Defensive lapse costs Mountain Lions

By Doug Fitzgerald published September 6, 2009

COLORADO SPRINGS â€" A defensive breakdown wasted a gutsy, albeit ultimately fruitless, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs effort as the Mountain Lions were beaten by the Eastern New Mexico Greyhounds 2-1 in overtime Sunday at Mountain Lion Stadium.

With only 58 seconds remaining in the overtime period, Kal Herbert, who had subbed in just prior to the play, sent an arcing corner kick across the field. It hit ground near the far post, where Diego Santos was making a run without a marking defender. The missed mark was costly, as an undefended Santos one-timed the ball into the net.

“Weâ€TMve been doing a better job, but we still lack a lot of communication,” said UCCS middle defender Carlos Verdugo. “We talked about that for the past 10 days and, obviously, it was (a factor in the goal). We had someone back post that didnâ€TMt mark.”

It was an even match, with the teams taking turns controlling the action and neither being able to maintain that control for long. The Greyhounds got off 14 shots, 10 of which were on goal, and UCCS (1-2) shot 12 times with five being on net.

That the match was so even was remarkable since UCCS played a man down for over 53 minutes. At the 11:47 mark, UCCS midfielder Mike Mason was given a yellow card by referee Glen Babcock for allegedly throwing an elbow at ENMU goalkeeper Alistar Caldwell. Just 12 seconds later, an aggressive tackle got Mason his second yellow card which, by rule, became a red card. Mason was ejected and the Mountain Lions were down a man.

Eastern New Mexico (3-1) capitalized on that advantage in the 38th minute. Emerson Rodriguez took a pass from David Kim and scored on a near-post shot.

The shorthanded Mountain Lions evened the match in the 56th minute. Oladiran was making a run as Ryan Piechowski launched a low crossing pass. The ball skipped past two defenders and found the feet of Oladiran, who punched it past Caldwell.

“Striker (Piechowski) had the ball out wide and I made the near-post run,” said Oladiran. “I got lucky with (the ball) going to my feet. It was pretty easy from there.”

The sides became even numerically in the 66th minute when Caldwell was red carded for comments made after a Greyhound foul. Caldwell, who made three saves, was replaced in goal by Josh Bussen.

Bussen escaped regulation untested before making two game-saving stops in overtime. The first came at the 100:01 mark after matt Friesen took a though ball toward the right side of the penalty area. Despite his momentum being slightly away from the goal, Friesen was able to launched a hard line drive toward the near post. Bussen not only played the angle well, but also made an athletic play to deflect the ball wide.

Forty-six seconds later, Garrett Maloney took a free kick from 20 yards out that looked to be arcing into the corner of the net. Bussen made another athletic play to smother Maloneyâ€TMs attempt.

“A big thing weâ€TMve talked about is discipline on set pieces,” said UCCS coach Henry Ellis. “We get two right off the bat and donâ€TMt put them away. We give up one and itâ€TMs in the back of the net â€" game over. Thatâ€TMs the big problem right now. (We need) a little bit of discipline at the end.”

UCCS goalkeeper Adam Liszewski, who finished with eight saves, also made a pair of game-savers. The first came just over five minutes into the match when he went vertically airborne to intercept an Artur Oliviera shot that would have snuck in just below the crossbar.

The second came less than two minutes into the overtime. Mario Alarcon got behind the UCCS defense for a header attempt from point blank range. Liszewski closed quickly enough to limit the angle and then, although at nearly point-blank range, managed to chest-catch the attempt.

That effort would go for naught as Santos scored with only 58 seconds remaining in the overtime period.

“(It was) disappointing, absolutely disappointing,” said Ellis. “We battled the whole time. We were put into a hole very early on (by the red card).

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Mike MasonMike Mason17MFr.
Mike MasonMike Mason3DSo.
Mike MasonMike Mason3M/FJr.
Mike MasonMike Mason3M/FJr.
Ryan PiechowskiRyan Piechowski20MJr.
Ryan PiechowskiRyan Piechowski20M
Ryan PiechowskiRyan Piechowski18MFr.
Ryan PiechowskiRyan Piechowski20MJr.
Carlos VerdugoCarlos Verdugo17D
Carlos VerdugoCarlos Verdugo17DJr.
Carlos VerdugoCarlos Verdugo17D
Carlos VerdugoCarlos Verdugo17DSr.
Garrett MaloneyGarrett MaloneyDSr.
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