Mesa women’s soccer team falls in regional; men’s basketball team wins opener in Utah
Goals less than two minutes apart were too much for the Colorado Mesa University women’s soccer team to overcome Friday in the NCAA Division II Central Region playoffs in Durango.
The Mavericks (10-8-4) lost 3-0 to Regis, allowing two goals in the first 13 minutes before they even took a shot.
Marissa Davis took a pass that CC Rinehart slid to her, tapping it to the far post for her seventh goal of the season at the 11:08 mark of the first half.
Taylor White deflected a crossing pass off her hip into the goal for a 2-0 lead at the 12:43 mark.
The Mavericks got their first shot 26:16 into the first half, an attempt by Sara Islas that was saved by Regis keeper Nicole Eddings.
Colorado Mesa, playing in its first regional game since 2000, tried to get back in the game in the second half. The Mavs outshot the Rangers 8-5, but couldn’t get anything past Eddings or Ellen Augsburger, who played the final 131⁄2 minutes.
Playing three must-win games last week took its toll, CMU coach Erin Sharpe said.
“Our legs were a lot heavier and we were playing on that grass field that they were shoveling snow off of a couple of days ago,” she said. “The ground was really soft and we already had heavier legs, so you have a tendency to slip even more.
“We kept slipping; it was a combination of things going against us. The girls fought really hard, they gave it all they had physically; they were running on empty.”
Lauren Dorsey-Spitz added an insurance goal in the 69th minute to send the Rangers (15-5-0) into the second round Sunday against Fort Lewis.
In the other half of the regional bracket, Minnesota State-Mankato defeated Metro State 3-1 and plays Colorado School of Mines on Sunday.
Sharpe, whose team won only five games last season, said the Mavs learned plenty this fall.
“It’s the new standard. We’ve also learned to strive for the one or two (seed) in the conference and region and get those byes; those are huge,” Sharp said.
“Our last conference game last year had we not won, we would have finished in last place. We won that in overtime to finish ninth. That’s what we were playing for last year to where we are now; the improvement is exceptional.”
Jeff Hart scored before the clock even started in the Mavericks’ season opener.
A technical foul on Minot State (N.D.) for dunking in pregame warmups allowed Hart to go to the free-throw line, where he made both shots.
The junior forward led the Mavericks with 16 points, four rebounds, four assists and a steal in a 67-51 victory to open the Dixie State Classic in St. George, Utah.
Tonight, the Mavericks play No. 22 Seattle Pacific.
The Mavericks opened on a 15-6 run, with Chandler Burgon going inside for a bucket with 13:30 to play in the first half.
Mesa, which led 39-21 at halftime, shot 51 percent from the field and was never in danger after the first 10 minutes of the game.
A jumper by Michael Bear 20 seconds into the second half gave the Mavericks a 41-21 lead and Hart added a driving layup with 18:52 to play for a 43-21 lead.
Bear finished with 11 points and four rebounds and redshirt freshman guard Mike Melillo, in his first college game, added 11 points and four assists.
“We’ve got returners, but almost everyone is in a different role, so it feels like a new team,” CMU associate head coach Andy Shantz said.
“I think that’s what’s going on right now. We’re not really playing well or clicking but that’s understandable. It has a new feel to it when you watch them each time out. From the scrimmage to the exhibition to tonight, every time we’ve gotten a little better.”