Grizzlies Fall to Mesa State at INVESCO

DENVER- Pulling within a single goal thanks to two third quarter goals and another just a minute and nine seconds into the fourth quarter, Adams State were not able to stop Mesa State's Trace Wollner from taking advantage of two key Grizzly turnovers as he put a WILA game away with his second and third goals of the afternoon, helping lead the Mavericks to an 8-5 neutral-site win here at INVESCO Field at Mile High on Saturday.

The Mavericks also received a hat trick from Kade Robinson and a fine, 11-save, 14-groundball effort from goalkeeper Brad Brandenburg as they improve to 6-7 overall and 4-4 in WILA play.

The Grizzlies, who received two goals each from Michael Santamaria (Orem, Utah) and Anthony Willner (Littleton, Colo.) and a 3-point game from Kevin Bertrand (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) but slipped to 1-9 overall and 1-5 in WILA play.

The Mavericks dominated the early going outshooting the Grizzlies 23-9 in the first half while taking 5-1 and 6-2 leads.

The Grizzlies came roaring back in the third quarter as Santamaria tallied a goal just 1:06 into the second half before Willner tallied the second of his man-up goals just 4:17 later off a Bertrand assist to make the score 6-4.

Santamaria then tallied his second unassisted goal to make the score 6-5 early in the fourth quarter before Wollner took advantage of the Grizzlies turnovers to put the game away.

The Grizzlies were guilty of 25 turnovers throughout the day and were able to clear their defensive zone just once on four opportunities in the fourth quarter.

Before those Grizzly miscues, the Grizzlies had a dominant second half putting eight shots on goal while forcing 13 of the Mavericks' 21 total turnovers in the final 30 minutes.

Willner and Jordan Stillwagon (Littleton, Colo.) led that defensive charge with four caused turnovers and four ground balls each. Freshman goalie Dakota Hunter (Denver, Colo.) also made eight saves and had four groundballs, while Adam Kingston (Lake Forest, Calif.) had five groundballs. Willner also won 10 of his 15 faceoffs.

Bertrand finished with five shots to lead the Grizzlies, scoring his team-leading 17th goal of the season just after the mid-point of the third quarter as the Grizzlies stopped a 3-0 Maverick run. He had also assisted on Willner's first goal at the 5:29 mark of the first quarter.

That goal was the Grizzlies' first man-up goal since the first meeting against the Mavericks, a span of five games. The Grizzlies went 2 for 3 on man-up tries as the Mavericks were called for five penalties, including two concurrent penalties just 11 seconds earlier.

Meanwhile, the Grizzlies were flagged nine times for a total of 7 ½ minutes, but held the Mavericks to just one man-up goal on seven different opportunities.

The Mavericks did finish with a 46-38 edge in total groundballs and were able to clear 16 times on 19 opportunities.

Both teams will now close out the regular season against Division III foe Colorado College, which has sealed its first ever NCAA Tournament appearance. The Mavericks will play the 12-0 Tigers, who won the first ever Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament title over the weekend, next Saturday while the Grizzlies will travel to Colorado Springs for a Tuesday, May 3 meeting at 7:30 p.m.


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