Seniors score twice in 5-2 loss in season finale
The Mountain Lions concluded their season Tuesday night with a disappointing 5-2 loss at home to the playoff-bound Colorado State-Pueblo Thunderwolves. James McMonigle and Mark Brehm, both seniors, scored in the finale.
The next stop for the Thunderwolves (10-6-1, 6-6 RMAC) is the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference playoffs, which will begin Friday in Durango. For the Mountain Lions (7-12-1, 3-8-1 RMAC), Tuesdayâ€TMs match marked the end of the season and the end of careers for seven Mountain Lions.
The match marked the end of both McMonigle's and Brehmâ€TMs career as well as Eric Foulk, Matt Eshbach, Jeff Korb, Juan Nolasco, and Brandon Best who all played nearly the entire match.
â€œItâ€TMs not exactly the sendoff I would ask for for the seniors, but itâ€TMs been a lot of fun,â€ said McMonigle. â€œIt was nice that Brehm could get a goal since heâ€TMs going out as well.â€
The win allowed CSU-Pueblo to narrow the gap between the schools in the Steel and Silver Series. Behind wins in volleyball, menâ€TMs golf and cross country, UCCS holds a 7-4 lead in the rivalry series. The Thunderwolvesâ€TM points have come by way of two wins in menâ€TMs soccer.
Yusuke Ota opened the scoring in the fifth minute when he headed in a near-post corner kick from Ryan Creager.
McMonigle tied the score in the 43rd minute when he one-touched a Thunderwolvesâ€TM turnover past goalkeeper David Winchell (4-2-1).
â€œI saw the ball go up and I thought [Jeff] Korb was going to touch it back across, but unfortunately for the defense he didnâ€TMt get a touch,â€ said McMonigle. â€œThe defender ended up putting the ball back across and I was able to run through it and put it in.â€
Jony Valenzuela got his first goal with just 32 seconds left in the half. Dylan Cook launched a hard shot that UCCS goalkeeper James Bjorklund (3-6) reached back and blocked cleanly with one hand. However, Bjorklund could not handle the rebound and the ball went to Valenzuela who hammered it home.
In the 59th minute the Thunderwolves were awarded a penalty kick. Creager, the Thunderwolvesâ€TM captain, took the kick but Bjorklund made a diving save to his left but the rebound went right back to Creager. Bjorklund got up quickly and made a second save to keep the score at 2-1. Bjorklund finished the game with seven saves.
The Thunderwolves didnâ€TMt give up though, and kept the pressure on the Mountain Lion defense and it paid off just one minute later when Lawrence Paye headed in a Creager crossing pass. The Thunderwolves made it 4-1 in the 66th minute when a defensive breakdown and a savvy pass by Luke Babson presented David Fresquez with an open net.
Brehm cut the lead to 4-2 in the 82nd minute. Another CSU-Pueblo turnover gave Brehm an opportunity from 40 yards out and with Winchell away from the goal. Brehm lobbed the ball and the retreating 6-foot-3 Winchell was able to get a finger on it but was unable to prevent it from going in.
Valenzuela added his second goal in the 88th minute.
The Mountain Lions ended the season 7-12-1, 3-8-1 in the RMAC, but with the talented freshman class brought in by Mazzetti, next year looks to be promising.
â€œThe freshmen [Mazzetti] brought in this year are a good group of guys and Iâ€TMm sure they will do really well next year,â€ said Eshbach.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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