Mountain Lions rally in second-half behind stellar play of Saenz

By Alex Cramer published October 2, 2011

Senior captain Julia Saenz came through with a goal and an assist in a clutch second-half performance as the University of Colorado Colorado Springs rallied to beat the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks 3-2 Sunday afternoon at Mountain Lion Stadium.

For the second time in three days, the Mountain Lions came from behind in the second-half to win a game in which they had been down early.

Unlike Friday's contest that saw UCCS take a barrage of shots at the Colorado Christian net in a 4-3 shootout, today's game against UNO saw fewer shots and a whole lot of tough-luck bounces for both teams.

In the first-half UCCS took a 1-0 lead when a cross by Saenz deflected off a Maverick player and went in for an own goal in the 20th minute.

Shortly after, UNO found the UCCS net, scoring in the 24th minute when Bri Exstrom converted a penalty-kick following a handball call on the Mountain Lions.

The tough luck in the first-half continued for UCCS when a Lindsay Link clearing pass hit a UNO player, triggering a 2-on-1 break that culminated with a Danielle Archuleta shot off the cross bar headed in by Maggie Olson in the 37th minute.

The tides began to change in the second-half as the Mountain Lions tied the score quickly at 2-2 when Saenz sent a corner-kick into the box that found the head of Jenna Gist for her first goal of the season during the 57th minute.

What looked like another overtime contest in the making was altered when UCCS coach Nichole Ridenour subbed Saenz back in with 8:41 remaining.

"When coach told me to go back in, I went in as a forward and she said you've got to step up and get one," said Saenz. "The goalie kicked it right to me and I was just in the right spot at the right time."

The scoring play came 36 seconds after Saenz checked back in as she scored her second game-winning goal this season.

"I thought today the team came out and did a really good job in the second-half of playing as a team, team defense, and calming themselves down and connecting again," said Ridenour. "That led to the high-pressure goal that Julia got for the game-winner."

Sophomore Kelly Schroeder hauled in 4 saves for UCCS while picking up her fourth win and dropping UNO to 3-5-2 overall.

After getting swept last weekend, the Mountain Lions were on the opposite end this weekend going 2-0 (6-3 2-3 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) and finishing up their non-conference schedule for the season.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Lindsay LinkLindsay Link9DSr
Jenna GistJenna Gist17DJr
Julia SaenzJulia Saenz4FSr.
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