CSU-Pueblo beats Mountain Lions in final match of the season

By Doug Fitzgerald published November 8, 2009

COLORADO SPRINGS â€" Sunday's men's soccer match at Mountain Lion Stadium made a lot of sense.

Not so much in the game itself, where Robert Kinsey had a hat trick and added an assist to lift the Colorado State-Pueblo Thunderwolves to a 5-3 victory over the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Mountain Lions.

What made sense is that there was a match at all.

Two weeks ago, both teams were officially eliminated from the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference playoffs. Both teams were also under the NCAA maximum for number of games played for the season. Since both UCCS coach Henry Ellis and CSU-Pueblo coach Roy Stanley wanted to get an extended look at some of their younger players in a game situation, they decided to schedule Sunday's match on the same day that Fort Lewis won both the RMAC men's and women's soccer championships.

"(We want to) give guys new roles; there are certain guys playing different positions than what they played in the regular season," said Stanley before the match. "Other guys hadn't played any real minutes throughout the year. We're trying to get those guys an opportunity to start proving themselves for next August."

The Thunderwolves didn't travel any of their seniors, starting three juniors, four sophomores and four freshmen.

The Mountain Lions lineup looked similarly baby-faced.

"We've been starting younger players all season," laughed UCCS assistant coach John Sollock.

True, but Sunday had more of an exhibition-game purpose even though the match counted in the standings as a nonconference tilt. Twenty-one Mountain Lions saw action in the match.

" Today, we were trying to get a lot of our young guys some playing time; guys that haven't been playing for a while," said Ellis. "We were a little discombobulated, and that showed throughout the match. We were still able to score three goals, but when you give up five it's hard to beat anybody."

But it was UCCS that took the early lead when Matt Friesen created a turnover on a CSU-Pueblo corner kick, knocked it to Greg Miley, who sent a through pass to Dami Oladiran on the UCCS side of midfield. The speedy Oladiran beat his defender on the dribble, closing to within 15 yards before launching his shot just inside the far post at the 12:37 mark.

Brenden Hughes tied it for CSU-Pueblo in the 27th minute when he got a head on a free kick delivered by Chaz Hendrix from midfield that scooted past UCCS goalkeeper Adam Liszewski.

Matt Friesen made it 2-1 in favor of the Mountain Lions when he knocked in a rebound of a Riley Gallagher shot at the 65:28 mark.

Two and a half minutes later, Kendon Knowles tied it by converting a Kinsey crossing pass.

The tie lasted for just a minute as Kinsey scored the first of his three goals, sending a Corey Cullen crossing pass just inside the near post. Kinsey made it 4-2 in the 73rd minute by beating a UCCS defender on the dribble and slicing a shot inside the near post.

The Mountain Lions cut the deficit to one in the 77th minute. Aaron Brandt sent a free kick from 40 yards out toward the far post, where Ryan Piechowski was making a run. The ball never got to Piechowski, instead it hooked just inside the upper-right corner of the goal.

Kinsey completed his hat trick in the 83rd minute. Hendrix lobbed a free kick from just beyond the midfield stripe toward the UCCS goal. Liszewski hesitated for just a moment before deciding to charge out to play the ball. Kinsey got to it first and popped a header over Liszewski that bounced into the net.

For both teams, the match showed some outstanding individual skill combined with some maddeningly inconsistent execution, particularly in the defensive end.

"There were some good things, but it was very sloppy for us today," said Ellis. "It was an unfortunate way to end the season, but we've got a lot to look forward to and a lot of work in the weight room coming."

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Ryan PiechowskiRyan Piechowski18MFr.
Ryan PiechowskiRyan Piechowski20M
Ryan PiechowskiRyan Piechowski20MJr.
Ryan PiechowskiRyan Piechowski20MJr.
Greg MileyGreg Miley7MJr
Greg MileyGreg Miley7MSr.
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