Soccer team has high playoff aspirations

By Doug Fitzgerald published October 19, 2003

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs soccer team needed a big week to put itself into position to qualify for the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference playoffs in early November. After Sundayâ€TMs 2-1 victory over the Colorado State-Pueblo Thunderwolves completed a three-win week â€" all against RMAC opponents - the Mountain Lions may need to set their goals a little higher.

Like hosting the tournament.

CU-Colorado Springs (7-5, 6-2 RMAC) is now tied with the Colorado School of Mines for second place in the conference with 18 points, and has a chance to break that tie when it faces the Orediggers on Oct. 28 at Sand Creek Stadium. First, though, the Mountain Lions will take aim at RMAC-leading Fort Lewis, which comes to town on Sunday. Those games, plus Fridayâ€TMs match between Mines and Fort Lewis, will likely determine the top three seeds. The top seed will be the host.

To get into this position, CU-Colorado Springs had to get past CSU-Pueblo (3-10-2, 2-5-1 RMAC), which was at home and also battling for its playoff life. The Thunderwolves made their intentions clear when Dave Isleib scored off an assist from Tommy Lauhoff at 30:49 to take a 1-0 lead.

“(The Tunderwolves) knew they had to beat us to stay in the mix so they came out and played hard, inspired soccer,” said CU-Colorado Springs coach Flavio Mazzetti.

CSU-Pueblo kept CU-Colorado Springs off-balance by sending long passes over the midfield, hoping speedy forwards Ben Adetoye, Isleib and Lauhoff could outrun the Mountain Lions defenders and chase down the ball. Itâ€TMs a style of play that sacrifices ball possession, but puts extreme pressure on the opposing defenders to play error-free.

“They were playing long ball and that was giving our defense a little trouble,” said CU-Colorado Springs defender Matt Lay, who teamed with Brian Best, Jeff Halligan, Brian Thatcher and Justin Miller to deny the Thunderwolves many quality scoring opportunities. “Everybody contributed on the defense today. We played with a lot of desire and wouldnâ€TMt give up.”

The Mountain Lions scored the equalizer with just over five minutes remaining in the first half. Eric Foulk dribbled into the CSU-Pueblo penalty area and was tackled from behind by Thunderwolves defender Michael Keaton. Martin Kristiseter drilled home the ensuing penalty kick.

Kristiseter got his second goal of the match, and the game-winner, in the 63rd minute. Misha Thomas found Kristiseter, who had made a far-post run, with a perfect pass that Kristiseter headed in.

CSU-Pueblo stepped up the pressure and nearly tied the match in the 81st minute. Tommy Lauhoff got off a blazing shot, but CU-Colorado Springs goalkeeper Matt Mitchell dove and got a hand on the ball. It deflected off Mitchellâ€TMs hand and rolled back to Lauhoff, who got off another point-blank shot the Mitchell smothered.

“It was really an even game, actually,” said Kristiseter, who now has four goals this season. “Mitchell made a couple of amazing saves that kept us in the game.”

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Brian BestBrian Best2DefenderFreshman
Brian BestBrian Best2DSo.
Brian BestBrian Best2DJr
Brian BestBrian Best2DSr.
Jeffry HalliganJeffry Halligan6MidfielderFreshman
Jeff HalliganJeff Halligan19M/DSo
Jeff HalliganJeff Halligan19M/DJr
Jeff HalliganJeff Halligan19M/DSr.
Justin MillerJustin MillerForwardSenior
Justin MillerJustin Miller5DSr.
Matt LayMatt Lay15DefenderFreshman
Matt LayMatt Lay16MSo
Matt LayMatt Lay16DJr
Matt LayMatt Lay16DSr.
Martin KristiseterMartin Kristiseter20MF/FJr.
Martin KristiseterMartin Kristiseter10MF/FSr.
Brian ThatcherBrian Thatcher4DSo.
Brian ThatcherBrian Thatcher4DJr
Brian ThatcherBrian Thatcher7DSr.
Misha ThomasMisha Thomas9FFr.
Misha ThomasMisha Thomas9FSo
Additional News Stories
November 11, 2003Mazzetti named co-coach of the yearUniversity of Colorado at Colorado Springs soccer coach Flavio Mazzetti finished his rookie season by being named Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference co-coach of the year. Mazzetti shared the honor with Fort Lewis’ Jeremy Gunn.
November 7, 2003Fort Lewis gorilla won't let Lions goThat’s not a monkey clinging to the back of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs soccer program - it’s a gorilla.
November 2, 2003Metro State tops Lions; advances to playoffsTwo second-half goals propelled the Metro State Roadrunners to a 2-1 victory over the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Mountain Lions Sunday and into the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference playoffs.
October 31, 2003Overtime win gives Lions a share of the leadThe top of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference soccer standings is a strange, and confusing, place to be.
October 28, 2003Backup goalie shuts out MinesDespite playing most of the second half a man down, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Mountain Lions (9-6-0, 7-3-0 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) held on for a 1-0 victory over the Colorado School of Mines Orediggers (7-10-1, 7-3-0) Tuesday at Sand Creek Stadium.
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