Mountain Lions take risk against Mines- get burned.
The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Mountain Lions dominated the first 11 minutes of Sunday's match against 12th-ranked Colorado Mines. But after giving up two goals, the Mountain Lions were forced to push more players up, and it cost them.
The Mountain Lions were playing with fire pushing players up against an Orediggers team that is one of the best counterattack teams in the nation, and they got burned.
Despite outshooting the Orediggers three to nothing in the first 10 minutes the Mountain Lions were unable to score.
In the 11th minute the Orediggers capitalized on a Mountain Lion miscommunication and scored on a penalty kick. That play proved to be the turning point of the match.
The ball was sent over the top of the Mountain Lion defense and Ryan Beebe was prepared to clear the ball with a man pressuring him on his back. Mountain Lion goalkeeper James Bjorklund called him off and slid into both players to get the ball. Bjorklund was called for the foul.
"They surprised us with a ball over the top and they [Orediggers] get a penalty kick out of the deal," said Bjorklund.
The Mountain Lions bounced back after giving up the goal but were not the same. In the 30th minute the Orediggers scored again on a Jason Decker cross that squeezed between Art Cutter and Bjorklund right to the head of an open Travis Hutchinson, who easily knocked the ball in the goal.
"We were building back control of the game and the ball just found the net," said Bjorklund. "It was more or less the mental letdown than it was the physical."
After giving up the second goal the Mountain Lions increased the pressure by moving players further up the field leaving the defense more prone to counterattack.
"Communication has to be better in order to be able to fill those holes that appear when you press up the field," said Bjorklund. "We didn't seem to be that clear with what we needed to do when we decided to press."
The Orediggers scored three more goals in the second half all of which could have been prevented.
The first goal scored in the second half came in the 75th minute when Cameron Brown took a free kick from 80 yards out and found the head of Brian Law.
Law got enough of the ball to loft it over Bjorklund and send it bouncing into the goal.
Just 54 seconds later, the Mountain Lions gave up an own goal by deflecting a crossing pass behind Bjorklund, who was moving in the opposite direction.
The fifth and final Orediggers' goal came off of a free kick from 30 yards out. Drew Werth sent the ball to the far post, but Isaac Kostrow, who had replaced Bjorklund, was able to make a diving save.
Unfortunately, for the Mountain Lions, the ball bounced to the feet of Nick Clausnitzer, who buried it into the back of the net.
The Mountain Lions have little time to regroup since they have an important match at Colorado State-Pueblo on Wedneday.
"Today was disappointing," said Bjorklund. "But at the end of the day, we're still playing as a team and we will be ready for Pueblo."
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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