Fort Lewis edges Mesa men’s soccer team

Colorado Mesa’s Bashiru Ali leaps over Fort Lewis’ Derek Freeman on Wednesday night to take the ball after a shot on goal got away from Mavericks’ goaltender Micah Conrads, 1, in the Mavs’ 1-0 loss at Walker Field.




CMU at Colorado Mines, 7 p.m. Thursday; at Nebraska-Kearney, 6 p.m. Friday; at Chadron State, 7 p.m. Saturday: The Orediggers moved into the national rankings this week after knocking off Metro State, then ranked No. 9, and Regis (No. 22) last week, so the road doesn’t get much easier for the young Mavericks. Outside hitter Kelly Regimbal was being tested this week to see if she’s recovered enough from a concussion to be cleared to play. Regimbal was injured Oct. 4 at Westminster when she hit a ball into the block and it ricocheted back, hitting her square in the face. “She hits the ball pretty hard,” CMU coach Dave Fleming said. Nebraska-Kearney is ranked sixth in the nation; this is Mesa’s final regular-season trip to Kearney, which is leaving the RMAC for the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association after this school year.

Women’s Soccer

CMU at Regis, 4 p.m. Friday: After splitting games against nationally ranked teams last week, the Mavericks are back in Denver, facing the team directly in front of them in the Central Region rankings. With the top six advancing to the playoffs, the Mavericks are No. 7 again this week, with the Rangers No. 6. There’s a three-way tie for third with Metro State, Winona (Minn.) State and Fort Lewis.

Men’s, Women’s Swimming

CMU at Rocky Mountain Invitational: After opening the season against Division I competition, the Mavericks swim against Division II teams this weekend. Kent Stavrakas, who finished second in the 50 freestyle last week in Mesa’s Intermountain Shootout in 21.34 seconds, is ranked third in the nation among Division II swimmers. Alejandro Hernandez finished second in the 400 IM in 4:17.31. For the women’s team, Jaclyn McMillen was fifth in the 100 backstroke (1:01.21) and Kelly Hogan was fifth in the 200 free (1:57.18).

The Colorado Mesa University men’s soccer team has had plenty of close losses this year, but Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to Fort Lewis at Walker Field hurt a little more than the rest.

In the second game of the year against the Skyhawks, the Mavericks (3-10-1, 3-7-0 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) had several chances to score, but lost because of one mistake to the top-ranked team in the nation.

“It’s a real tough loss, to be honest,” CMU forward Danny Molineaux said. “We made one mistake and we paid for it.

“The only chance they got we pretty much gave to them,”

That mistake was a simple defensive breakdown in the 62nd minute.

The Skyhawks (13-0-0, 9-0-0 RMAC) upped the offensive tempo in the second half and had worked the ball into the box.

Midfielder Alberto Rodriguez got the ball midway in on the left side and shot it towards the center of the net. CMU goalie Micah Conrads deflected the shot to his left, toward Fort Lewis forward Derek Freeman, who kicked it in on the rebound.

“When you play a team like that, you defend a lot,” Mesa coach Josh Pittman said. “We made a mistake, they capitalized and we didn’t capitalize on our chances.”

Those chances didn’t come often for the Mavs.

From the opening kick, Fort Lewis controlled possession. Early on, the Skyhawks played the ball between the back defensive line and midfielders, but by the second half put more emphasis on controlling within CMU’s defensive half.

When the Mavericks got the ball, they took a patient approach but were constantly stifled by Fort Lewis’ defense, which would quickly close in on the ball and gave CMU’s offense little wiggle room and led to the Skyhawks’ ninth shutout of the year.

“They’re the number one team in the nation for a reason and that’s because they close down quickly,” Molineaux said.

CMU was outshot 12-7, but only 5-3 on goal.

The Mavs’ first shot on goal came in the 34th minute. Forward Brandon Burton got the ball just outside the box and juked towards the center of the field. He took an open shot right at Fort Lewis goalie Ryan Wirth.

CMU had another near miss in the 39th minute after a foul. On the free kick, Jeremy Gwerder kept the ball low, but his shot went wide left by less than two feet.

In the 61st minute, Molineaux nearly scored.

CMU midfielder Marco Escobar worked the ball into the middle of the box, passed it to Molineaux on the right, who kicked it toward the upper right side of the goal. Once again, Wirth got in the way of it.

Fort Lewis’ goal came only a minute later.

Throughout the game, the teams got both physical and talkative, which led to seven yellow cards, four to CMU.

Molineaux said the loss was even harder to take because it followed a 2-1 overtime win against then No. 14-ranked Metro State on Sunday.

“We were coming in with confidence,” he said. “To lose it like that is a tough one for sure.”


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