Offense lead Lions to third straight victory
Over the past three matches, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs displayed its improving defense. Sunday at Four Diamonds Sports Complex, the offense stole the show.
The Mountain Lions scored early and often, winning their third consecutive match by pummeling the Colorado State-Pueblo Thunderwolves 4-1. It was CU-Colorado Springsâ€TM highest offensive output since a 5-0 win over Northwest Nazarene on Oct. 21, 2000. The last time the Mountain Lions scored so much against a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference opponent was on Oct. 29, 1999, when they topped Colorado School of Mines 6-3.
Sundayâ€TMs offensive explosion was far from a one- or two-man show. It was more like a Cecil B. DeMille epic with a cast of thousands.
â€œWe had good pace today and were countering with numbers,â€ said senior midfielder Ryan Slaughter. â€œThe flow of the game was quick enough that we got everyone involved.â€
Slaughter, Jared Blackney, Art Cutter and Martin Kristiseter each scored goals. Slaughter, Blackney, Cutter and Eric Foulk had an assist apiece. Fourteen players registered a shot. And to top it off, backup goalkeeper Chris Hovasse came into the game â€" as a forward.
The Mountain Lions got on the scoreboard just 10 minutes, 33 seconds into the match when Foulk sent a high cross that beat CSU-Pueblo goalkeeper Mike Maravez but deflected off the crossbar. Blackney, who had bulled his way in front of the net, was in perfect position to knock in the rebound.
Less than five minutes later, Slaughter beat his man on the left side and found a wide-open Kristiseter in perfect position at the far post. After the goal, the Mountain Lions lost a little focus but were able to maintain their lead because of a pair of brilliant saves by goalkeeper Matt Mitchell.
â€œOnce we got those first two goals, we kind of took it for granted,â€ said Slaughter â€œAt halftime (coach Flavio Mazzetti) had to rally the troops.â€
Whatever Mazzetti said during the break worked. Less than four minutes into the second half, Cutter collected Blackneyâ€TMs deflected shot and gave CU-Colorado Springs a 3-0 lead.
â€œ(Cutterâ€TMs) a rookie and heâ€TMs got three goals already, which is really awesome,â€ said Slaughter about the freshman from Liberty High School in Colorado Springs. â€œIâ€TMm really proud of him for stepping up.â€
Cutter also factored into the gameâ€TMs fourth goal, as his deflection scooted right to a grateful Slaughter.
â€œI was in the right place at the right time,â€ said Slaughter.
But being in the right place had nothing to do with luck. CU-Colorado Springs was relentless in swarming around the goal throughout the match. Muravez had more unwanted company than a guy who brings a box of Krispy Kremes to the office.
With a four-goal lead and the entire Mountain Lions bench, including Hovasse, on the field, CSU-Puebloâ€TMs Tommy Lauhoff capitalized on a defensive breakdown and the rock-hard ground at Four Diamonds Sports Complex to spoil Mitchellâ€TMs shutout.
â€œThe field certainly doesnâ€TMt help,â€ said Mitchell, who had a career-high 10 saves and has a 0.67 goals-against average over the past three matches. â€œThe ballâ€TMs bouncing around so itâ€TMs hard to get a bead on it. It was just one of those things where it just kind of fell the attackerâ€TMs way.â€
Despite the disappointment of losing the shutout, nobody was pointing fingers except to say â€œyou da man.â€
â€œThe camaraderie is probably the best thing weâ€TMve got going for us right now,â€ said Mitchell.
And a little offense doesnâ€TMt hurt.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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