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Lenhart, Garey power Crew past Rapids

Jul 28, 2008 - 5:36 AM COMMERCE CITY, Colorado (Ticker) -- The Columbus Crew have been one of the biggest surprises in MLS this season. In the process, they have seemingly ended their struggles against the Colorado Rapids.

Steven Lenhart scored in the 21st minute Sunday, sending the Columbus Crew to a 2-0 win over the Colorado Rapids.

With the win, Columbus (9-5-4) matched last season's win total with 12 games remaining. Additionally, the Crew, who haven't hasn't posted a winning record since 2004, also managed a rare victory in Colorado (6-9-3), their first since 1999.

Columbus, which swept the season series, improved to 8-14-7 all-time against the Rapids, including a 2-4-8 mark in Colorado.

"I thought they were the aggressor in the game," Crew coach Sigi Schmid said. "We were fortunate. I think Colorado threw everything they could at us."

Lenhart managed the game's first goal when he took a perfect lead pass from Stefani Miglioranzi on the right side and used a weak roller to beat Colorado goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul, who inexplicably hesitated charging the ball, allowing for the easy score.

"That was one of the runs that was open, obviously, because they play three in the back, so I was kind of just in behind them, " Lenhart said. "It was a great ball, I just ran to it. I didn't do much,"

However, Lenhart was ejected in the 42nd minute when he clubbed Rapids defender Facundo Erpen in the head with his elbow while jockeying for a corner kick - one of 15 fouls committed by Columbus.

"He (Erpen) was kind of on me and I tried to turn him," Lenhart said. "I wasn't trying to hit him, but the ref saw what he saw."

Jason Garey posted his first tally of the season in the 75th minute, taking a header pass from Eddie Gaven on the left side. While holding off a defender on his charge of the net, the 24-year-old forward slid just in front of Coundoul, getting just enough on his right-footed chip to make the score 2-0.

"I was glad I was able to finish one," Garey said. "Almost had another one and I wish I would have finished that one too, that would have given us a little more breathing room. But I can't say enough about the guys in the back. What I did was really small compared to those guys."

William Hesmer stopped eight shots for his fifth blank sheet of the season.

"I have seen a lot of soccer games and that might have been the best performance by a goalkeeper I have ever seen," Garey said.

Coundoul recorded just one save for Colorado, which fell to 1-3-4 over its last eight games.

  • MLS

    Jul 27 11:33 PM

    COLUMBUS GOAL: Jason Garey in the 75th minute

    Crew SC 2, Rapids 0  2nd - 75'Jul 27 11:12 PM

  • MLS

    Jul 27 10:26 PM

    COLUMBUS GOAL: Steven Lenhart in the 21st minute

    Crew SC 1, Rapids 0  1st - 21'Jul 27 9:59 PM