Velasco's late goal snaps losing streak

By Doug Fitzgerald published October 9, 2004

Fortune finally smiled on the Mountain Lions.

Oscar Velasco scored with 39 seconds remaining in the second overtime to give the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs a 1-0 win over the Westminster Griffins Friday night and end the Mountain Lionsâ€TM seven-match losing streak.

“Itâ€TMs a sigh of relief,” said sophomore defender Eric Foulk. “Itâ€TMs a big burden off everybodyâ€TMs back.”

CU-Colorado Springsâ€TM Brian Best made a long throw-in that was headed to the ground by a Westminster defender in front of the Griffinsâ€TM goal. The ball squirted out to the 18-yard mark, where Velasco one-timed it into the upper left hand corner of the net.

“The ball popped out off of the throw-in,” said Foulk, who was trailing the play. “The ball knocked around a little bit and deflected out. He settled it really well, took a one touch and just nailed it.”

Fittingly for a team that has had little luck so far this season, the goal had a tinge of good fortune attached to it. Not only did it come in the waning seconds, but the ball also made its way through what seemed to be every player on the field.

“It was awesome,” said Foulk. “(Velasco) took a shot in the middle of everybody and peopleâ€TMs heads were ducking this way and that way. The goalie didnâ€TMt see it until it was right there.”

Until Velascoâ€TMs shot, fans were left wondering if the Mountain Lions would ever score. Coming into the match, they had scored only seven goals in nine matches â€" a drought that had all of the appearance of a curse when they outshot Westminster 22-8 without finding the goal. Worse, CU-Colorado Springs hit two posts, missed another goal when a crossing pass eluded Mark Brehm by inches, then had another close call on a Brian Thatcher header.

Chris Hovasse notched his second shutout of the season for CU-Colorado Springs (2-8-0). The junior from Lewis-Palmer High School made three saves, including a game-saving fingertip stop with 15 seconds left in regulation.

CU-Colorado Springsâ€TM defense was superb, playing its best match since coach Flavio Mazzetti switched to a flat four defense. Eric Foulk and Marcus Reynolds repeatedly tracked balls sent over the top of the Mountain Lionsâ€TM midfield, denying Westminsterâ€TMs speedy forwards the long-ball attack they favor. While Foulk and Reynolds shut down the long ball, Brian Thatcher and Jeff Halligan denied Westminster (4-8-1) the wings.

“Our whole teamâ€TMs starting to play a lot better now,” said Foulk, who was switched from midfield to defense four matches ago. “In the back, weâ€TMre starting to get a lot more comfortable with having more people back there. Weâ€TMre communicating better and weâ€TMre a lot more organized.”

Communication and organization are good ways to make fortune swing your way.

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.
Brian ThatcherBrian Thatcher4DSo.
Brian ThatcherBrian Thatcher4DJr
Brian ThatcherBrian Thatcher7DSr.
Oscar VelascoOscar Velasco8MFSo.
Oscar VelascoOscar Velasco8MJr
Marcus ReynoldsMarcus Reynolds4DFr
Marcus ReynoldsMarcus Reynolds4DFr
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