Mountain Lions roll past Grizzlies for third straight victory

Paul Czarnecki 

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 Defenseman Liam McGuire scored once in the first half and added an assist in the second to propel UCCS men’s soccer past the Adams State Grizzlies on Sept. 24 at Mountain Lion Stadium for a 2-0 victory. 

     McGuire put the ball in the back of the net in the 21st minute after creating his own shot from just inside the penalty box and sticking it past Grizzlies goalkeeper Zach Carr. McGuire also aided sophomore midfielder Alex Andersson with his dagger goal in the 79th minute. 

     After an injury suffered by starting senior midfielder Jose Zertuche, an open substitution spot led to Andersson’s first goal of the season in his first match since returning from his previous season injury. 

     The Mountain Lions locked down the Grizzlies on the defensive end, preventing any shots during the first half and midway through the second, before eventually conceding two goals by the end of the match. 

     “We have a solid back line back there, solid keeper, all around great performance by the boys,” Midfielder Adin Schwenke said. “Offensively we had 19 shots on goal which is phenomenal, and we did what we needed to do to win the game.” 

     Nineteen shots on goal were the least allowed in a match this season by the Mountain Lions and made goalkeeper Andreas Kokoska’s job easy over the whole game. This marked this first clean sheet victory for UCCS of the season and the first since Oct. 11, 2019, against the Fort Lewis Skyhawks. 

     In the first half, UCCS held Adams State to minimal opportunities inside opposing territory. 

     “We wanted to keep the same momentum in the first half into the second half,” Junior defenseman Nic Grotle said. “We wanted to win first balls, win second balls, and just get after it. I was happy with our performance, especially only giving up two shots, it was a success for the whole defense.” 

     The Mountain Lions are on their first winning streak of the season — a three-game run that stretches a week’s span — and are outscoring their opponents 9-5 for that period.  

     “Three wins in a row. If we can keep this streak going, I think we have a lot of good things coming,” McGuire said.  

     “As long as we’re the hardest working team out there, I believe we can take anybody down,” Schwenke said.  

     Schwenke was one of five Mountain Lions to play the entire match, along with Grotle, forward Adam Baldwin, midfielder Kaydon Zamora-Reeves and defenseman Bogdan Vedernikov. 

     “We gotta take it one game at a time, we have a game next against a team we need to beat, let’s go out there and play the same way we played today and score some goals,” McGuire said. 

     The Mountain Lions followed the blowout win with a close road defeat against the Colorado Christian University Cougars on Sept. 26, where they fell 2-1, leaving the Mountain Lions with a 4-2-1 record.  

     The Mountain Lions now have a week break before starting their two-game homestand against Westminster on Friday, Oct. 1 and Colorado Mesa on Sunday, Oct. 3, both of which will be hosted at the Mountain Lion Stadium. 

Kaydon Zamora-Reeves, #10, protecting the ball, looking to reset the offense for the Mountian Lions. Photo by Lexi Petri.