Mountain Lions top Colorado College

By Doug Fitzgerald published September 9, 2009

Horst Richardsonâ€TMs 498th win will have to wait. Instead, Henry Ellis got his seventh.

Richardson, in his 44th season as the menâ€TMs soccer coach at Colorado College, watched his scrappy Tigers drop a 3-2 decision Wednesday evening to Ellis and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Mountain Lions at Washburn Field.

Dami Oladiran, Greg Miley and Garrett Maloney each scored for the Mountain Lions (2-2). Eric Goldberg had two assists while Donny Stone and Tom Oâ€TMDea each had one.

“Itâ€TMs a good win; absolutely a good win,” said Ellis, who is in just his second season at UCCS. “We knew it was going to be a battle, we knew they were going to be fired up to play â€" you know, a little in-city rivalry.”

The Mountain Lions opened the scoring before the six-minute mark. Goldberg threw the ball in from the right sideline to Jaron Stewart, who sent it back to Goldberg. The sophomore found Oladiran, who had posted up just inside the penalty area. Oladiran took the pass, pivoted quickly and sent a hard shot onto the lower left part of the goal.

Colorado College evened the match in the 37th minute, catching the UCCS defense flat-footed on a seemingly harmless throw-in. Seeing the opening, Jordan Reese sent a shot from a difficult shallow angle that slid inside the near post.

The Mountain Lion regained the lead with 1:01 remaining in the half. Oâ€TMDea dribbled down the right side and then gained a step on his defender with a nifty juke. That gave him enough room to send a perfect crossing pass to a pasted-up Stone, who then played a short ball back to Miley, who was charging straight up the center of the field. Miley, a senior from London, England, completed the bang-bang play with a hard roller into the left side of the net.

A corner kick in the 66th minute made it 3-1. That goal proved particularly satisfying since UCCS had been working hard to improve its play on set pieces.

“The big thing that Iâ€TMm most happy about is the discipline with our service on the set pieces,” said Ellis. “We finally get one dangerous ball in the box and itâ€TMs in the back of the net. Thatâ€TMs what weâ€TMve been working on.”

That dangerous ball was served up by Goldberg and hammered home by Maloney.

“(Maloneyâ€TMs) kind of our free man in there and heâ€TMs our best ball-winner in the air,” said Goldberg. “Coach said to put the ball right on the six-yard box â€" thatâ€TMs where Garret was supposed to run â€" and it worked out tonight.”

The goal was also particularly satisfying for Goldberg who, as the midfielder nearest the rowdy pro-Tiger crowd of 227, got ridden mercilessly by the fans.

“The fans were loving me tonight,” said Goldberg. “My coach in high school always said ‘if youâ€TMre going to retaliate in any way, put a ball in the back of the net and punish them on the field.â€TM “

Just minutes after the UCCS goal, Mountain Lion defender Carlos Verdugo robbed Colorado College of a chance to cut the deficit to one. Goalkeeper Adam Liszewski came off his line to play a ball amid a crowd at the top of the penalty area only to see the ball take a freakish bounce and sail over his head. Verdugo made a sliding play to clear the ball just before it crossed the goal line.

That proved to be a bigger play than anyone imagined at the time. With less than four minutes remaining, CCâ€TMs Trevor Cobb chipped in another bouncer to make it 3-2. Not only did Verdugo prevent the tie, he had been replaced just minutes before the final goal was scored.

“(Verdugo) has been absolutely fantastic for me,” said Ellis. “Heâ€TMs a great leader on that back line; he shapes and organizes. We took him off because he got that yellow card and if he gets another, heâ€TMs off for a conference game, and they sneak one in there.”

UCCS will begin Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play on Sept. 18, when it faces No. 20-ranked Metro State at Mountain Lion Stadium.

“All of our set pieces are working out better and I think weâ€TMre finally getting the flow and working together,” said Goldberg. “I think weâ€TMre going to be a force to be reckoned with going into conference play.”

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Greg MileyGreg Miley7MJr
Greg MileyGreg Miley7MSr.
Carlos VerdugoCarlos Verdugo17D
Carlos VerdugoCarlos Verdugo17D
Carlos VerdugoCarlos Verdugo17DJr.
Carlos VerdugoCarlos Verdugo17DSr.
Garrett MaloneyGarrett MaloneyDSr.
Eric GoldbergEric GoldbergM/DSo.
Eric GoldbergEric GoldbergM/DSo.
Eric GoldbergEric GoldbergM/DSo.
Donny StoneDonny Stone15FFr.
Donny StoneDonny Stone15FSo.
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