Tigers Storm Back to Defeat Alfred

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. Junior attacker Charles Curtis and freshman attacker Henri Halle each scored a pair of goals and set up another as Colorado College overcame a 4-1 second-quarter deficit to defeat Alfred University, 10-5, in its season opener on Wednesday afternoon at Washburn Field.

The come-from-behind victory made a winner out of Sean Woods in his first official game as head coach of the Tigers and extended their home-field winning streak to 10 games.

Halle ignited the comeback with a man-up goal with 4:13 remaining in the first half, and tallies by freshman attacker Mackie Greason and sophomore midfielder Jack Kreitler knotted the score 1:44 later.

"It was kind of scary coming out and being down 4-1," Woods said. "The goal that Henri scored changed the momentum. I was real impressed with the way we came back after being down. We kept our heads up and didn't get away from our game plan."

CC carried the momentum into the second half and took the lead when freshman midfielder Gray Ritger took an outlet pass from sophomore goaltender Zach Steedman raced the length of the field to notch his first collegiate goal 4:16 into the third quarter.

Senior attacker Moses Taylor scored what proved to be his fifth career game-winning goal midway through the frame and Curtis capped the 6-0 run to give the Tigers a 7-4 lead with 2:08 remaining.

The Saxons trimmed their deficit to two goals with 29 seconds to go in the third quarter when Brett Carroll converted on a man-up situation for his team-leading ninth goal of the season as well as his second of the contest. That, however, proved to be the last shot that would elude Steedman, who finished with nine saves.

Junior attacker Steve Rijo got that score back 113 seconds later with an unassisted marker, and then Halle and Curtis closed out the scoring with their second goals of the game. Eight different players scored for CC and 11 had at least one point.

"We spread it around pretty good, which is what we need to do this year," Woods said. "We don't have the All-American to lead us, but we've got a bunch of great players who buy into our system. Hopefully we can keep it going."

Colorado College got a dominating performance from its man-down unit, which prevented Alfred from scoring on five of six extra-man opportunities.

"A stellar job," Woods said. "We've been working very hard at that. That unit shows a lot of leadership. It's probably the only unit we have on the field that has a lot of seniors. Zach Pierce, Ian Coughlan and those guys communicate like crazy. That's what playing a man down is all about."

Pierce, a long stick middie, led the Tigers with seven ground balls and caused four turnovers. Freshman midfielder Kevin Wylie recorded six ground balls and won 13 of 16 face-offs.

The Tigers needed to clamp down on defense because freshman goalie Cody O'Connor stopped almost everything CC threw at him for nearly 25 minutes. O'Connor, who made 18 saves, stopped eight of the first nine shots he faced to give Alfred the time to build its three-goal lead.

"He was lights out in the first half," Woods said. "Our shot placement wasn't great and that was the adjustment we made in the second half. We told the guys not to worry about miles per hour, worry about location. That was a big part of our success in the second half."

Junior midfielder Matt Zon scored a pair of goals to give the Saxons took a 2-0 lead after 15 minutes, and after freshman midfielder Nick Ahrens put the Tigers on the board 1:20 into the second quarter, AU got goals from sophomore midfielder Derek Green and Carroll.

Sophomore attacker Caleb McCaig set up three goals for the Saxons.

Alfred, which slipped to 2-1, plays Adams State College on Friday night at Washburn Field.

Colorado College travels to Dallas on Saturday for a non-conference game against Hampden-Sydney College.

2012-03-08



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