Mountain Lions drop season opener in overtime

By Doug Fitzgerald published September 1, 2011

COLORADO SPRINGS - A spirited comeback by the University of Colorado Colorado Springs forced overtime, but a Sean Parham goal on a brilliant assist by Matt Fechter allowed the cross-town rival Colorado College Tigers to come away with a 4-3 win Thursday afternoon at Stewart Field.

It was the season opener for both teams.

The Mountain Lions trailed 2-0 and 3-1 before an Eric Goldberg penalty kick in the 75th minute and a Matt Friesen turn-around in the 86th minute tied the score.

"We came out pretty soft in the beginning," said Goldberg, one of UCCS' captains. "We need to come out a little more intense to start out with."

Colorado College opened the scoring at the 12:01 mark. Parham took the ball on the left side and, while dribbling laterally was challenged by one defender after another. Each Mountain Lion challenge managed to knock the ball away, but Parham regained control each time. The result was a stretched UCCS defense that failed to mark Daniel Wright running in from the right side. Parham served him the ball and he deposited it into the top of the net.

The Tigers second goal came on free kick, one of two set-piece breakdowns UCCS would have. Fechter's kick from just beyond the right side of the penalty area found Keith Drury, who managed to charge the far post unmarked. His header at 28:48 made it 2-0. That lead would survive to the intermission.

"We've got to do better marking up on set pieces," said Goldberg.

The Mountain Lions halved the deficit less than three minutes into the second half. Colorado College goalkeeper Brian Graf had to make a diving stop on Mathew Cox's shot from 18 yards, Scott Kocel ran down the rebound on the right side and hit a difficult-angle shot.

The momentum was short-lived, as Colorado College regained its two-goal advantage just over three minutes later. Brandon Ogilvie maneuvered between a UCCS defender and Mountain Lions goalkeeper Jarod Thomas to get a clean header off a corner kick by Fechter.

UCCS answered first with Goldberg's penalty kick, which came as the result of a hand ball in the penalty area. The hand ball came as the result of the defense being preoccupied with Friesen, who was posting up strong.

Friesen got his own goal to tie the match with just 4:58 remaining in the match. Friesen got a perfect pass from Kocel, pivoted strongly to his right and delivered the ball into the back of the net.

Fechter's third assist was his finest. A poor crossing pass from the right side looked to be headed across the goal line but Fechter, much to the surprise of the UCCS defenders, sprinted to track the ball down and delivered a bicycle-kick crossing pass to Parham, who knocked in the point-blank shot.

"It's all correctable," said Goldberg of the multiple UCCS breakdowns. "Everyone can see that when we play our game, we scored three goals like it's no big deal.

"It'll come, it'll come. We're definitely going to be one of the top teams in the conference this year."

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Matt FriesenMatt Friesen16FFr
Matt FriesenMatt Friesen16FSo
Matt FriesenMatt Friesen2FJr
Matt FriesenMatt Friesen2FSr
Scott KocelScott Kocel5F/M
Scott KocelScott Kocel5F/MJr.
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