Soccer notches first win of the season
SALT LAKE CITY - The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs menâ€TMs soccer team captured its first win of the season Saturday, a 3-2 victory over the Montana State-Billings Yellowjackets at the West Jordan soccer complex.
The Mountain Lions didnâ€TMt make the match easy for themselves. The Yellowjackets started the scoring early, touching a through ball just past UCCS goalkeeper Chris Hovasse.
The Mountain Lions played a composed first half and get numerous opportunities, but the Yellow Jackets 7-foot goalkeeper made several good saves to keep UCCS menâ€TMs soccer team at a deficit.
The Yellow Jackets increased their lead after a series of corner kicks, finishing after the 4th try.
UCCS senior Matt Lay, who stepped in for the Mountain Lions at the central defender position, said he knew the tide would soon change.
â€œThe team was angry with the outcome of the first half, not frustrated,â€ said Lay. â€œWe knew we allowed two weak goals, but we also knew that with the wind at our backs two goals wouldnâ€TMt be enough to win the game for [Billings].â€
After trying to pack in the defense to preserve their lead, the Yellowjackets became exposed on a quick throw-in from Brian Best to freshman Jeff Bettner, who tracked the ball down and passed it to the top of the box. Juan Nolasco collected the ball, touched it quickly to Jeff Moore who laid it off for Matt Atkins who slotted the ball home in the 65th minute.
â€œAs the ball came across I knew [Jeff] Moore saw me coming and he played me an excellent ball to get me wide open at the six yard box with just the keep to beatâ€ said Atkins about his first goal of the season. â€œWithout the smart play from Jeff Moore we might not have gotten the scoring started.â€
With the momentum definitely on their side, the Mountain Lions were quick to strike again when outside mid James McMonigle took on two Montana State defenders before being dragged down, but not before dropping the ball to Atkins who sent a laser into the net. However the goal was called back because the referee had blown his whistle for the foul on McMonigle.
The foul set up a free kick. Jeff Moore hammered a left-footed shot which blew past the Billings Keeper.
The Mountain Lions were put under a bit more pressure after their second goal, but defender Jeff Girali, along with Lay, Best, Matt Eshbach and Eric Foulk were able to absorb the attack.
With the game winding down and the threat of overtime looming, the Mountain Lions put together a series of passes that resulted in the go-ahead score. The play started out of the back when Best played a ball into the feet of Marcus Reynolds just on the Yellowjackets Half. Reynolds slotted a pass to Duncan Brown who, showing uncommon composure for a freshman, executed a perfect give-and-go with Atkins to put him in one-on-one with Montana State-Billings keeper. Brown easily put the ball into the back of the net before being mobbed by his teammates on the field.
The Mountain Lions will take on California State University â€" Monterey Bay on Sunday.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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