Overtime win is no joke

By Doug Fitzgerald published October 20, 2003

The joker was wild for the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Monday at Sand Creek Stadium. Itâ€TMs a good thing, too, because the joke was very nearly on the Mountain Lions.

Martin Kristiseter continued his torrid scoring streak, notching two goals as CU-Colorado Springs defeated the Concordia-Moorhead Cobbers 3-2 in double overtime.

Kristiseter has five goals and two assists in the past three matches in which he has played. The senior from Andalsnes, Norway, missed Fridayâ€TMs win over Regis because he was taking an exam. For the season, Kristiseter has six goals and three assists.

“Iâ€TMm supposed to be a joker and play wherever I want,” said Kristiseter in reference to the free-lancing style heâ€TMs been playing out of his midfield position. “Itâ€TMs up to me where I want to play, but (CU-Colorado Springs coach Flavio Mazzetti) wants me to play offensively and not as much defensively.”

Kristiseter gave CU-Colorado Springs the lead in the 20th minute when he blasted in an 18 yarder after Jared Blackneyâ€TMs no-look backward pass caught Kristiseter in mid-stride.

The Mountain Lions took a 2-0 lead in the 40th minute when Kristiseter knocked in Art Cutterâ€TMs crossing pass.

But thatâ€TMs when the joke backfired.

A turnover by Brian Best just 1 minute, 41 seconds into the second half gave Concordiaâ€TMs Judd Mann the ball deep in the Mountain Lions end. His touch pass put teammate Brandon in a 1-on-1 situation with CU-Colorado Springs James Bjorklund and, suddenly, what was threatening to become a laugher was now a one-goal match.

Twelve minutes later, another Mountain Lion gaffe tied the score. Jason Brunner turned the ball over to speedy Cobbers forward Sylvester Ndlovu, who found himself and Root in a 2-on-1 breakaway. Bjorklund never had a chance.

“Breakaways are going to happen with the system weâ€TMre playing,” said Bjorklund about CU-Colorado Springsâ€TM 3-5-2 flat-back scheme. “With three guys back, itâ€TMs a little tighter and thereâ€TMs a lot of lanes for through balls to get played into.

“I have a lot of confidence in our defense that when thereâ€TMs a breakaway, theyâ€TMll be able to get back. We were just unfortunate today.”

Unfortunate, yes. And sloppy.

“We just came out (in the second half) extremely slow,” said Kristiseter. “Maybe we were too confident. Both of (the goals) were huge defensive mistakes.”

After holding a dominating 26-12 shot advantage in regulation, only a brilliant save by Bjorklund kept the Mountain Lions from defeat in the first overtime. Root got inside the defensive perimeter and launched a 10-yarder, which Bjorklund deflected with a full-extension dive to his right. Root gathered the rebound and shot again, but this time Bjorklund smothered the ball. It was an impressive series for the freshman, who got his first career start because regular starter Matt Mitchell was in class.

Besides Mitchell, CU-Colorado Springs was playing without defender Justin Miller, who also had class, and Patrick Brannan, who was sitting out because he had accumulated five yellow cards this season. In addition, forward Ryan Slaughter had to leave at halftime to go to class.

Bjorklund said he was ready, and eager, to step in.

“Youâ€TMve just got to hope that all the training youâ€TMve done has paid off,” said Bjorklund, who finished with four saves. “Thatâ€TMs when the mental part takes over.”

Brunner put an end to what could have been a cruel joke in the opening seconds of the second overtime. The opening touch was played into the right corner, where Brunner gathered it in. His high, arcing kick went behind the goal and cleared the cross bar by inches, catching Concordia goalkeeper Kris Overbay by surprise. Overbay went up to catch the ball, but it deflected off his hands and into the goal.

And just like that, the 157 Mountain Lions fans in attendance had something to laugh about again. 

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Patrick BrannanPatrick Brannan10MidfielderSophomore
Patrick BrannanPatrick Brannan14MJr
Patrick BrannanPatrick Brannan10MSr
Justin MillerJustin Miller5DSr.
Justin MillerJustin MillerForwardSenior
Jason BrunnerJason Brunner8DefenderSophomore
Jason BrunnerJason Brunner3DJr.
Jason BrunnerJason Brunner3M/FSr
Ryan SlaughterRyan Slaughter7FSr.
Martin KristiseterMartin Kristiseter20MF/FJr.
Martin KristiseterMartin Kristiseter10MF/FSr.
James BjorklundJames Bjorklund23GKFr
James BjorklundJames Bjorklund23GKSo
James BjorklundJames Bjorklund23GKJr.
James BjorklundJames Bjorklund1GKJr.
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