Early deficit too much for Mesa women’s lacrosse team to overcome

Colorado Mesa’s Rachel Sutton tries to pass over the defense of Regis’ AriAnna McDonald on Saturday at Walker Field. Sutton scored three goals for the Mavs, who lost 22-9.

After falling into a 9-0 hole Saturday, the Colorado Mesa University women’s lacrosse team couldn’t recover, dropping its season opener 22-9 to Regis.

The Mavericks, who finished 4-9 last season, were outshot 38-18 against the reigning Western Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (WILA) champion. Regis (1-0, 1-0 WILA) is coming off a season where the Rangers finished a perfect 6-0 in WILA play and were ranked as high as No. 17 in the nation.

Mesa (0-1, 0-1 WILA) struggled in transition and couldn’t consistently move the ball in the offensive zone.

“Our attack was having trouble coming to the ball and moving it into our offensive end,” coach Abby Simpson said. “Our defense and midfield did a good a job with what they had, but we needed the support of our offensive end as well.”

Lauren Elliot and Rachel Sutton, two new additions from Arapahoe High School in Centennial, had strong first games for the Mavs.

Sutton and fellow freshman Lexie Chavez led Mesa, scoring three goals each. All three of Sutton’s goals were in the final 12 minutes.

Elliot forced three turnovers and aided a defense that was 11 for 23 on clearing attempts.

“Rachel had a tough first half but really turned it on and played amazing in the second half,” Simpson said. “Rachel, along with Lauren Elliot, Lexie Chavez, Amanda Simon and of course, our goalie, Lauren Wells, are players to watch after this game.”

Wells, who was third nationally with 158 saves last year, made 10 saves in the opener.

Fundamentals also hurt CMU. The Mavericks committed 17 turnovers, 10 in the second half, that directly led to 10 goals by Regis. The Rangers’ scoring was led by Margaret Nahrup, who had four goals. Danica Cutshall, Morgan Taylor, and Kelsey O’Connor chipped in three apiece.

“It was the silly things that hurt us,” Simpson said. “Just the fundamentals like dropping the ball or having a loose ball in your stick and dropping it again that we need to work on.”

The Mavs have 10 freshmen on their roster, and with freshmen accounting for two-thirds of Saturday’s goals, it is clear to Simpson that the underclassmen have changed the dynamic of the team.

“There’s heart, there’s skill, there’s desire, there’s want,” Simpson said. “I’m not taking anything away from last year’s team, but the talent level this year is a lot different.”

“We’re definitely a wolf pack this year,” Chavez added. “We have each other’s backs.”

The Mavs travel to St. Charles, Mo., to face Lindenwood University on Friday. CMU went 0-2 against Lindenwood last season.


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