Soccer wins RMAC opener

By Doug Fitzgerald published September 9, 2005

The goal scoring monkey is officially off the Mountain Lionsâ€TM back.

Marcus Reynolds scored two goals as the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs defeated the Colorado Christian Cougars 3-0 Friday in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference opener for both teams.

UCCS (2-2) has now scored nine goals in four games this season. In 2004, the Mountain Lions didnâ€TMt eclipse the nine-goal mark until Oct. 17 against Montana State-Billings, their 13th match of the season. A big reason for the dramatic improvement is that players have become more competent and comfortable in coach Flavio Mazzettiâ€TMs flowing style of play.

“Weâ€TMre playing smarter soccer,” said Reynolds, a sophomore from Liberty High School in Colorado Springs. “Weâ€TMre seeing the ball better and making nice combination plays that are getting us open.”

After Matt Eshbach knocked in a Jeff Halligan pass to put the Mountain Lions up 1-0, Reynoldsâ€TM point was illustrated. In the 48th minute, Reynolds was the recipient of a great pass set up by savvy ball movement.

“It was a great combination play and a beautiful through ball from Mark (Radvanczy),” said Reynolds. “His pass split two defenders and found me open.”

The goal provided a sigh of relief for Mazzetti.

"We didnâ€TMt have a very satisfactory warmup and we came out a little sluggish,” said Mazzetti. “(The team) settled down at halftime and came out good in the second half.”

Mazzetti also pointed out the play of his bench.

“Everybody on the roster played today and there was no drop in production when we substituted,” said Mazzetti. “In most cases, the level of play even increased.”

One of those substitutes contributed on UCCSâ€TM third goal, as Evan Neufeld redirected an air ball to Reynolds in the 52nd minute.

“Evan got a head on the ball and put it over the defender and me,” said Reynolds. “I was able to outrun the defender to the ball and got a good look at the goal with a couple of touches.”

After that, it was up to the Mountain Lionsâ€TM defense to protect the 3-0 cushion. They did so decisively, limiting the Cougars (1-3) to only three shots and requiring goalkeeper Chris Hovasse to make only two saves to earn his first shutout of the season and the fifth of the seniorâ€TMs career.

“The defense was pretty organized all day,” said defender Eric Foulk, the team captain. “We kept the ball moving pretty well and kept the offense chasing us.”

Fridayâ€TMs performance has the Mountain Lions looking forward to rather than being fearful of their Sunday afternoon match against Colorado School of Mines, which was 4-0 going into the Orediggersâ€TM Friday night match against Colorado State-Pueblo.

“Weâ€TMre pretty confident,” said Foulk. “We think we have a better team than we had in the past. We have a lot of team unity and everybodyâ€TMs on the same page.”

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Jeffry HalliganJeffry Halligan6MidfielderFreshman
Jeff HalliganJeff Halligan19M/DSo
Jeff HalliganJeff Halligan19M/DJr
Jeff HalliganJeff Halligan19M/DSr.
Matt EshbachMatt Eshbach13MFr
Matt EshbachMatt Eshbach13MSo
Matt EshbachMatt Eshbach3MJr.
Matt EshbachMatt Eshbach3MSr.
Evan NeufeldEvan Neufeld18MSr.
Marcus ReynoldsMarcus Reynolds4DFr
Marcus ReynoldsMarcus Reynolds4DFr
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