Men’s soccer drops first weekend match 2-1 against Westminster

Paul Czarnecki 

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 The UCCS Men’s Soccer team were outshot 21-9 en route to a 2-1 defeat to the Westminster College Griffins at a home game, dropping their overall record to 4-3-1 on the season. 

     Westminster was the first RMAC opponent for the Mountain Lions, opening their in-conference matches. The loss leaves them seeking their first RMAC win of the year. 

     “I thought we played well for what we were dealt with,” said senior midfielder Kaydon Zamora-Reeves. “We were missing a lot of [sick] players, two guys with red cards, it just didn’t go our way today.” 

     Following a first half that was dominated by both defenses, the Mountain Lions became the first team to get on the scoreboard, after a penalty shot by midfield sophomore Alex Andersson found the right corner of the net, completely faking out the goalkeeper diving left. 

     Andersson’s penalty shot was the fifth of the season for UCCS, with the Mountain Lions sinking every single attempt they have been given, a perfect 5-for-5. 

     However, the Griffins responded less than 12 minutes later, with Westminster’s Luke Merrill putting the ball past UCCS sophomore goalkeeper Andreas Kokoska in the 58th minute off an assist from Kaden Amano. 

     Eventually, Westminster’s Brennan Neely took advantage of their momentum. He worked his way into the penalty box, his shot taking a deflection off a Mountain Lion defender and dropping past the goal line for the eventual game-winning goal. 

     The match time totaled a length of two hours and 37 minutes, the longest contest UCCS has played in almost a month, dating back to Sept. 10. 

     “We fought hard,” said junior defenseman Garrett Daulong. “Players were out there in positions that they’re not used to playing in, but we gave it our all and that’s all we could ask for.” 

     Zamora-Reeves and Daulong were two of six Mountain Lions that played the entire 90-minute match, along with Jack Souder, Liam McGuire, Kolby Raineri and Kelton Hooker.  

     UCCS’ record against Westminster all-time still remains a winning record at 12-9, but the Mountain Lions have not won a match against the Griffins since 2017. 

     “We just have to prepare and not look back, physically prepare my body with an ice bath, and go forward mentally, it’s going to be a good game,” Zamora-Reeves said.  

     “Me personally, every game is the same. But all the other boys are going to make sure they’re eating healthy, drinking lots of water and getting normal again. We’ll be back,” Daulong said. 

     The men’s soccer team followed the close loss with a 3-1 home loss on Sunday against Colorado Mesa University. The game saw the Mavericks controlling the score for more than half the contest, with UCCS falling behind beginning in the 39th minute.  

The team will continue their season at Regis for the RU Match Pitch at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 7.  

Forward #3 Adam Baldwin (left) and defense #23 Garrett Daulong (right). Photo by Lexi Petri.