COLORADO SPRINGS — As the saying goes, a minor setback paves the way for a major comeback.
Because failure, even for the best athletes, is a part of the game.
Just ask the UCCS women's soccer team.
"We were so used to winning that when we faced a little adversity late in the season, it kind of shocked a lot of girls, especially the inexperienced ones," explained Mountain Lion senior midfielder/forward Ella Fischer. "I think for all of us on the field, it is going to stick with us for a while."
Almost a year and a half ago the UCCS was knocked out of the first round of the NCAA Division II women's soccer tournament as the No. 1 seed.
"I think it is resiliency," said UCCS women's head soccer coach J.B. Belzer. :We have had different COVID issues throughout the year. We have had some injuries and some players have come back. The sense of family in this group is outstanding. They really play for each other."
Now fast forward to do today, the Mountain Lions have a new head coach in J.B. Belzer, with almost a brand new roster. But one constant remains the same: winning.
"We have always been a high powering offensive team, but I think with the coaching change they have really implemented a defensive style," explained Mountain Lion redshirt-junior midfielder & Sand Creek alum Tara Patterson, who leads the team in goals so far this season. "That is why we have only given up one goal this season."
A 6-0 record with a No. 7 ranking is nice for any team, but for this UCCS squad, they know all too well what can happen in a blink of an eye.
"I think you have to be excited about a ranking like that, but at the same time, you never are satisfied," added Fischer.
And right now, in a shortened season COVID-19 season, that means taking home an RMAC regular season and tournament championship - or as the team calls it the double - something this Mountain Lion program has yet to do.
"We have been knocked out of the championship by the same team for the last 2 years," explained Patterson. "So we really want to win this year and I think everyone has that same mentality."