No. 13 Metro State stops Mountain Lions
COLORADO SPRINGS - Talk about tough opening acts...
Freshman Kayla Millar was pressed into duty for the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Friday afternoon at Mountain Lion Stadium, replacing an injured Ashley Armstrong. While a first starting assignment is usually a reason to celebrate, having it come against the No. 13-ranked Metro State Roadrunners takes more than a little luster off the occasion.
Becca Mays recorded a hat trick as Metro State swatted the Mountain Lions 5-1. Krista Mirabelli scored the lone goal for UCCS, which dropped to 2-3, 1-3 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
Millar was put to the test in her first collegiate start, making four saves. She had the basics down early, attempting to eliminate the angles from scorers. But at times, her defense left her alone, and she didn't have the experience against Metro's quick crossing passes. However even with this being her first start against a team with so much offense power, Millar stayed confident and positive.
"I was obviously a little nervous, but I was going to give it my all," said Millar. "I didn't get down on myself with all the goals scored, because that wouldn't have helped the team at all."
UCCS coach Nichole (Rick) Ridenour was pleased with Millar's overall effort by saw room for improvement.
"She doesn't talk in the back like we need her to," said Ridenour, "compared to a senior goal keeper who is demanding and knows exactly what she wants."
The Mountain Lions and Metro State were near even in attempted shots for the game: 12 for Metro State and 11 for UCCS. And at halftime, Metro State held a modest 1-0 lead after Jen Thomas nailed a far-post shot after a crossing pass by Aleah DeGeneres in the 31st minute.
Mays made it 2-0 just 30 seconds into the second half. The Mountain Lions tried to counter to no avail before the flood gates opened. Metro State scored three times in a seven-minute span to turn the match into a laugher.
Ashley Nemmers started it with a hard shot into the upper right corner after a pass from Madison McQuilliams in the 68th minute. Three minutes later, Mays punched in a corner kick from Courtney Ryan. Mays struck again four minutes later when she knocked a caitlyn Oliver pass off the crossbar and into the goal.
Mirabelli finally put UCCS on the board in the 87th minute. Ashley Collins' free kick crossed in front of the goal where Mirabelli bumped it in with her thigh.
Metro State goalkeeper Becca Maloney made four saves and did not allow a goal before yielding her keeper duties to backup Alee Seehausen, who made one save.
Ridenour saw the uneven score as a result of effort, not talent.
"I don't think it's a difference in level; I think it's a difference in effort," said Ridenour. "We can stick with this team, we can play with this team.
"We have talent, we have players, but if they are not willing to work for it, the other team is...(the Mountain Lions) just got frustrated with each other instead of just picking it up and trying to score."
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
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