Fort Lewis too strong for Mesa
Both Mesa soccer teams fall to Skyhawks
The No. 23 Mesa State College men’s soccer team nearly did something only two teams have been able to do against No. 7 Fort Lewis.
Go overtime to get a tie or a win.
The Mavericks (6-2-0, 3-1-0 RMAC) were less than three minutes from going into overtime when Fort Lewis (4-1-1, 3-0-1 RMAC) scored in a 1-0 RMAC victory on Sunday at Walker Field.
The Skyhawks scored when Euan Purcell passed the ball to fellow Englishman Tom Settle, who gently redirected the ball past Mesa State goalkeeper Josh Tinaglia.
“I’m extremely disappointed that we lost,” Mesa State coach Josh Pittman said. “We started picking up our level in the second half, started being a little more dangerous and we make one mistake and that was the game.”
Fort Lewis had 17 shots, but not as many solid attempts as Fort Lewis coach Tim Hankinson would’ve liked. Tinaglia made 10 saves.
“We created a lot of approaches up to the 18 (yard penalty box), but we never seemed to get our shots off our feet,” Hankinson said. “The build ups to the 18 was plentiful. We need to get better at getting our shots off. For us to stay with the game and push to get the win is a great reward for us.”
Mesa State had four shots, but only one on goal and Fort Lewis goalkeeper Zane Wells saved it to preserve the Skyhawks’ fourth consecutive defensive shutout.
“We seem to organize after an attack,” Hankinson said. “Our back four and goalkeeper are doing an excellent job for us. If we keep doing that, it will give us a chance to win.”
Pittman credited the Skyhawks defense for limiting the Mavericks number of shots.
“Fort Lewis has a strong defense,” Pittman said. “They were able to cause us problems. They do it to us as much as we do it to ourselves.
“They are the class of the league. We’re striving to be there. We’re getting closer, but we don’t have the experience they have. They stayed more organized than us. They are more disciplined and composed.”
Hankinson, a former Colorado Rapids coach, was impressed with the Mavericks second-year program.
“(The Mavericks) are an improved team no question,” Hankinson said. “They were counter attacking and had a couple 1-on-1 situations. I’m glad to see our goalkeeper was there.”
The Mesa State women hung with RMAC preseason favorite Fort Lewis for 50 minutes before the Skyhawks netted a goal and pulled away with a 2-0 victory at Walker Field.
Lorin Anderson scored on an assist by Ginny Maddox at 50:10 then Anderson assisted Jessie Davis’ goal at 53:39.
Fort Lewis (5-2-0, 3-0-0 RMAC) managed to defeat Mesa State (5-2-0, 2-2-0 RMAC) despite the Mavericks taking more shots (12-7). Fort Lewis goalkeeper Bree Baker made five saves and Mesa State goalkeeper Julie Rasmussen had one save.
Three of Mesa’s shots either hit the post or the crossbar, including two in the first half.
“We’ve got to do better in the attacking third at finishing, but we were a little bit unlucky too,” Mesa State coach Erin Sharpe said. “If any of those three go in, it’s a completely different game.
“It’s a combination of a couple things. It’s not taking enough shots when the opportunity is on. When we are taking shots, we’re not doing a good enough technical job of finding the back of the net. We’re just whacking it. It is certainly things we can fix, but we’ve got to do it now.
“As disappointed as we are, today was fun because that is a team that plays (good) soccer. That is the best soccer game we played this year as well.”
Fort Lewis coach Damian Clarke, who was a Mesa State assistant two years ago, was impressed with the Mavericks.
“Mesa is the best team we’ve played thus far,” Clarke said. “They didn’t let us play or get comfortable, especially in the first half. This happened to be one of those days we were fortunate to get the win. They are a very dangerous team and difficult to deal with.”