EL PASO, Texas – Junior defender Katie Uyenishi scored with four seconds remaining in regulation to give Colorado College a 2-1 victory over the University of Houston in the opening match of the 2012 Conference USA Tournament.
Sophomore forward Rachel Herron sent a cross to the far post and Uyenishi elevated above the defenders to notch her first goal of the season and the first game winner of her career.
Uyenishi’s tally sends the Tigers into the C-USA semifinals for the first time since 2009. It also marks the first time CC has prevailed in a quarterfinal game since a 1-0 victory over UTEP in 2008.
Junior midfielder Jasmine Martinez gave the Cougars the early lead when she scored off a feed from senior midfielder Kaci Bush in the sixth minute. It was only the seventh time this season an opponent scored the first goal of the game. The Tigers improved to 3-3-1 in those contests.
Senior forward Brittney Lyman tied the game in the 21st minute when one-timed a cross from sophomore midfielder Jessie Ayers into the lower right corner.
Lyman, who extended her point streak to seven games (4g/3a), became the ninth Tiger to register 25 career goals and is now tied with Rebecca Carroll (1999-2002) and Ann Cernicek (1984-87) for seventh place on CC’s all-time list. She also matched Kasey Clark (1997-2000) for eighth place with 63 career points.
Colorado College finished with a 15-7 edge in total shots and a 9-1 advantage in corner kicks.
Senior goalkeeper Hanna Berglund made three of her four saves during the second half, including one on senior forward Katelyn Rhodes with a little more than eight minutes remaining in the game.
Junior Cami Koski turned aside eight shots to keep the Cougars in the game.
The Tigers have now struck for 24 of their 38 tallies after halftime this season. CC scored deciding goals against Tulsa in the 61st minute, Denver in the 62nd, Rice in the 66th, Houston in the 70th, Colgate in the 74th, Marshall in the 80th, UAB in the 81st and UCF in the 109th.
CC improved to 14-3-4, its most victories since the 2006 squad posted a 15-6-1 record in head coach Geoff Bennett’s second season.
The Cougars finished the year with a 7-9-3 mark.
Colorado College plays either East Carolina University or the University of Tulsa in a semifinal match on Friday, Nov. 2, at 4:30 p.m. MT.