Women’s Soccer captures South Central Region, moves on to quarterfinals

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs women’s soccer team eliminated the Colorado Mesa University Mavericks in a 1-0 decision to capture the program’s second South Central Region title.

Final:  UCCS 1, CMU 0
Records: UCCS 15-4-3 (10-1-1 RMAC), CMU 18-4-3 (8-3-1 RMAC)
Location: Community Hospital Unity Field | Grand Junction, Colo.
Series: UCCS now holds a 8-10-2 record against the Mavericks all-time, with the Mountain Lions winning the last three match ups that were played in Grand Junction.


  • Coming off a week break for Thanksgiving, both teams were well rested and ready to face off for a trip to the Division II Quarterfinal and the action did not disappoint. The hosting Colorado Mesa Mavericks looked comfortable in the opening minutes and took the attack straight to the Mountain Lions. Ten minutes in, the Mavericks had earned seven throw ins with the Mountain Lions having to clear out numerous entry attempts from the Mesa forwards.
  • UCCS made the necessary plays, and weathered the early storm and was able to turn the tides as the halftime break neared. Trailing in shot attempts, 8-2 with 20 minutes already played, UCCS head coach J. B. Belzer switched up the personnel and brought on Kelsey Takahashi, and Sydney Lasater to try and ignite the offense. The upperclassman knew their task as they came on, and they went to work, flipping the pressure towards Keely Wieczorek and the Colorado Mesa net.
  • Lasater would fire three shots at the Mesa cage in the first half to no reward, but her efforts opened the offense for the Mountain Lions and allowed the UCCS structure to slide up the field, creating a free kick when freshman Taylynn Levi drew a foul with 33 seconds to go in the first half, just about twenty yards from the CMU frame. Jade Kinsey rang her shot off the crossbar on the restart, and the final moments ticked off as the Mavericks cleared the ball to midfield. UCCS came up just short of opening the scoring but took the momentum into the half.
  • When play resumed for the second half, UCCS picked up right where they left off. Though Colorado Mesa began the second half with control of the kickoff, UCCS took possession just twenty seconds into play, and earned a freekick when Adessa Correa ran through Hazel Wright on the spectator sideline. Moments later, after an ensuing throw in for the Mavericks, Kelsey Takahashi fought through contact to win back possession, dealing the ball into the middle for a wide-open Sydney Lasater about thirty yards in front of the net. Lasater took one touch to set herself up before unleashing a shot that would sail over the Mavericks back three, collide with the left post and into the net, as UCCS grabbed the one-nil advantage.
  • Colorado Mesa would respond as they turned up the offensive pressure for the remainder of the second half, but UCCS’ defense wouldn’t show any signs of yielding, until a break for the Mavericks came in the 68th minute. Mountain Lion goalkeeper Isabella Whitmore was whistled for time wasting at the top of her own penalty area, and an indirect free kick was awarded to CMU inside the Mountain Lions eighteen-yard box. CMU’s Talea Kuennen fired a shot after Abby Fotheringham tapped the ball into play giving the Mountain Lions defense time to crash to the ball. Kuennen’s shot was blocked, and UCCS cleared the ricochet, with the Mavericks having wasted a golden opportunity to equalize.
  • Despite Colorado Mesa pulling several defenders and defensive midfielders for forwards down the stretch, the Mavericks couldn’t pull even as the UCCS Mountain Lions secured the South-Central Region title.


  • Sydney Lasater scores her second goal of the NCAA tournament, with Kelsey Takahashi finding the scoresheet for the first time in postseason play on the assist.
  • The Mountain Lions leaned on their defense, with the Mavericks outshooting UCCS 17-10 while also directing more on net having four shots on goal over the Mountain Lions three.
  • Isabela Whitmore earns the clean sheet, giving the Mountain Lions their first game without allowing a goal in the postseason.
  • Physicality was prevalent in this match, with 16 fouls being whistled, 10 against Colorado Mesa and 6 against UCCS.


  • The Mountain Lions win the South-Central Region for the second time in program history, the first being in 2017.
  • UCCS now owns a 2-1 record in the South-Central Finals in three trips.
  • The season ending loss snaps a six-game win streak for the Mavericks who finish the season with a stellar 18-4-3 record overall.
  • This is the second straight game that UCCS has eliminated the host site school from the NCAA Division II Women’s Soccer Championships.
  • Head Coach J. B. Belzer is now 11-10-2 in his NCAA playoff career, improving to 5-2 in the national tournament in his time at UCCS.


  • The Mountain Lions will meet #13 Point Loma Nazarene University in the 2023 NCAA Division II Quarterfinals on Saturday at 4 p.m. in Grand Junction. Colo. The game will be streamed live on the RMAC Network and tickets will be available on the Women’s Soccer Schedule page on gomountainlions.com.