After making the NCAA tournament and winning the RMAC championship for the first time in program history, the UCCS Mountain Lions fell just short of an Elite 8 berth, dropping their final match 1-0 against the Dallas Baptist University Patriots on Dec. 2.
This match was only the fourth time the schools had faced off against one another, and the first time both were ranked at the same time, with the Mountain Lions being ranked ninth in the country and the Patriots marked at fifth.
As the first half kicked off, both sides relied on their defense to keep them in the game, with neither team recording a goal through the halftime whistle.
The Mountain Lions, however, pressured DBU’s freshman goalkeeper Breanna Bowlen in the early stages of the match, with multiple shots nearly getting past her in the opening minutes.
After a scoreless 0-0 draw through one half, the Mountain Lions outshot the Patriots in the second half, 12-4, behind junior forward Gabriella Lancaster’s 68th minute strike just off the post and graduate student midfielder Tarah Patterson’s free kick, which ended up short of the goal.
In the 81st minute, the Patriots broke the scoreless tie after DBU midfielder Delaney Schmidt crossed a ball toward the box, which was blocked by UCCS redshirt junior goalkeeper Alexis Walker. It was eventually shot in by DBU forward Ashley Merill for the decisive score.
The Patriots used the remaining nine minutes of the match to run out the clock, locking in a victory for DBU and sending UCCS home after a tournament run to the NCAA Sweet 16.
The Sweet 16 is the furthest the Mountain Lions have ever gone in the NCAA tournament, doing so only once before in school history.
This marks the first shutout loss for the Mountain Lions in over two years, a streak that began on Nov. 16, 2019.
Despite not producing a championship berth, UCCS Women’s Soccer still had their most successful season in years, tying their most wins in a season with 19.