Mavs hold off late rally to win
Colorado Mesa survived a furious Metro State attack in the final minutes to pick up a needed victory and clinch an RMAC women’s soccer tournament bid.
The Mavericks’ one goal held up despite playing the final 27 minutes and 51 seconds down one player for a 1-0 victory Friday night at Walker Field. Mesa honored its five seniors prior to the game.
The Mavericks (9-3-3, 6-3-2 RMAC) clinched a spot in the RMAC tournament with the win and New Mexico Highlands’ loss. Mesa is tied for fifth with Fort Lewis.
“That’s phenomenal news, but we’re looking even bigger than that,” CMU coach Erin Sharpe said. “It’s very important we get that NCAA bid. One avenue is winning the RMAC tournament, which is a goal of ours as well. Another avenue is taking care of business in the regular season and by us beating the No. 3 has got to say something.”
Metro State (10-4-1, 7-3-1 RMAC) has already clinched an RMAC tournament spot, but fell from a tie for first to fourth place in the conference with the loss.
Mesa junior Tayler Franklin scored the Mavericks’ goal in the 15th minute when she beat Metro goalkeeper Jordan Simkins to the ball and touched it into the net.
It was her first goal of the season.
“I was glad to score for my seniors because they do a lot for us,” Franklin said. “It’s always nice to win on their last night at home.”
She nearly scored again in a similar situation 14 minutes into the second half, but collided with Simkins and went down. Franklin didn’t return to the game. She will be examined today before it’s determined if she can return.
Five minutes later, junior defender Lauren Brouse received her second yellow card and was ejected from the game for apparently something she said.
In soccer, ejected players can’t be replaced, forcing Mesa to play one person down the rest of the game.
Metro State tried to take advantage of it with three forwards. The Roadrunners took 13 of their 28 shots in the final 27 minutes. CMU goalkeeper Sarah Schnetzler made eight of her 14 saves in the final stretch.
“It was very stressful, but I had to be confident in my team,” Schnetzler said. “I knew we could do it, it was just a matter of us believing in ourselves.
“(The defense) were amazing tonight. Our success goes out to them. They were huge tonight, staying organized.”