Tigers Find the Zone in Victory Over Southwestern

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. Colorado College scored 11 consecutive goals to build a commanding 10-goal lead after 30 minutes and went on to defeat Southwestern University, 14-2, on Friday afternoon at Washburn Field.

Sophomore defender Daniel Ayala went coast-to-coast just 4:03 into the game to give the Pirates an early lead with his first goal of the season, but that proved to be the only point the Tigers would allow until midway through the fourth quarter.

Hunter Sprole struck for three markers in a little more than 10 minutes to ignite the potent and balanced Tiger offense. The senior attackman tied the game 16 seconds after Ayala's goal and sophomore midfielder Jack Kreitler put CC ahead to stay with the first of his two goals with 9:11 to play in the first quarter.

Sprole's second tally of the game proved to be his second game winner of the season and he gave the Tigers a 6-1 lead with 22 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Any thoughts of a Southwestern comeback were dashed during the opening 4:11 of the second period when freshman midfielder Nick Ahrens, junior midfielder Charles Curtis and freshman midfielder Henri Halle added to Colorado College's lead.

Sophomore attacker Jake Smith and Halle scored later in the period to give the Tigers 11 goals on 19 shots after 30 minutes.

Sprole led CC with three goals and an assist, while Halle notched a season-high three markers. Kreitler struck for a pair of goals, giving him five consecutive games with at least two.

Senior attackman Moses Taylor and junior midfielders Steve Rijo and Curtis each recorded a goal and two assists.

"When you are going against a zone like Southwestern was playing, you need to move the ball really well to give your shooters space," said head coach Sean Woods. "We were able to penetrate on one side and then move the ball quickly to the other side. It's tough to prepare for us because we spread out the scoring so well."

Senior goalie Chris O'Quain, who steered aside 25 Colorado College shots during last year's semifinal game of Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament, made just nine saves on 23 shots. The Tigers launched 31 total shots, compared to just 12 for the Pirates.

While the CC attack was scoring almost at will, its defense held an opponent to five or fewer goals for the third game in a row and the fifth time in nine games this season. Sophomore long-stick middle P.J.

Higgins set a career high with three caused turnovers, while senior defender Ian Coughlan grabbed five ground balls and forced two turnovers.

Junior attackman Jamie Long, SU's leading scorer who entered the game averaging 2.0 goals and 3.09 points per game, managed only a man-up goal with 7:59 remaining in the game.

"Our guys memorize numbers and have really bought into playing seven-man defense," Woods said. "We were able to neutralize Jamie Long and Southwestern was not able to establish a rhythm offensively."

Sophomore goalkeeper Zach Steedman finished with seven saves for the Tigers and lowered his goal-against average to 6.44.

CC improved to 7-2 overall and 6-0 in conference play. The Pirates slipped to 3-9 overall and 3-2 in the conference.

Colorado College returns to action a week from Saturday when it travels to Conway, Ark., to face Hendrix College.

2012-04-07



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