Sep 6, 2013
By Craig Buchanan
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Playing in the first home match in school history, the Colorado State women’s soccer program (1-3) came up short, falling to the Grand Canyon Lopes (1-3) 1-0 at the Fort Collins Soccer Complex in front of 1,000 fans.
“To have this kind of a crowd the first night and for the first home game,” Head Coach Bill Hempen said. “It was pretty neat for me, and it was awesome for these young ladies.”
The Rams and Lopes played to a stalemate at halftime at 0-0, with the Rams controlling much of the attack. In the first half, CSU registered seven shots, including two on goal, while limiting GCU to just one shot and one shot on goal through the first 45 minutes.
Things changed for the Rams in the 50th minute however, when the Lopes capitalized on a scoring opportunity. Freshman forward Riley Richardson crossed in a dangerous ball into the box which sophomore forward Cassie Beckwith controlled and found the back of the net with her shot to give her team the deciding goal in the match.
The last forty minutes were not without drama though, as CSU put the pressure on the GCU defense countless times. The Lopes withstood a furious last 10 minutes of the match in particular, in which the Rams recorded three shots and four corner kicks.
In the 81st minute, sophomore Sasha Pchenitnikova blasted a free kick from just outside of the box which had to be tipped over the crossbar.
Colorado State’s best scoring chance perhaps came in the 84th minute, when junior Catherine Ruder found herself behind the GCU defense. Facing a one-on-one with the keeper, Ruder elected to chip the ball over the charging goalie, but the ball just sailed high of the goal.
“They realized that they had to put some pressure on,” Hempen said. “They stepped up and did well. We changed some things around and put three in the back, three up front and four in the midfield just to see if we could match up and really make it difficult for them (GCU); which we did.”
Colorado State will next travel to Flagstaff, Ariz. to take on the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks on Sept. 15. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. MT.
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