’ve pulled their hair out.

The Mesa State College women’s soccer team dominated play Friday night, taking 41 shots, including 18 on goal, but had to rally and settle for a 1-1 tie with New Mexico Highlands in a nonconference game at Walker Field.

It was the first overtime game of the season for the Mavericks (9-6-1).

“It was maddening,” Mesa State coach Erin Sharpe said. “We absolutely dominated the game. We played very well. We knocked the ball around. We had great combination plays in the attacking third, but we’ve got to get over this hurdle and put the ball in the back of the net. For us to not put five away in this game is unacceptable.

“To (the Cowboys’) credit, they are very organized defensively. They bunker in a bit because they know we are a good team. We have one breakdown defensively and it opens things up.”

Highlands (4-8-2) broke the scoreless game in the 73rd minute when Ashley Rosales scored from the right side.

The Cowboys clung to the lead until Mesa State junior defender Katrina Hartfield scored with 4:57 left in regulation to force overtime. The goal was assisted by Kira Brannan.

“I’m surprised Kira didn’t shoot it herself,” Hartfield said. “Kira has an amazing shot. I was looking for the upper left corner. I’m lucky it went there.”

Hartfield was one of nine Mesa State players to take a shot on goal, but the only one to find the back of the net in 110 minutes.

“We did dominate play, but we didn’t play smart enough,” she said. “All of our shots went straight to the keeper. We had a lot on goal, but they went straight to the keeper. We put shots on goal, but they weren’t quality shots.”

The Mavericks even had two minutes to play in the second overtime with a man advantage when Highlands junior Adriana Aragon was issued her second yellow card of the game and was ejected.

Mesa got a good look on a free kick after the penalty, but Kylie Kegans missed contact with the ball with the goalkeeper out of position.

The Mavericks put the pressure on the Cowboys from the start of the game with 16 shots, including eight on goal, in the first half.

Mesa freshman Alyssa Michel had the best chance early, firing a long shot that hit the crossbar.
In the second half, Mesa continued dominating the midfield, but every shot on goal was stopped by
Highlands keeper Shannon Delarosbil.

“They have tons of heart. Their organization defensively is tough to break down,” Sharpe said. “We still broke them down quite a bit, but it’s the final bit we can’t find the back of the net. It’s the quality. Ninety percent of our shots on frame were right at her.”

Delarosbil made 16 saves in the game, including two in overtime.

Mesa goalkeeper Julie Rasmussen made three saves, all in the first half.


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