Mesa men’s soccer team makes most of its chances, but still loses to Mines
The Colorado Mesa University men’s soccer team took the lead twice Friday night, but couldn’t hold on in its conference opener against No. 13 Colorado Mines, falling 3-2.
Making the most of their chances, the Mavericks (0-4-1, 0-1 RMAC) converted on their only two shots on goal, but Mines’ pace and offense overwhelmed Mesa’s back line, converting on three of nine chances.
The Mavericks struck first when redshirt freshman forward Stevie Palma fed fellow freshman forward Alan Hernandez, who scored the first Maverick goal, sliding the ball low past the keeper. It was Hernandez’s first goal as a Maverick.
An errant header let Mines (3-1, 1-0 RMAC) draw even in the 35th minute when senior midfielder Philip Wilson scorched a ball from the top of the penalty box during an Oredigger counter-attack.
The Mavericks nearly reclaimed the lead going into halftime when Nick Labor received an open cross in front of the net and pushed a header just wide of the goal.
“We had our chances,” coach Josh Pittman said. “We put a lot of dangerous balls into the box, but we couldn’t convert on our chances when there was no one to receive them on the other end.”
Only nine minutes into the second half, John Vaccaro lobbed a through ball to a streaking Palma, who put it away on a wide-open break to give the Mavericks a 2-1 lead.
“When you get a ball like that the first thing you’re thinking about is getting that shot off quick,” Palma said. “The ball landed in front of me and I put it away quick.”
A confusing exchange let the Orediggers tie the game in the 55th minute. A shoving match erupted between the two teams, and after Vaccaro received a yellow card for delay of game, Mines banged a free kick off the post and sophomore forward Baski Baker put away the rebound to force another tie.
The back-and-forth continued until the 87th minute, when Mines midfielder Tesho Akindele netted Maverick goalkeeper Micah Conrad’s deflection to seal the victory.
“We need to improve the our defense through the midfield,” Pittman said. “We need to make the most of the chances they give us.”
The Mavericks face Metro State College in their fifth and final game of the homestand at noon Sunday at Walker Field.
One goal was enough again for the Mavericks, with Sara Islas scoring off a crossing pass in the first half for a 1-0 victory over Nebraska-Kearney in the RMAC opener.
Colorado Mesa’s Tayler Franklin found Islas from the right side 18 minutes into the game.
The Mavericks (2-3, 1-0 RMAC) outshot the Lopers (2-3, 0-1) 10-5, allowing only two shots on goal. Arielle Harris made saves on both to pick up the shutout.
Colorado Mesa learned from its three-game loss Thursday against No. 7 Metro State, pushing No. 25 Regis before falling in four games.
The Rangers (9-2, 2-0 RMAC) claimed a 25-21, 16-25, 26-24, 25-16 victory, dropping the Mavericks to 3-7, 0-2 in the RMAC.
Freshman outside hitter Melissa Hess had 13 kills and senior middle blocker Antoinette McCormick added 11. Junior outside hitter Kelly Regimbal added nine.
The Mavericks made only three hitting errors in the second game to tie the match, but struggled the rest of the way to find holes in the Regis defense.
Kaitlan Sera and Kaylee Davis reached the round of 16 on Friday in the ITA women’s regional tournament in Kearney, Neb.
Davis defeated Metro’s Samantha Schall and Northern State’s Jamie Golden by identical 6-1, 6-1 scores.
Sera, seeded ninth, defeated Kelly Messbarger of Nebraska-Kearney 6-2, 6-1 and Jaimie Baker of William Jewell 6-1, 6-2.
Kelleen Sera, the fifth seed, lost in the second round to Metro’s Marianne Evangelista 2-6, 6-3, 10-8, and Kristyn Wykert lost to Vanessa Gunawan of Kearney 6-0, 6-0 in the second round.
The Sera twins, seeded first in the doubles draw, reached the quarterfinals with an 8-2 win over Angelica Alba and Patricia Vanderhoeven of Upper Iowa.
Wyker and Davis won their first doubles match before losing to William Jewell’s third-seeded team 8-4.