Rams Look to Rebound Against Northern Colorado
In it's season opener, Colorado State showcased a team that is full of promise and excitement. The second-year program battled Colorado on the road, but fell just short in the final minutes, losing 2-0. The Rams will look to rebound with another in-state rivalry match, this time against Northern Colorado in their home-opener.
The Colorado State Rams embark on the program's second season ever with a schedule featuring some of the premier programs in the sport. On the year, the Rams will play 10 matches at home, eight on the road and one at a neutral site.
Thursday's match against Northern Colorado will be a Gold Out. Fans are encouraged to wear their Colorado State gold to support the team. In honor of this year's Gold Out, the Rams will be unveiling their brand new gold uniforms.
Thursday's match pitting Colorado State against Northern Colorado will also be part of this year's Colorado Cup, a season-long tournament between all six Division I programs in Colorado. This is Colorado State's first year as part of the Colorado Cup, which Head Coach Bill Hempen helped create.
The Rams lost their first match of the Colorado Cup, 2-0 at Colorado, while the Bears split their first two matches of the Colorado Cup. UNC upset Colorado College, 3-2, in its season-opener, and fell on the road, 1-0, at Colorado.
2014 Colorado Cup Table
Pl. Team Pts. GP GD
1. Colorado 6 2 +3
2. Denver 3 2 0
- Northern Colorado 3 2 0
- Colorado College 3 2 0
5. Air Force 0 1 -1
6. Colorado State 0 1 -2
Fort Collins Connection
With plenty of talent coming through Fort Collins in recent years, both programs have made sure to emphasize recruiting the local talent in the area. The Rams now feature four girls, Jami Vaughn, Megan Speed, Taylor Nelson and Kasey Dietrich, from Fort Collins, while Northern Colorado has senior defender Ambree Bellin hailing from the Choice City.
Once Teammates, Now Rivals
In Thursday's rivalry match between Colorado State and Colorado, there will be plenty of girls that are familiar with each other. In particular, CSU junior defender Megan Speed will be plenty familiar with the Bears, as she played her freshman year at Northern Colorado.
In addition, the match features two other pairs of former teammates that now find themselves on opposing ends. Colorado State defender Taylor Nelson and Northern Colorado defender Ambree Bellin were both teammates at Fossil Ridge High School, while CSU's Janelle Stone and UNC's Alyssa McGuire were both teammates at Kamehameha High School in Hawai'i.
Experience At The Back
While Colorado State returns just nine players from last year's team, the 2014 Rams feature plenty of experence at key positions. CSU returns its entire starting defense from last year, including co-captains Megan Speed and Jami Vaughn. Speed and Vaughn are also flanked on the outside by Jessica Stauffer and Catherine Ruder, who each give the Rams valuable leadership and strong attacking options from the back.
Going the Distance
In Colorado State's season-opener, Catherine Ruder, Megan Speed and Jami Vaughn each played all 90 minutes. For Speed and Vaughn, this now marks the 19th-consecutive match, dating back to last year, that the two players have each played every possible minute in a match. That streak now stretches 1,776 consecutive minutes without a sub.
A Win For The Rams Will...
- Give Colorado State its first win of the year.
- Improve CSU to 1-1-0 all-time in home-openers.
- Give the Rams their first home win in program history.
- Give Colorado State its first victory over a rival school. Last year, the Rams earned a draw to Northern Colorado and lost to Air Force, while also losing to Colorado earlier this year.
- Improve CSU to 1-2-1 all-time against teams from the state of Colorado.
- Give CSU its first non-conference win over a Division I opponent in school history.
- Improve Head Coach Bill Hempen's career record to 279-201-46. He currently ranks No. 19 among Division I active coaches in all-time wins.
Fans can expect to see plenty of fresh faces on the 2014 Rams. The second-year program brings in a total of 18 newcomers, including 11 freshmen and seven transfers. The new additions are expected to give the Rams plenty of competition and depth.
Finding The Net
In its first and only tuneup for the 2014 season, the Rams hosted Colorado Mesa in an exhibition match and came away with an impressive 7-0 victory. While scoring was often a problem for Colorado State during the 2013 season (eight goals), the 2014 Rams look to be a team much more inclined to put pressure on the opposing defenses. In its first offical competion of 2014, the Rams slotted the ball in seven times showcased their improved speed and pace of play. CSU also showcased its ability to find the back of the net from a multitude of different positions. Defender Catherine Ruder charged through the Colorado Mesa defense for the first two goals of the match, while forward Janelle Stone also beat the CMU goalkeeper on two separate occasions.
Jumping On The Opponent Early
Colorado State knows the importance of getting off to a quick start in a match. An early goal can completely tilt the entire momentum of the match. In 2013, the Rams were 2-0-1 when scoring first, which is a trend that the team will try to have happen more often in 2014. On the flip slide, CSU is now 0-13-0 all-time when conceding the first goal of the match.
The Lagoon - Home of the Rams
Located on the field just east of the Lory Student Center on the Colorado State campus, The Lagoon serves as the Home of Rams Soccer.
Free parking will be available for all CSU home matches in the Moby lot.
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