Tigers Roll by Southwestern to SCAC Championship

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. Colorado College used a nearly flawless second half to claim the 2013 SCAC championship with a 24-2 victory over Southwestern on a perfect Saturday afternoon at Washburn Field.

The Tigers exploded for 19 unanswered goals and held the Pirates scoreless during the final 33 minutes en route to their second SCAC postseason title in three years.

"We focused on the little things this week," head coach Sean Woods said. "Our guys really bought in to doing things the right way, at the right pace. It was no surprise to the coaching staff that we played really well today, especially in the second half."

Sophomore midfielder Henri Halle, who was named the game's Offensive MVP, had a hand in four consecutive CC scores after junior midfielder Jeremy Tufnell pulled SU to within 5-2 with a little more than three minutes remaining in the first half.

Halle set up tallies by freshman midfielder Eric Neumeyer and sophomore midfielder Brooks Pinnick to give the Tigers a 7-2 lead at the half, and added his career-best fourth assist just 2:57 into the third quarter on a goal by junior attackman Tyler Allen. A little more than a minute later, Halle notched the second of his three goals and Southwestern never was able to recover.

"We had a great week of practice," Halle said. "We played them before, so we knew their style. It was a big game, for the championship, and we just wanted to bring our 'A' game which we did, at least in the second half. We really turned it around after the first half and played to our potential."

Colorado College was just as dominating at the defensive end, forcing 17 Southwestern turnovers and allowing just nine total shots during the second half.

Freshman defender Tim Jenkins, the championship's Defensive MVP, finished with game highs of six caused turnovers and five ground balls. His efforts helped keep senior attackman Jamie Long, who ranks among the SCAC leaders in goals and points per game, off the score sheet for the second game in a row.

"He's a good player," Jenkins said. "He's got good speed. But defensively, we had a really good scouting report on him. We knew what he'd be trying to do, especially by the third game (we played them). I knew what he wanted to do with the ball, so it wasn't too much to handle."

Even when the Pirates managed to launch a shot, they knew freshman goaltender Chase Murphy was waiting between the pipes. Murphy stopped eight of 10 shots on goal before exiting 3:13 into the fourth quarter. Freshman Chris Maves didn't face a shot during 8:22 of playing time, while sophomore Jack Roos stopped a pair of shots in the final 3:25.

The Tigers have held six consecutive opponents to fewer than five goals and lowered their overall goals-against average to 5.71. Colorado College also was successful on all five man-down situations.

Senior attackman Elliott Kelly gave Southwestern its only lead when he picked up a loose ball in front of the CC cage and put a shot from five yards out by Murphy early in the first quarter.

Thirty seconds later, Halle whistled a shot from the left wing into the upper right corner to knot the score. The Tigers went ahead to stay when junior midfielder Will Harris but a bouncing shot past freshman goaltender Charlie Fisher, and sophomore midfielder Taylor Paul struck for what turned out to be the game winner with 5:56 remaining in the first quarter.

Tallies by senior attackman Charles Curtis and sophomore midfielder Nick Ahrens gave Colorado College a 5-1 lead 3:43 into the second quarter, but Fisher made six of his 16 saves during the period to keep the Pirates within striking distance.

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