Offense emerges in win

By Doug Fitzgerald published October 17, 2004

That noise you heard coming from the northeast part of Colorado Springs was the University of Colorado at Colorado Springsâ€TM offense finally getting its wake-up call.

Kenny Salazar became the ninth Mountain Lion to score a goal this season when he knocked home the game-winner in a 2-1 victory over the Montana State Billings Yellowjackets Sunday afternoon at Sand Creek Stadium.

The Mountain Lions (3-10) now have 10 goals this season, which were scored by nine different players.

But that doesnâ€TMt begin to tell the story of Sundayâ€TMs match. The Mountain Lions were crisp, and at times dominant, on the offensive end. They kept the ball moving forward and, perhaps most importantly, executed more one-touch passes than they have in any match this season.

“The team we played today let us do that by giving us the room to one-touch into space,” said junior forward Mark Brehm. “Weâ€TMve been working on that a lot in practice.”

Salazarâ€TMs goal, however, did not come as a result of a quick, one-touch pass. It came by way of a gorgeous 40-yarder by Marcus Reynolds that hit Salazar in stride.

“I won the ball in the middle. I saw Kenny running open so I got him the ball,” said Reynolds, committing a nearly felonious case of understatement. “(Salazar) had a nice touch on it and scored.”

Brehm scored his second goal of the season, the first CU-Colorado Springs player to do so, when he chipped the ball over the shoulder of MSU-Billings goalkeeper Kyle Bates in the 38th minute. Brehmâ€TMs shot tied the match at 1 and was only the second game-tying goal of the season for CU-Colorado Springs.

“Russ (Aamodt) won the ball off of (MSU-Billings) and he played it into (Jason) Brunner who played a quick ball in to me,” said Brehm. “I had a chipping shot that went over the goalieâ€TMs head.”

Montana State-Billings (6-11) opened the scoring in the 30th minute when Robbie Thimm caught Mountain Lions goalkeeper Chris Hovasse in no-manâ€TMs land. Hovasse left his line to charge the ball, but Thimm was able to track it down before Hovasse arrived. His chip shot went over Hovasseâ€TMs head and into the goal.

The goal was one of only three cases where the CU-Colorado Springs defense was caught off guard. The other two were cleaned up by Hovasse, who dove to his left to swallow up a Thimm shot in the first half, then bettered the effort with a spectacular one hander while diving to his right in the second half.

“We went from a 3-4-3 (formation) to a 4-4-2 and itâ€TMs really worked out for us,” said Reynolds, who teams with Eric Foulk in the center of defensive formation. “During practice, we started using the 4-4-2 and it works much better for us. Itâ€TMs really helped develop our skills.”

And while the defense has been solid most of the year, the offenseâ€TMs coming-out party helped awaken something else thatâ€TMs been dormant for most of this difficult season â€" a little self-confidence.

“If theyâ€TMre going to give us that space, weâ€TMre going to abuse it,” said Reynolds, commenting about the Mountain Lions dominance over the Yellowjackets in ball control.

If the offense continues to play like it did Sunday, CU-Colorado Springs may not be done dishing out abuse.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Jason BrunnerJason Brunner8DefenderSophomore
Jason BrunnerJason Brunner3DJr.
Jason BrunnerJason Brunner3M/FSr
Marcus ReynoldsMarcus Reynolds4DFr
Marcus ReynoldsMarcus Reynolds4DFr
Kenny SalazarKenny Salazar14MFr
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