Mesa men’s soccer team shuts out Adams State
The Colorado Mesa men’s soccer team doesn’t have a lot of size.
Typically, the Mavericks don’t beat any team in the air. But against Adams State on Sunday at Walker Field, the Mavericks used a set piece to beat Adams State 2-0.
“We’ve really been working on set pieces,” CMU coach Josh Pittman said. “We had a goal this year to be really efficient with them and have three or four sets that we run really well. Now that we’re doing that we’re creating a lot more opportunities and today we got a goal.”
Tim Hofer scored his third goal of the season when he squeezed a header just inside the left post after a Mesa corner kick.
Mesa (4-2-1, 2-1-0 RMAC) shut down the Adams State offense, holding them without a shot until 19 minutes into the second half. The Mavericks finished the game with seven shots on goal and kept possession of the ball for the majority of the game in their offensive half of the field. They also had 10 corner kicks to Adams’ one.
“When they start trying to chase us on defense, it tires them out quickly,” Pittman said. “They put some great pressure on us, but they had a tough time getting back to cover us. And, you know, they had a tough game on Friday and they were resting some guys. That’s a fortunate thing for us and in two weeks we’ll have to do the exact same thing coming into their place.
“We’ll have to be smart about how and when we play our guys the next two weeks.”
Goalkeeper Micah Conrads made two saves to earn his third shutout of the year.
“I think that’s been our strength, that we’ve been so organized defensively,” Conrads said. “It’s created a lot of opportunities for us and we’ve done it every single game this year. I think if we continue doing that teams are going to have a hard time scoring on us.”
The Mesa defense and midfield created most of the Mavs’ offensive opportunities by exploiting the middle of the field.
With Adams (1-5-0, 1-2-0 RMAC) running a 4-3-3 formation, the Maverick midfielders found space up the middle, and used that space to create pressure on the wings. On the Mavericks’ second goal, Alan Hernandez dribbled in from the wing and found Marco Escobar sweeping across the top of the penalty box. Escobar shot back across his body, slotting the ball in the lower-left corner.
“We’ve been working a lot on attack the middle,” CMU defender Jeremy Gwerder said. “They’d turn the ball over and we’d push hard up the middle because that’s where the open field was, then we’d try and work the ball outside to someone out there. When you can release pressure that easily and quickly it’s a good way to put the ball in the back of the net.
“Sometimes when you play a team like that you can get lulled to sleep, you just have to stay awake and communicate a lot to create those chances.”