Backup goalie shuts out Mines

By Doug Fitzgerald published October 28, 2003

Despite 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.

With starter Matt Mitchell sidelined with the flu, Chris Hovasse filled in at goalkeeper for the Mountain Lions and earned the shutout. Hovasseâ€TMs last start came on Oct. 7, 2002, against New Mexico, a game during which he suffered a shattered jaw. The memory of the injury didnâ€TMt impact his play on Tuesday, though.

“It was interesting coming back (after the injury),” said Hovasse. “Instinct just takes over. Itâ€TMs just reaction.”

Instinct took Hovasse into scrum after scrum, exposing him to flailing feet and heads. The sophomore made six saves, but had even more impact breaking up crossing passes.

Jared Blackney scored the matchâ€TMs only goal just 15 minutes, 53 seconds into the contest. Blackney took a pass just across midfield, powered between two Mines defenders and, while being pushed to his right, managed to launch a cross-body shot into the lower left corner of the net.

Blackney scored again, but just before shooting he collided with a Mines defender and was called for a foul. It was a portent of things, or perhaps more accurately calls, to come.

CU-Colorado Springs midfielder Eric Foulk made a hard tackle less than five minutes into the second half that referee Craig Burns interpreted as an intent to injure. The resulting red card left the Mountain Lions down a man for most of the second half.

CU-Colorado Springs was forced to collapse into its own zone, and was outshot in the second half 9-0.

“It was a lot of just running and trying to get rid of the ball,” said Blackney. “We were kind of just killing time. We played tough. I give it all to Brian Best and Thatcher and Matt Lay â€" all the guys in the back. And Hovasse stepping in here as the backup goali, he played an excellent game.”

Hovasse made four saves in the half, and the CU-Colorado Springs defenders forced most of the shots to be of poor quality.

“Whenever youâ€TMre a man down itâ€TMs all guts,” said Thatcher. “You have to suck it up and make up for the extra man. We didnâ€TMt go into a shell. Weâ€TMve had one goal all year and it gets old. The three of us back there, stepped up and we just did our job and for once we got that shutout that weâ€TMre always looking for.”

The win was CU-Colorado Springsâ€TM first over the Orediggers since Oct. 28, 1999.

“We showed a lot of heart here and we strove through,” said Blackney. “It was awesome. We came through even with 10 guys.”

Since Friday, the top three teams in the RMAC have been beating up on each other. Friday, Mines beat Fort Lewis. Sunday, Fort Lewis topped CU-Colorado Springs. Tuesday, it was CU-Colorado Springs shutting out Mines.

“We were coming off a tough loss on Sunday,” said Thatcher. “We didnâ€TMt really put our best effort forward on Sunday, so we had something to prove not only to ourselves but to the rest of the RMAC.”

At least one team, Colorado School of Mines, got the message.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Brian BestBrian Best2DefenderFreshman
Brian BestBrian Best2DSo.
Brian BestBrian Best2DJr
Brian BestBrian Best2DSr.
Jared BlackneyJared Blackney11FJr.
Jared BlackneyJared Blackney11FSr.
Matt LayMatt Lay15DefenderFreshman
Matt LayMatt Lay16MSo
Matt LayMatt Lay16DJr
Matt LayMatt Lay16DSr.
Brian ThatcherBrian Thatcher4DSo.
Brian ThatcherBrian Thatcher4DJr
Brian ThatcherBrian Thatcher7DSr.
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