Friesen's two goals help UCCS knock off CSU-Pueblo, grab series points
COLORADO SPRINGS - Matt Friesen scored twice as the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs men's soccer team evened its record with a 4-3 win over the Colorado State-Pueblo Thunderwolves Friday afternoon at Mountain Lion Stadium.
Garrett Maloney and Greg Miley also scored for the Mountain Lions, who improved to 3-3-1 overall and 1-1-1 in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play. Ryan Piechowski, Eric Goldberg and Gustavo Velloso each had an assist.
"We knew it was going to be a goal-for-goal battle," said UCCS coach Henry Ellis. "We just wanted to make sure we were up for it and get that extra goal."
The Thunderwolves, who were ranked No. 23 nationally just two weeks ago, dropped their third straight match, all against RMAC opponents. CSU-Pueblo is now 4-4 overall and 0-3 in the conference. Sam Henritze Robert Kinsey and Erik Anderson each scored goals, while Anderson, Kinsey and Johnny Valenzuela had assists.
The win increased UCCS' lead in the 2009-10 Steel & Silver Series to 6-0 with single wins in volleyball, men's golf and men's soccer. The respective teams in each of those sports will play each other one more time this season with the second meeting in men's soccer coming on Oct. 11 in Pueblo.
But on Friday, it was CSU-Pueblo that struck before the teams had a chance to work up a decent sweat. UCCS came out very aggressively and paid for it as the Thunderwolves scored in transition. Following a UCCS attack, the ball was sent into space along the right side and sent across the box to Andersen, who punched a point-blank shot that UCCS goalkeeper Adam Liszewski blocked. The rebound went to the feet of Henritze with an open goal in front of him.
Friesen had an answer less than six minutes later. A high crossing pass was misplayed by a CSU-Pueblo defender, who inadvertently sent a bouncer toward his own goal. Thunderwolves keeper Jacob Blum raced back toward the goal mouth and was able to scoop the ball back just before it crossed the line. Unfortunately for him, Friesen alertly trailed the play and pounded the ball in.
"I was in the right place at the right time," said Friesen. "Part of being a forward is having a sense of where the ball might be."
Friesen was in the right place at the right time again in the 26th minute. Mike Mason set the goal up with a slick move to gain a step on his defender down the left side. Mason dribbled toward the goal line before sending a pinpoint back pass to Piechowski, who sent a hard, low shot toward the far post. Blum, fully extended, diverted the shot only to see Friesen complete his run by slamming it home.
It was the second and third goals of the season for Friesen, who had a team-best eight as a freshman a season ago.
"One of the most encouraging things today was that Matt Friesen turned it on," said Ellis. "He's been working hard but hadn't been finding the back of the net."
CSU-Pueblo evened the match when Kinsey, who had been making a far post run, headed in a nice crossing pass by Valenzuela at the 32:11 mark.
The Thunderwolves' celebration was a brief 35 seconds. Goldberg served a crossing pass to Maloney, who planted and - like a swivel - blasted an 18-yarder through traffic.
"Offensively, we were putting the ball wide to our outside mids and trying to send it into the middle," said Friesen. "We were testing their keeper."
The one-goal UCCS advantage lasted through halftime and for the first 25 minutes of the second period as both defenses played more conservatively. Miley, however, made it a two-goal game on a score no defense could do much about.
Miley, took a pass from Velloso, dribbled to the center of the field and launched a scorcher from 40 yards away that hit the bottom of the crossbar and landed just in front of the goal line. It's fitting that Miley is from London, since the ball hit the ground and backed into the goal like a pool shot with plenty of English on it.
The Thunderwolves answered three minutes later with spin of their own. Kinsey's crossing pass was headed by Andersen, who didn't get a solid touch on the ball. It hit the ground and took a squirrelly hop away from Liszewski and into the goal.
From that point, the Mountain Lion defense, and particularly center defenders Maloney and Carlos Verdugo, stiffened. UCCS repeatedly cleared CSU-Pueblo passes, keeping the area in front of Liszewski clean.
The Steel & Silver Series awards points to the winner of games between the schools in seven womenâ€TMs and three menâ€TMs sports and a five-point bonus to the university whose student-athletes have the best grades. Mountain Lion teams won last season's series with a score of 33-12 and have won the Ent Federal credit Union Trophy - given to the winner - in each of the series' three years of existence..
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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