Grizzlies battle, but drop RMAC-opener, 1-0
Pizza makes 10 saves for rapidly-improving ASC squad
ALAMOSA, Colo.- Robert Kinsey scored his first goal of the season on a 29th minute header as the Colorado State University-Pueblo ThunderWolves spoiled the first ever Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference men's soccer match for the Adams State College Grizzlies, Friday afternoon at Murphy Field.
The ThunderWolves, who improved to 2-3 overall with their second straight shutout, only had a slight 19-17 advantage in total shots against the rapidly-improving Grizzlies (0-4, 0-1 RMAC) who played easily the best match of their young season and arguably the best in the young program's history.
The 17 shots taken were the second most in program history while freshman goalkeeper Paul Pizza (Alamosa, Colo.) made a career-high 10 saves to lead the defensive effort.
A trio of ThunderWolves teamed up for the lone score of the game. Drew Yocom found Sean Fitzgerald near the far left corner, who crossed a pass to the middle that Kinsey put away for the eventual game-winner.
After a slow first half in which the Grizzlies only managed to take six shots and place one on goal, Adams State was on the offensive in the second, outshooting the ThunderWolves 11-8.
With under a minute remaining in the match the Grizzlies mounted one of their finest scoring opportunities of the afternoon. Freshman Norberto Lopez (Providence, Utah) took control of the ball at the top of the box, firing off a shot that was blocked a CSU-Pueblo defender with just 15 seconds remaining. Lopez was in position to receive the rebound himself and fired off one last shot, but ThunderWolves keeper Patrick Markis made the save to preserve the 1-0 win.
Offensviely, ASC presented a balanced attack, with six players taking more than one shot. Lopez and fellow freshman Chris Roggow (Evergreen, Colo.) each led the way with three shots, while senior David Powers (Fairbanks, Alaska) and freshmen Alex Lopez (Holt, Mich.), Hawken Hanna (Haslett, Mich.) and Henry Stewart (Las Cruces, N.M.) each fired off two.
Pizza, who made six of his 10 stops in the second half and kept the Grizzlies well within striking range, was helped out by a solid effort by the entire Grizzly defense. The 19 shots taken by the ThunderWolves is tied for the fifth fewest allowed in program history.
Adams State will look to notch its first RMAC win, and first win in program history, when the team returns to Murphy Field at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday afternoon against Colorado Christian. The Cougars (0-5, 0-1 RMAC) saw their first league action of the 2010 season Friday afternoon as well, falling at home to Regis, ranked No. 22 nationally, 1-0.
The Grizzlies were on the road in Lakewood, Colo. for a 1-1 tie against the Cougars in 2009. Adams State notched a program-high 21 shots in that contest, and junior Peter Freeman (Longmont, Colo.) accounted for the goal.
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