Oct. 6, 2014

Brandon Applehans
bappleha@uccs.edu

Senior midfielder James Roberts is heating up as the men’s soccer team reaches the midway point in the season.

As of Sept. 28, Roberts was tied for third in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference for goals this season. Roberts’ goal off a penalty kick in a 3-2 loss against Colorado School of Mines moved him into the top 10 in UCCS scoring records.

“I guess a lot of hard work paid off,” said Roberts. “I didn’t start thinking about it until someone started talking about it. Finally getting there ends the hype.”

Roberts sticks to a strategy when it comes to taking penalty kicks.

“Some people know where they’re going before,” Roberts said. “For me, I usually wait, because the goalie always moves before you’re about to hit it. I just wait on that and hit it the other way.”

Roberts was selected to the Daktronics All-South Central Region First Team and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-South Central Region Second Team in 2013. He earned preseason All-RMAC honors this season “They’re important because you see how you’re doing compared to everybody else,” said Roberts. “When it comes to the team, it’s not something I’m thinking or worrying about.”

Teams have now tried to limit his scoring effectiveness.

“They have had players follow me the whole game,” Roberts said. “They are very careful about bringing defensive help over. It’s just something you have to prepare for.”

“A lot of times you can tell that they’re having someone follow me. It’s just about taking the chances when you get them because they’re probably less now,” Roberts said.

Before the game against Regis on Oct. 3, the team had an overall record of 2-5-1, only recording one conference win, against Colorado Mesa Sept. 21. Roberts was a UCCS athlete of the week Sept. 9.

“When you’re not winning, and you get it it’s not something you feel good about,” said Roberts. “Even if I didn’t get it, and we’re winning, I’d be happy with that. But you get it because you’re playing well.”

The men’s soccer team is next at Mountain Lion Stadium on Oct. 19 at noon against Colorado Christian.