Loss ends hopes of hosting

By Doug Fitzgerald published October 26, 2003

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Mountain Lions let their best opportunity to host the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference menâ€TMs soccer playoffs slip past them Sunday, losing to the Fort Lewis Skyhawks 2-1 at Sand Creek Stadium.

CU-Colorado Springs (8-6, 6-3 RMAC) needed to beat Fort Lewis on Sunday and Colorado School of Mines on Tuesday to take sole possession of first place in the RMAC and, with it, the chance to host the playoffs. With the loss, the Mountain Lions are 1½ games behind Fort Lewis, plus the Skyhawks own the tiebreaker advantage should the teams end up tied.

Fort Lewis (10-5-1, 8-2) was coming off a 3-1 loss to Mines on Thursday, but it was the Mountain Lions that looked like a tired team. Bryan Eisenbraun scored his first goal of the season to give Fort Lewis the lead. John Cunliffe sent a crossing pass into the CU-Colorado Springs penalty area, and Cliff Wilmes headed it neatly to the feet of Eisenbraun.

“We certainly didnâ€TMt seem to be prepared to take charge of the game early on,” said CU-Colorado Springs assistant coach Ted Dâ€TMArcy.

Cunliffe also factored into the gameâ€TMs second goal, when he sent a free kick in front of the net that Shane Thoreson headed in.

CU-Colorado Springs finally found some life in the second half. Ryan Slaughter posted up 25 yards out, then turned and split a double team before driving a low shot past Fort Lewis goalkeeper Nick Clark.

“We made some adjustments,” said Dâ€TMArcy. “We pushed some guys forward and mixed a few things up.”

Clark preserved the win for Fort Lewis when he smothered a point-blank blast by Jared Blackney in the 70th minute.

CU-Colorado Springs has three matches remaining (Colorado Mines and Metro State at home, Colorado Christian on the road) in the regular season. Should the Mountain Lions win all three, Fort Lewis would still have to lose both of its final two matches (vs. Regis and Colorado State-Pueblo) for CU-Colorado Springs to get the top seed.

The Mountain Lions have already clinched a playoff spot. The playoffs will be played on either Nov. 7-8 or Nov. 8-9.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Jared BlackneyJared Blackney11FJr.
Jared BlackneyJared Blackney11FSr.
Ryan SlaughterRyan Slaughter7FSr.
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