Mavericks waste opportunities in bid to upset No. 7 Fort Lewis
So many chances. Wide right. High. Off the crossbar.
All the Colorado Mesa University women’s soccer team needed was one of those chances Sunday at Walker Field to spin just a few inches left, a few inches lower or slide just under the crossbar.
Instead, the Mavericks missed their chance to shock the No. 7 team in the nation, Fort Lewis, at Walker Field and settled for a 0-0 tie after two overtime periods.
“We’ve got to do a better job of executing once we get behind the defense,” Mesa coach Erin Sharpe said. “We’ve got to. We’re so fast, we’re so dangerous, we’re getting it done by getting behind, but the execution has got to be better. It’s miles better than last year, but for us to take the next step we have to finish those.”
With 20 minutes left in regulation, Kelci Crispe’s shot hit the crossbar. Seven minutes later, Sara Islas missed wide right.
Three minutes into overtime, the Mavericks got exactly what they needed, a booming goal kick from Sarah Schnetzler that sailed well past midfield.
Daniela Salinas got the ball to the left of the goal box, and Fort Lewis keeper Amanda Raso came off her line, opening up the net.
Salinas’ shot to the opposite corner appeared to be perfect, but it rolled just past the right post as she sank to the turf.
“That one Daniella had, and then in the second overtime that hit the crossbar, and the one that Tayler (Franklin) had that went right over,” Schnetzler said of the overtime shots she thought for sure would find the back of the net. “We needed one break, but it’ll come.”
The Mavs (5-4-2, 4-1-2 RMAC) weren’t out of chances.
Franklin’s header went high 1:12 into the second overtime, and Fort Lewis’ Elena Benavides’ shot one minute later went wide.
Mesa’s defense turned away a couple of Skyhawk chances, with Sophia Whigham and Islas coming back to help and taking the ball away from Benavides in the box. Midway through the final overtime session, Islas and Leilani Wiernicki marked Hayley Hollenga and regained possession.
With less than two minutes to play, Schnetzler came up with the save of the game.
Hollenga went up for a header just inside the goal box and Schnetzler was only a foot away, timing her jump perfectly to smother the ball just as it came off Hollenga’s head.
“I knew I had to come out to get it or else she was gonna come in and get a better shot off,” Schnetzler said. “I had to come out and be big and take away that angle.”
Crispe, who took a half-dozen of Mesa’s 14 shots, had the final chance after Kaselyn Butters got her the ball on the right side. Crispe, with Raso well out of the goal, fired toward the open net with 1:35 to play as the Mavs’ screams of joy turning to anguish as it, too, smacked the crossbar.
“I’m so sick of hitting the crossbar,” Sharpe said with a half-hearted grin.
“What we have to work for more is to come out minute one with the same intensity we’re playing with from minute 45 through overtime. We’re just getting started too late. We’re dangerous to begin with, so why not 45 minutes (in the first half) of danger?”
Colorado School of Mines scored three second-half goals to erase Colorado Mesa’s 2-1 halftime lead and claim a 4-2 victory in Golden.
Steven Bagheri scored on a free kick at the 37:43 mark to tie the game 1-1. Danny Molineaux scored his first goal of the season, finishing up a rebound off Stevie Palma’s shot, giving the Mavericks a 2-1 lead at the 40:53 mark.
Five minutes into the second half, though, Colorado Mesa’s Jay Cort was given his second yellow card of the game, which resulted in a red card and sent him off for the rest of the game.
Mines tied the game 21 minutes into the second half when Philip Wilson scored off a free kick that deflected back to him, and the No. 20 Orediggers scored two goals in the final eight minutes to put it away.