UCCS stops Fort Lewis men

Steve Lewis/Durango Herald

Trevor Gibbons and Fort Lewis battled back from a 2-0 deficit, but Taylor Ferguson and UC-Colorado Springs got the last laugh in a 3-2 victory over the No. 17 Skyhawks on Sunday.

By Ryan Owens Herald staff writer

Two goals brought the energy back to Dirks Field.

One goal stole it away just as quickly.

Brett Drefs’ goal in the 75th minute stood up as UC-Colorado Springs upset the No. 17 Fort Lewis College men’s soccer team 3-2 on Sunday at Dirks Field.

The game-winner came just six minutes after Kosta Kordistos’ penalty kick brought Fort Lewis back even from a 2-0 hole.

The Mountain Lions (2-4-0, 1-2-0 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) earned a free kick on a hand ball just outside the right boundary of the penalty area, and Sebastian Hertzberg’s kick found the head of Max Thomas, who flicked it far post to Drefs, who found the net.

“Just something that we’ve seen all season, wasn’t good enough defensively,” Fort Lewis head coach Oige Kennedy said.

“We weren’t marking, didn’t attack the ball, didn’t look for the second ball. Just not organized and good enough defensively.”

Defender Stephan Engeln said that the defense lost track of Drefs while paying a bit too much attention to the near post.

“Everybody was concentrated on the first post, and one guy was left,” the tall German said.

Fort Lewis scrambled furiously for another equalizer, coming closest when Jordan Alexander’s shot from point-blank range under charging UCCS goalkeeper Brandon Costa slid wide in the 88th minute.

Mash Shaswar singlehandedly put the Skyhawks (5-2-1, 2-1-1 RMAC) in a big hole in the first 10 minutes.

He found a loose ball at the top of the penalty area in the fifth minute and fired it home, then scored in the ninth minute as part of a 2-on-1 counterattack, deftly avoiding the defender before rocketing the ball into the net.

“At this level you’re going to get punished no matter who the opponent is if you make mistakes like we did (Sunday),” Kennedy said.

The Skyhawks were the more dynamic team throughout, holding onto the ball for long stretches of possession and putting up 18 shots, seven of which were on net. But the only goal they had to show for it in the run of play came on Kyle Woodson’s blast from about 20 yards out to trim the UCCS lead to 2-1 in the 60th minute.

“I think we had enough chances to win. ... Maybe we have to keep our heads up to look from game to game, and I think we have to not have fear on the field,” Engeln said. “At practice, everything looks good. But when we’re on the field, I think it’s a 180 (degree) turn.”

Now it’s back to the drawing board for the Skyhawks as they prepare for a tough road test Friday at Metro State.

Kennedy said he’s contemplating making several lineup changes in the hopes that it will shake his side back into success. FLC currently sits five points behind first-place Regis.

“I think to score goals, you need heart, you need desire in the box, and we don’t have that,” Kennedy said. “We’re expecting other people to do the job for us, and we’re not taking hold of the reins ourselves.”

rowens@durangoherald.com

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