Mountain Lions with third straight

By Doug Fitzgerald published October 13, 2009

COLORADO SPRINGS - The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs men's soccer team won its third straight match, evening its record at .500, with a 1-0 win over the Adams State Grizzlies Tuesday evening at Mountain Lion Stadium.

The Mountain Lions are now 6-6-1 on the season. Although Adams State, like UCCS, is a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, its first-year men's soccer program is categorized as provisional and the game therefore did not count towards UCCS' RMAC record which remained at 3-4-1.

Goalkeeper Adam Liszewski and his Mountain Lion teammates recorded their third consecutive shutout. UCCS hasn't been scored upon for 276 minutes, 34 seconds. The Mountain Lions used an assortment of defenders in this match after star center back Garrett Maloney left the match limping.

"The back four, whoever it is back there, is talking and moving with each other," said Carlos Verdugo, the team's other center back and the vocal leader of the defense. "That's what's been helping us. (When) everyone communicates, we can do a good job of passing and distributing."

Riley Gallagher scored the lone goal, a 12-yard blast in the ninth minute. Mike Mason chased down a ball in the left corner, crossed it near post where Matt Friesen tipped it backwards to a trailing Gallagher, who was making a run straight up the center. His shot sizzled into the upper right corner.

"The ball got crossed in, Matt took a deflection and I was there to clean it up," said Gallagher of his first goal of the season.

The Mountain Lions had numerous scoring opportunities throughout the match, but the combination of mis-strikes and brilliant saves by Adams State goalkeeper Jarod Thomas, who made 11 saves, kept UCCS to a single score.

"(He's a) great goalkeeper," said Gallagher. "He knew where to be at the right time and made great saves. It's unfortunate that we couldn't put a few more past him.

"We had a lot of dangerous balls coming from the outside. (We were) penetrating he right areas and we always had guys in the box. Unfortunately, we couldn't put them on."

The effort to get another goal or two resulted in UCCS outshooting Adams State (0-9-3) 25-7. It also gave UCCS coach Henry Ellis a few gray hairs in the closing minutes as the Mountain Lions left themselves open to possible counterattacks.

"We're still a young team," said Ellis, who had just two seniors in his starting lineup Tuesday. "We need to understand how to put games away at the end instead of trying to take chances - possess the ball a little more. They got a little excited at the end instead of playing direct."

Luckily, the enthusiasm didn't hurt the Mountain Lions. The Grizzlies didn't get a shot off over the final 23:53 of the match and Liszewski needed just one save to notch his fourth shutout of the season.

"The big thing for us that was good was that it was our third game in five days and we still were able to bring the kind of energy that we brought today," said Ellis. "We're definitely happy with this result."

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Mike MasonMike Mason17MFr.
Mike MasonMike Mason3DSo.
Mike MasonMike Mason3M/FJr.
Mike MasonMike Mason3M/FJr.
Adam LiszewskiAdam Liszewski24GK
Adam LiszewskiAdam Liszewski24GK
Adam LiszewskiAdam Liszewski24GK
Adam LiszewskiAdam Liszewski24GK
Carlos VerdugoCarlos Verdugo17D
Carlos VerdugoCarlos Verdugo17D
Carlos VerdugoCarlos Verdugo17DJr.
Carlos VerdugoCarlos Verdugo17DSr.
Garrett MaloneyGarrett MaloneyDSr.
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