Mountain Lions fall in fi nal game to miss RMAC tournament

Nov. 10, 2014

Brandon Applehans
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The women’s soccer season came down to the regular season  finale against CSU-Pueblo in what essentially was a playoff game.

Leading up to the game, Western State lost to Colorado Christian, giving UCCS a berth in the playoffs with either a win or tie against CSU-Pueblo. The Mountain Lions lost 4-0, leaving them one spot short of an RMAC tournament berth.

Injuries sidelined multiple key players during the season. Senior forward Hannah Levett tore her ACL and sophomore Michaela Mans field played with a dislocated shoulder for a portion of the season.

Levett and Mansfield made up most of the offensive  firepower for UCCS this season and they saw the impact of the injury bug.

“Once we stopped scoring, nobody was taking shots to score,” said Levett. “We weren’t passing the ball like we were in the beginning of the season. Nobody seemed con fident.”

“We started out strong,” said Mans field. “As we got to the end, people started getting hurt. We just didn’t  fight for it like we should have. Players were put into positions that they weren’t used to playing.” The Mountain Lions  finished 6-11, seventh in the RMAC.

Mansfield was an All- RMAC First Team selection, Levett was selected to the Second Team and junior mid fielder Taylor Braden was voted to the Honorable Mention list.

“Last year I wasn’t really an impress ion on the team as much,” said Mansfield. “To have made such a big difference in the RMAC, to where people noticed me and didn’t want to play against me, is really cool.”

“I was really proud of it, especially this year because I wasn’t able to play as many games as usual,” said Levett. “This was my third year in a row getting Second Team All-RMAC so it’s a pretty big honor.”

Head coach Nichole Ridenour moved into tenth in RMAC career coaching records with a total of 56 wins. She said that the offensive prowess of Levett and Mans field complemented the overall defensive stance of the team.

“It was nice because we do fall into a defensive role a bit, especially having only one goalkeeper on the roster for the majority of the season,” said Ridenour. “We relied heavily on these girls. Hannah and Michaela worked really well off each other. Michaela could read where Hannah was going to place the ball.”

Levett  finished off her Mountain Lion career by tying the individual points record at 55.

“It was pretty nice to tie it,” said Levett. “I like to think that if I wouldn’t have gotten hurt I would have beat it. It’s still a big accomplishment for me so I’m proud of that.”

Ridenour thinks the team can step into Levett’s shoes next season.

“The solid core of the group right now will step up,” said Ridenour. “The freshmen are getting their feet under them and will step into those roles that Hannah is leaving behind.”