UCCS scores on, beats previously unscored-upon Colorado Christian
When an offense that has struggled badly to score goals meets a defense that hasn't allowed a goal all season, the outcome should be predictable.
Then again, maybe not.
The previously offensively challenged University of Colorado at Colorado Springs women's soccer team scored a 2-0 victory Friday evening at Mountain Lion Stadium over a Colorado Christian Cougar 11 that hadn't allowed a goal through five matches this season.
Jessica Escobedo knocked home an unassisted goal in the 63rd minute to give UCCS the lead. Kristen Preble headed in a long free kick by Lauren Hall in the 87th minute to secure the win.
In an attempt to awaken a moribund UCCS offense that had produced just a single goal through the first three matches of the season, coach Nichole (Rick) Ridenour chose the "quantity equals quality" strategy of shot selection. It proved effective as the Mountain Lions threw 29 shots toward Colorado Christian goalkeeper Liana Signorile, 10 of which went on goal. And, most importantly, two of those went IN the goal.
"We had been passing up open shots," said Ridenour. "Some of those outside shots we took today we would have passed up before. Yeah, some of them weren't the best shots but it's better than not taking the shots.
"Tonight, we got a couple of scrappy goals that we should have had in other games as well."
The first of those scrappy goals came at the 62:44 mark after UCCS took 13 shots without a score in the first half.
Escobedo took a loose ball about 30 yards in front of the Cougars goal. She split two defenders, leaping over the tackle attempt of the second, to put herself in a one-on-one situation with Signorile, who had no chance against Escobedo's hard shot in the upper left corner.
"That was all her," said Preble of Escobedo. "She kept going at it, she didn't give up on that ball and got through like three defenders"
"I don't know how she did it. It was a great goal."
Later, Preble split two defenders at the top of the box and went up high to head in Hall's free kick from 45 yards out.
"Every time we have a set piece, coach tells everyone to aim for my head," said Preble with a smile. "This one finally worked out."
UCCS goalkeeper Ashley Armstrong made five saves in recording her second career shutout. Signorile made eight saves in the losing effort.
The match kept alive a unique streak shared by the teams, both of which have won every match in which it has scored. UCCS is now 2-2 (1-2 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) with the win over CCU and a 1-0 victory over St. Cloud State. The Mountain Lions were shut out in both losses. Likewise, Colorado Christian (4-1-1, 1-1 RMAC) had previously notched four 1-0 wins and a 0-0 tie.
The teams will face each other again, this time in Lakewood, Colo., on Wednesday.
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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