Mavericks lose to Lions despite solid ball control

#12, Leilani Wiernicki from Colorado Mesa University wins a header VS Texas A&M-Commerce Sunday afternoon at Walker Field.

Julia Kranstover, 5, and Taylor Bruno, 19, from Colorado Mesa University battle Laura Heron from Texas A&M-Commerce for the ball at Walker Filed Sunday afternoon.

After falling behind 2-0, the Colorado Mesa University women’s soccer team stormed back to make it a game.

The Mavericks played well in the possession game, but only found the net once in their 3-1 loss to Texas A&M-Commerce Sunday at Walker Field.

Julia Kranstover scored on a header with nine minutes left in the first half to get the Mavs on the board. The goal came during a two-minute flurry where the Mavs had a number of chances.

CMU headed into the half trailing 2-1 but with the momentum of that late score. That’s when the lightning and rain came.

The teams had to endure a 73-minute weather delay.

Mavs coach Erin Sharpe said the second-half playing conditions affected her team.

“I thought we were more intense in the second half, but we didn’t adjust to the conditions very quickly,” she said. “Sometimes you have to play an ugly game.”

The game was physical with plenty of contact. Texas A&M-Commerce made the adjustments to the rain-soaked field quickly and upped the lead to 3-1 five minutes into the second half when Anitra Wright popped a shot by Mavs’ goalkeeper Sarah Schnetzler.

Sharpe said the Mavericks have struggled with taking shots in their first two games, and the result has been two losses. The Mavs lost 1-0 on Friday night to Midwestern State.

“We’re a very strong possession team, but it’s not enough to just possess the ball. We have to score,” Sharpe said.

The shots on goal for the game favored the Lions 14-9, but the Mavs only had three shots in the second half.

CMU demonstrated its possession game in the first half, controlling the ball with precise passing and finding open spaces in the Lions’ defense. But there were few shot attempts, with Sarah Pope having the best scoring chance in the first 10 minutes.

The Lions took the lead on a perfect shot by Brionna Minde, who drilled a left-footed shot from the left side off the far post and past a diving Schnetzler.

The ball bounced just right for Texas A&M for its second goal. As five CMU and Texas A&M-Commerce players converged in the box, the ball popped free, and Julia Hernandez found herself with an uncontested shot, which she hit inside the near post.

The Mavs kept up the offensive pressure and finally cracked the scoreboard when Kranstover positioned herself in the box as a free kick came sailing in. The Mavs junior headed the ball into the left side of the net past goalkeeper Callie Ballard. Leilani Wiernicki was credited with the assist.

After giving up the third goal, CMU finally adjusted to the wet field, but the Lions pulled back to protect the lead, making it tough on the Mavs. Pope’s left-footed shoot went wide left at the 60-minute mark, and that was followed by a great chance on a corner kick. Five minutes later Isa Revelle had another good chance for the Mavs.

In the final four minutes, the Lions went back on the offensive, and Schnetzler was tested several times.

The 5-foot-7 junior used every inch of her height and reach to flick away a hard shot with her right hand, then made another save 20 seconds later.

Sharpe was pleased with her team’s effort but not the result.

“We’re on the right track, but we have to get better,” she said.

The team agreed, and Sharpe said, they asked for an extra practice next week to work on some things.

Sharpe said the main thing they have to work on is taking shots.

“We have to take more shots. We can’t be in fear of missing the shot,” she said.


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