Sept. 27, 2013
By Craig Buchanan
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Playing in a cold rain and wind, the Colorado State Rams (1-5-2, 0-1-0 MW) lost their Mountain West opener in overtime to Air Force (2-6-1, 1-0-0 MW) 2-1 in front of 200 fans that braved the conditions.
“They are playing their hardest,” Head Coach Bill Hempen said. “All I can tell them is lets come back out here tomorrow and try and be a little bit better of a soccer team. On Sunday, we are going to try and be a little bit better. They are fighters; I have no complaints about their effort."
The match started off slow with not a lot of action as both teams battled the conditions and tried to get used to the slippery pitch and how the ball was bouncing.
“Everyone had to play in it,” Hempen said of the weather. “I was shocked as to how much grass was on the kids’ shoes. Early on they were slipping a lot more than they were later, but it was pretty bad.”
In the 34th minute, Air Force got its best opportunity of the match at that time when Kaleigh Moses dribbled passed the defense and found herself with a breakaway. Junior goalkeeper Maggie Sherman closed down the angle though and stopped Moses’s shot to keep the score at 0-0 heading into intermission.
In the 50th minute, the Falcons got the goal they were searching for when Christy Cooper blasted a shot from 30 yards out over the outstretched arms of Sherman.
The Rams wouldn’t wait long to get themselves back in the game. Just 13 minutes later in the 63rd minute, junior defender Catherine Ruder curved a free kick towards the back post where junior Erika Bratschun finished off with a header to square things up 1-1.
The two teams played fairly evenly for the duration of the match, with Air Force getting the best scoring opportunity in the 87th minute when a shot by Cooper was deflected off the line by a CSU defender to save a goal.
After 90 minutes of action, neither team could find any separation so the two teams went into overtime where Air Force found a way to finish out the match.
After a handball in the 96th minute, the Falcons were awarded a free kick. Moses took the set piece and found Kristina O’Sullivan on the back post who headed it past Sherman to score the game-winning goal.
“That’s the way the game is,” Hempen said. “Sometimes teams don’t punish you for mistakes, but Air Force did today. That’s just how it goes.”
The Rams return to the field on Sept. 29 when they host Border War rival Wyoming. The match is slated to begin at 1 p.m. MT.
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