Men’s soccer drops final two matches, finishes season on losing streak

Paul Czarnecki 

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 The UCCS Men’s Soccer team was bested in their final two matches of the season, finishing their 2020-2021 campaign on a three-game losing streak. 

     After a loss the previous week to the Colorado School of Mines on Senior Night, the Mountain Lions headed to Pueblo and Denver, to face the CSU-Pueblo Thunderwolves and the Metropolitan State Roadrunners, respectively. 

     In their penultimate match of the season against the Thunderwolves, the Mountain Lions held them scoreless through the first third of the match, before CSU-Pueblo freshman Jan Gruhn scored a header for the opening score of the game in the 34th minute.  

     Following two more second half goals for the Thunderwolves, the Mountain Lions received no such luck on the other end of the field, scoring no goals in the entire match in their first shutout loss of the season. 

     The Thunderwolves held UCCS to only four shots compared to 23 shots from CSU-Pueblo. 

     The bigger match of the two, however, came with the Mountain Lions’ season finale against the Roadrunners of Metro State, a match that, with a win and some help from others around the league, could have clinched them a postseason berth. 

     Due to the standings in the RMAC, UCCS still had a chance to get into the conference tournament if the outcomes of other regular season games went their way.  

     Following a string of goals to begin the match in the first half, the Mountain Lions started the game ahead by two goals, due to a sliding punch-in by senior defenseman Liam McGuire and a right-cornered finish from sophomore midfielder Alex Andersson. 

     Andersson recorded his third multi-goal match of the season and led the RMAC in goals and points scored with 12 and 26. 

     After trading a goal apiece in the closing minutes of the first half and the opening chances of the second, UCCS’ two-score lead vanished after the Roadrunners scored three goals in the span of 15 minutes, giving Metro State a 4-3 lead before the end of the match. 

     In the final 15 minutes of the match, the Roadrunners held off late charges from redshirt senior midfielder Kaydon Zamora-Reeves and junior midfielder Kolby Raineri, winning the match and ultimately eliminating the Mountain Lions from postseason contention. 

     The Mountain Lions and Roadrunners haven’t won consecutive matches against each other since 2016, in which the matches were more than a year apart. 

     UCCS finished the season with an 8-8-1 record overall and a 4-6 record in conference play. Their win percentage of .500 on the season was their best since 2018. 

 Defense #23 Garrett Daulong (left) and forward #21 Nelson Alvarado (right). Photo by Meghan Germain.