|Posted September 19, 2008|
Men survive late charge, beat Regis
The CSU-Pueblo men’s soccer team survived a harrowing final few minutes to beat the Regis Rangers 3-2 on Friday. Thanks to some balanced all-around play, the Thunderwolves were able to hold onto their lead and up their season record to 3-4.
The men looked to be in fine form from the get go, and some clever passing between Trevor Martinet (Sr., Pueblo, Colo.) and Udobong Obotette (Sr., Eugene, Ore.) softened up the Regis defense. That period of early dominance paid instant dividends for the Pack. After the ball was played across the face of goal a few times, Sam Henritze (Jr., Scottsdale, Ariz.) was presented with a golden opportunity when the ball fell to him at the edge of the area in the 14th minute. He hit a swerving ball past the Regis keeper to score his first goal of the season and, more importantly, give his team a lead to defend.
David Fresquez (Sr., Sante Fe, N.M.) continued the men’s attack a few minutes later by powering a shot at the Regis keeper, and Robert Kinsey (Fr., Denver, Colo.) followed suit only moments later. The men were able to capitalize on that pressure in the 24th minute when Martinet delivered a corner to Austin Forakis (Jr., West Jordan, Utah), who nodded in a header at the near post to give the Pack a two goal cushion.
The Rangers were able to keep the first half close by scoring from a free kick only seven minutes from the break. The visitors then applied a fair amount of pressure, and an impressive save by Chris Smith (So., Colorado Springs, Colo.) was perhaps all that kept the CSU-Pueblo lead intact at halftime.
The second half saw Regis come out and attack with renewed urgency, but the CSU-Pueblo defense kept its shape and drove out most Ranger attacks. The men were able to increase their lead at the hour mark when Obotette took a pass from Fresquez, shook a defender, and fired home for his second goal of the season.
The men spent the remainder of the second half repelling various Regis attacks. The Thunderwolves’ passing and ability to keep the ball seemed to limit the Rangers’ chances in the second half, but as the end of the game drew near, Regis began to throw men forward. After some steady build up, they scored from a free kick in the 86th minute, setting up a frantic finish.
The CSU-Pueblo defense played admirably under the visitors’ pressure, though. The Pack absorbed a steady stream of passes into the box, and after clearing the Rangers’ final corner in the last minute, the game was finally put out of reach when Eric Andersen (Jr., Phoenix, Ariz.) skied the ball into the stands with three seconds left.
Coach Roy Stanley had reason enough to be pleased by the result. “I thought we played really good soccer,” he said. “We really tried to take advantage of our two forwards against their three-man back line, and I think we were able to do that.”
Stanley was also pleased that his team was able to make a winning return to the Rawlings Complex. “I think that our guys had a good week of practice -- it was a little better than the weeks before. And that’s how you work your way out of a slump. It’s by getting confidence in practice and believing in yourself during games.”
The coach also said that he was encouraged by the way his players are treating each other on the field. “There’s no tension. Everyone is supporting everyone else, and I like it,” he said.
He also singled out several players for special praise after the game. “I thought that Nate Garcia (So., Albuquerque, N.M.) played a great game. Austin Forakis also played really well by giving us a quality 90 minutes,” said Stanley. “Smith played well, and I’m just really pleased with the effort I saw today. It’s nice to win games.”
The men don’t have much time
to savor this victory, though, and will travel up to UCCS on
Sunday. The men will be back in action on Oct. 10 at the
Rawlings Complex against Metro State.