Mavericks solve scoring problems in soccer win
Through the first eight games of the season, the Colorado Mesa University men’s soccer team could not finish shots in the final 18 yards.
In Sunday’s 5-1 win over Adams State, though, the Mavericks (1-7-1, 1-4-0 RMAC) solved that problem.
The Mavericks found the much-needed scoring touch and got their first win.
“It’s huge, it’s absolutely huge,” said forward Danny Molineaux, who, along with Mohamed Gaye, scored two goals. “We’ve been really frustrated all season. We’ve lost by one goal on so many occasions and it’s just huge (to finally win).”
The Mavericks had scored only four goals all season until breaking out in Sunday’s five-goal effort.
“We needed to break that ice and once we got through that, the goals will start coming,” Mesa coach Josh Pittman said. “It’s that confidence feeling and, not having success, you have the weight of not being successful on your shoulders.”
Early on, Adams State (2-4-1, 1-3-0) controlled possession, playing tight defense and keeping the ball out of scoring range.
The Grizzlies scored in the first minute after a throw-in to the box by Hawken Hanna bounced off the head of teammate Cody Sprouce. Johnny Mercer took the header, passed it to Erick Henrickson, who put it into the right side of the net.
By the final 20 minutes of the first half, CMU had taken control of the game and never let up.
“I was like, ‘Oh no, here we go again,’ but the boys fought back,” Pittman said of giving up the early goal. “I think we knew we could play with this team, it was just a matter of getting that first goal and getting that weight off everybody.”
CMU tied it in the 16th minute when defender Jeremy Gwerder took a pass from Sean Foster at the top of the box, made a move around a defender and shot it to the right of goalie Michael Miller.
In the 32nd minute, Molineaux scored on a kick from the left side after breaking free and taking a pass from Alan Hernandez.
He gave the Mavericks an insurance goal in the 47th minute when he headed in a cross from Michael Bagheri.
“It was good to see Danny break through,” Pittman said. “He’s a captain, senior leader, and he’s been really struggling. For him to come through like he did today, change the game today, hopefully he gets some good momentum.”
The last two goals of the game were scored by Gaye, who took crosses from Brandon Burton and Tim Hofer in the 61st and 87th minute.
Goalie Caleb Ealey recorded his first collegiate win with one save.
Colorado Mesa University was about out of time, down 1-0 at CU-Colorado Springs.
With only 1 minute, 23 seconds left in regulation, though, Sophia Whigham connected on a floater from 20 yards out to tie the game.
And on their third corner kick of overtime, the Mavericks found the shortest player on the field for a 2-1 victory.
Kaitlynn Holt, who is only 5 feet, 2 inches tall, was behind the scrum in front of the net and jumped high enough to get her head on Kelcie Crispe’s corner and direct it into the net.
“She’s the shortest player on our team, the shortest player on that field, and she found a way to put her head on it,” CMU coach Erin Sharpe said. “It’s not easy to be 5-2 and score a header off a corner.”
The Mavericks (5-4, 4-1 RMAC) had the wind at their backs in the second half and in overtime, and took advantage of their speed and the fast turf to keep pressure on UCCS (4-3, 1-3).
They hit the crossbar three times in the first half but couldn’t get the tying goal after Jessica Escobedo scored on a free kick.
In the overtime, the Mavericks got two corner kicks in the first two minutes but couldn’t get a shot off. The third one worked, even though it wasn’t exactly the way they practice corner attacks.
“We have so many players who are good in the air,” Sharpe said. “This one snuck over everybody’s head and there she was.”