Mountain Lions Field opens with big win
In front of a crowd of 241, the Unviersity of Colorado at Colorado Springs Mountain Lions christened Mountain Lion Stadium in style with a 4-1 win over the Colorado Christian Cougars Friday night.
The Mountain Lions struck first in the ninth minute when Jeff Korb split two defenders in the penalty box and sent a low shot into the far corner.
Just four minutes later, the Mountain Lions scored again. Brian Stoeber received a pass and laid the ball out behind the Cougar defense. Mark Brehm ran onto the ball and returned the ball to Stoeber in the penalty box. Stoeber finished the ball over the outstretched arms of Cougar goalkeeper A.J. Kurtz.
In the 27th minute Juan Nolasco wove between three Cougar defenders before getting taken out in the penalty box and was awarded a penalty kick. Despite some hyperactive antics by Kurtz, Eric Foulk buried the ball in the right corner to give the Mountain Lions a 3-0 lead.
The Mountain Lions were able to control the ball and the game in the first half. A lot of that was due to the work of midfielder Matt Eshbach. Eshbach caused problems for the Cougar midfield all night and seemed to be in or around every play.
Eshbach's work paid off. With only three minutes remaining in the first half, the Mountain Lions put in another goal. Jeff Bettner stole the ball 40 yards out and launched a shot at Kurtz. Kurtz was unable to hold on to the ball and Eshbach deflected the rebound into the goal.
"I really thought the keeper was going to catch the ball," said Eshbach. "But we're told to always follow up shots and I did. The keeper bobbled the ball and it came to me. I hit it with my shin and put it in the goal."
The Mountain Lions (3-1, 1-0 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) put in their backups in the second half in order to rest the starters for the game against Colorado Mines on Sunday.
The Cougars (2-2, 0-1 RMAC) notched their only goal of the game in the 52nd minute, when a scrum developed in front of the Mountain Lions' goal.
"Our guys were just unable to clear the ball and they got a head on it and put one in," said Eshbach.
The Mountain Lions outshot the Cougars 26-9 in the match. Kurtz performed well in goal for the Cougars and finished with 15 saves.
The game was the first official match played on the new field and despite cold, windy weather fans still showed up to cheer on the Mountain Lions.
"We had a lot of fans come out even with the cold weather," said Eshbach. "It was great to see them come out and kick-off the season with them."
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