Colorado College Seniors Fuel Victory Over Southwestern

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. Senior attackman Steve Rijo struck for a career-high seven goals as Colorado College added to its string of SCAC regular-season championships with a 12-4 victory over Southwestern on Sunday afternoon at Washburn Field.

The Tigers improved to 10-4 overall and clinched their fourth consecutive crown with a 4-0 conference record. CC also ran its all-time record to 24-0 in SCAC regular-season games.

Senior attackman Charles Curtis also figured prominently in the outcome, scoring twice and setting up three other Tiger goals. His tally with 3:44 remaining in the second quarter proved to be his second game winner of the season.

At the other end of the field, senior defenders Nate Pearson and James Iglehart cause three turnovers apiece.

"I am real proud of our seniors and how they represented our program the last four years," head coach Sean Woods said. "It was nice to see them play so well on Senior Day."

After respectfully watching the pre-game ceremony, the Pirates did their best to try to spoil the day for Colorado College. Southwestern frustrated the Tigers' attack for much of the first quarter and grabbed a 1-0 lead when Ross Warkentin converted off a feed from Tyler Downing with 7:05 to play.

Just when it appeared the Pirates might hold the advantage after 15 minutes, Rijo took things into his own hands.

He put CC on the board with 1:58 remaining in the frame and then added a pair of markers during the final minute, the last of which came with five ticks on the clock.

"There was a point in the first quarter when it was getting a little slow, a little stale," Rijo said. "I figured why not go out there and ignite something. Thankfully I was able to get a pass from Tyler (Allen) and put it in."

After freshman midfielder Eric Neumeyer gave the Tigers a 4-1 lead early in the second quarter, SU had a golden opportunity to close the gap when Colorado College had three players in the box. The Pirates, however, managed just two shots, only one of which was on target.

Sophomore midfielder Jackson Timian trimmed Southwestern's deficit to 4-2 with an unassisted effort with 4:48 to play in the half, but Curtis got that one back less than in a minute later and the Tigers took a 5-2 lead into the break.

Colorado College broke the game open with three consecutive tallies early in the third quarter, including a pair by Curtis and Rijo in a span of 17 seconds during the second minute of the half, to build an 8-2 advantage.

With CC leading 9-3 after a goal by Allen 2:32 into the fourth quarter, Rijo struck for three straight goals to complete his record day.

"It seemed like every time I was cutting, I was getting open," Rijo said. "My teammates kept getting me the ball and I really didn't have to do anything special."

Freshman goaltender Chase Murphy made six saves before heading to the bench with a little more than 12 minutes remaining in the game.

The Tigers also got a monster effort from freshman defender Tim Jenkins, who finished with five caused turnovers and four ground balls. His efforts helped keep the SCAC's scoring leader, Jamie Long, without a point.

"Long's a great player, but we've got Tim Jenkins back there and he's not bad either," Woods said. "He really followed the seniors' lead and did a great job today."

Sophomore goaltender A.J. Cole stopped 15 shots for Southwestern, which slipped to 7-8 overall and 3-2 in conference play.

Colorado College travels to Shreveport, La., on Friday to play Centenary College in the final game of the regular season.


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