Rest welcome after Gold's rush
After a tough game Wednesday afternoon, Eddy Dietz gathered his players and told them to take time off from soccer.
The five-day break will be a well-deserved hiatus for the Colorado-Colorado Springs men's team, which had earlier improved to 9-2-1 with a 3-1 victory over Southern Colorado at the Four-Diamonds Sports Complex.
When the Gold returns to the field next week, it will turn its attention to a run for the best finish in school history.
Wednesday's win improved the Gold's Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference mark to 7-1-1. UCCS, which is ranked 23rd in NCAA Division II, defeated Division I opponent Denver 2-0 on Sunday.
Last year, the Gold finished third in the conference at 7-5 and lost to Fort Lewis 3-1 in the conference tournament final.
"We're focusing on our league games whereas last year, we focused on all the pretty games," said Dietz, in his eighth year as UCCS coach.
"When we played teams that had national prestige, the players got very up for it and they played extremely well.
"This year, the focus is on league play, so when we beat a Division I program, that's like dessert."
A conference title would give the Gold a chance to host the Nov. 7-8 RMAC Tournament.
Winning that event could lead to the school's first national-tournament berth.
"We have a lot of talent all around the field," said Adrian Marrero, who scored twice Wednesday. "Everything's bouncing our way right now."
As successful as the season has been, the Gold has had its troubles with Southern Colorado.
UCCS pulled out a 4-3 overtime win in Pueblo on Sept. 20 and were tied with the Thunderwolves with 10 minutes left Wednesday.
Rob Weber put in the go-ahead goal off a rebound with 9 1/2 minutes left and Marrero added a late goal off an assist from Matt Bolton.
"They're a scrappy team," Weber said of Southern Colorado. "They always give us a good battle for southern Colorado bragging rights."
Marrero scored the game's initial goal late in the first half. Bolton got the assist.
The Gold has two home games left: Oct. 23 against Montana-State Billings and Oct. 25 against seventh-ranked Fort Lewis.