Offense emerges in win
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.
â€œThe team we played today let us do that by giving us the room to one-touch into space,â€ said junior forward Mark Brehm. â€œWeâ€TMve been working on that a lot in practice.â€
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.
â€œI won the ball in the middle. I saw Kenny running open so I got him the ball,â€ said Reynolds, committing a nearly felonious case of understatement. â€œ(Salazar) had a nice touch on it and scored.â€
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.
â€œRuss (Aamodt) won the ball off of (MSU-Billings) and he played it into (Jason) Brunner who played a quick ball in to me,â€ said Brehm. â€œI had a chipping shot that went over the goalieâ€TMs head.â€
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.
â€œWe went from a 3-4-3 (formation) to a 4-4-2 and itâ€TMs really worked out for us,â€ said Reynolds, who teams with Eric Foulk in the center of defensive formation. â€œDuring practice, we started using the 4-4-2 and it works much better for us. Itâ€TMs really helped develop our skills.â€
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.
â€œIf theyâ€TMre going to give us that space, weâ€TMre going to abuse it,â€ 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
|Additional News Stories|
|October 31, 2004||Mountain Lions end season with win||Two days after suffering their most disappointing loss of the season, the Mountain Lions rebounded to gain their most satisfying victory.|
|October 29, 2004||Loss to Colorado Christian a new low||What has been a painful season for the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs soccer program got decidedly worse Friday as the Mountain Lions blew a two-goal lead and lost to the Colorado Christian Cougars 4-3 at Lakewood, Colo.|
|October 24, 2004||Regis tops UCCS in foul-marred match||An old saying reminds that all good things must come to an end. Mercifully, so do bad things. Or, more accurately, ugly things.|
|October 22, 2004||No. 24 Metro State spoils Hovasse's 10-save effort||Chris Hovasse and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs soccer team deserved better than they got Friday night.|