Strategy backfires for Mavericks

Midfielder Veronica Rodriguez of CMU controls a pass by sending it to a teammate with a header Sunday against Regis.

With Regis University ramping up the pressure in its attacking third Sunday during a 1-1 tie game late in the second half, the Colorado Mesa University women’s soccer team had no choice.

The Mavericks had to implement a man-marking defense to try to limit the number of shots fired by the Rangers.

With less than six minutes left in the second half, though, the strategy backfired when Maverick defender Lauren Brouse made an off-balance tackle from behind on Rangers’ forward Sid Otto that led a penalty kick and a 2-1 victory for Regis.

With no stutter-steps or fake moves, Otto buried the ball between the right post and the outstretched hands of goalie Sarah Schnetzler.

Otto took six shots for Regis, one fewer than the Mavericks’ combined total. Four of those were on net, and coach Erin Sharpe said the switch was an effort to contain Otto.

Brouse’s tackle was just an unfortunate side-effect of well-played, aggressive defense, she said.

“I think it was a legitimate PK,” Sharpe said. “(Otto) was a phenomenal player and we had, in fact, just made an adjustment to have her man-marked.

“I mean, (Otto) was knocking, and she was putting herself in extremely dangerous situations for us. She beat Lauren the first time on the first cut and Lauren just had to throw a tackle and unfortunately she was off-balance and she got her.

“It’s a tough way to lose a game, but that’s this game that we play.”

Otto’s penalty kick was one of only a handful of clear chances Regis was able to create, thanks in large part to Schnetzler. The junior goalkeeper picked crosses out of the air and made clean saves, impressing Sharpe with her ability to make two-handed catches rather than punching the ball away.

Schnetzler finished with eight saves, five in the second half. Both goals she surrendered came in one-on-one situations.

“Regis has a big team and they’re tall and whatnot,” Sharpe said. “(Schnetzler) did a really good job not only rising up above the crowd, but also coming down with those balls rather than just punching everything away. To be able to do that takes a lot of talent and I thought she did a great job for us today.”

The Mavericks created scoring chances, but struggled to get shots on goal.

CMU couldn’t find a target with crosses into the penalty box, but scored its only goal on a Tayler Franklin cross that was headed once by Lauryn Lee, then again by Monica Carlos for a goal that grazed the crossbar.

Sharpe said the Mavs have a hard time keeping possession.

“For us, possession starts from the back,” Sharpe said. “But it’s really team effort and the girls know that we need to work on it. We have to work on taking care of the ball on the build-up, and being able to create quality chances in the final third that way.

“We definitely had our chances today, and I think we know that.”


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