Mountain Lions Lack Confidence

By Justin Felisko - Colorado Springs Gazette published November 1, 2012

Wednesday was a bittersweet day for Colorado-Colorado Springs goalkeeper Kelly Schroeder.

After being named the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Goalkeeper of the Year, Schroeder lost out on celebrating when Fort Lewis eliminated the junior and her teammates 2-0 in the first round of the RMAC Tournament at Mountain Lion Stadium.

"It's just mixed emotions," Schroeder said. "I am happy that I have accomplished that this season but it sucks losing on our home field, especially to a team that we should have had. It's just a big ball of emotions right now."

Fort Lewis (13-3-3) offensive standout Sam Weiss found the back of the net twice for her 15th and 16th goals to spoil UCCS' (13-4-2) first home playoff game in program history in front of 226 people.

Weiss capped off a dominant Fort Lewis first half when she drilled a low shot into the lower left corner from the far right side at 19:43 on a give and go with Elena Benavides. The sophomore got her second on a header at 51:45 of the second half.

UCCS coach Nichole Ridenour called the game a step in the right direction for the fifth-year program, which is having its best season; but the jitters of the conference tournament got to her players.

"Overall (Fort Lewis) came out with a little more confidence than we did," Ridenour said. "We played well all year together. We worked for each other all year. We just started off on our heels. It never works out so well when you are outworked and you're letting them outwork you."

The Skyhawks advance to face top-seeded Regis (12-4-2, 10-2-2) Friday.

Schroeder earned the RMAC goalkeeper honors as well as first-team all-conference honors by recording eight shutouts. The Coronado High School graduate started 18 regular-season games and made 99 saves (.876 save percentage), allowing 14 goals on 227 shots.

"It's awesome. It's everything I have worked for since my freshman year," Schroeder said. "Everything I have done. All the summer training. All the winter training. This is what I wanted and was hoping for this year."

UCCS awaits word from the NCAA Division II Women's Soccer National Committee on its postseason fate. The Mountain Lions are ranked fifth in the NCAA South Central Region rankings, which are used in the committee's selection process Nov. 5. UCCS is on the bubble of making the six-team regional field.

"We could still get an at-large bid because we have done real well this year," Ridenour said. "We have been nationally ranked on and off in multiple weeks. We're still going to hope for that bid for that at-large regional ranking and so if we do we definitely will take advantage of it and be ready."

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