Mountain Lions stun No. 17 Fort Lewis 1-0
Perhaps it's because it has been such a bitter season for the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs soccer team that Saturday was so sweet.
The Mountain Lions stunned Fort Lewis 1-0. The same Fort Lewis that has knocked UCCS out of the conference playoffs 3 of the past 4 years. The same Fort Lewis that came in ranked 17th nationally. The same Fort Lewis that sits atop the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference standings.
But when Adam Ewig chipped in a goal after a Chris Keen pass with less than 10 minutes remaining in the match, Fort Lewis' lofty ranking and tradition of soccer success meant nothing. And when the Mountain Lions weathered the barrage of shots, thanks in large part to the brilliant play of UCCS goalkeeper Mike Archuleta, that Fort Lewis launched in those final, desperate minutes, a season of disappointment and frustration melted away from the UCCS side.
What's more, the win put the Mountain Lions in a situtation that was unthinkable in September, a chance to make the playoffs. A 3-2-1 record in October has lifted UCCS to a lusterless 5-9-2 record, 4-7-1 in the RMAC. If Metro State loses at Southern Colorado on Sunday, the Mountain Lions will be playoff bound.
Archuleta made 10 saves, including four acrobatic stops in the final 10 minutes, to record his fourth shutout of the season. The senior ahs 14.5 shutouts in his career, second most in school history.
In front of him was a defense led by forward-turned-sweeper Martin Kristiseter. The veteran of Division I amateur soccer in his native Norway has taken charge of a defense that has allowed only five goals in the past five matches, and two of those came on penalty kicks.
"Communication is the most important part of defense. We have to talk," said Kristiseter, who was shifted to defense by coach Eddy Dietz to take advantage of his sound decision-making. "Our outside defenders aren't tight enough. Against a team like (Fort Lewis), that's a goal.
"Today, we played much better."
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