The Fort Lewis College men’s soccer team put together a great performance against No. 15 Colorado School of Mines, but the Orediggers got one more break than the Skyhawks to pick up a 2-1 victory in overtime Sunday afternoon at Dirks Field.
The two teams battled for 107 minutes, and Mines coach Greg Mulholland said it was exactly the type of match he likes the Orediggers to play.
“This was a great (Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) contest. This is why you play,” Mulholland said. “I’d rather play Fort like this 10 times than get something 5-nothing.”
Mines took a 1-0 lead in the 77th minute when Jackson Shelledy played a long throw from the right side that landed in front of the FLC goal and Trevor Amann tapped the ball past Skyhawks’ keeper Peter Byrne for the goal.
FLC got the equalizer in the 89th minute. Freshman Ryan Lee got possession on the right side, moved across the top of the box to the left side and played a cross back near the center of the box where Hakeem Rabiu put a shot from eight yards out into the back of the net.
About five minutes into the first overtime period, FLC had a few chances to end the game when the ball bounced around in front of goal, but the Skyhawks (7-5-4, 7-3-2 RMAC) couldn’t put the ball away and one of the shots deflected off the right post.
In the second overtime, Rabiu was nearly the hero for FLC again, but his shot hit the inside of the left post and ricocheted to the right, just missing the goal.
A couple minutes after Rabiu’s near goal, the Orediggers (13-3-0, 11-1-0 RMAC) converted the game-winner. Similar to FLC’s chances in the first overtime, Mines had the ball in front of goal on a rebound and after FLC couldn’t clear it Mines’ John Haist was able to poke the ball into the back of the net in the 107th minute.
Even though the loss was a tough one to take, Oberholtzer said he saw a lot of positives in the growth of the Skyhawks.
“The guys were incredible today and I think it’s really showing the direction we’re going and the growth in the group. There was no give up in them at all,” he said. “I feel for them today because I feel like they did everything possible to win the game.”
FLC had the better chances in the first half and put three of its seven first-half shots on goal. Mines only had four shots in the first half and put two on goal.
In the second half, the Orediggers put more pressure on the Skyhawks and created more threatening attacks after the Mines players adjusted to playing on a grass surface.
“For us, I think we needed to get used to the surface. We don’t play on a lot of grass and I think we kind of panicked,” Mulholland said. “Fort definitely puts the pressure on you and if you make a mistake it can cost you. Our adjustment was we just needed to settle down a bit, play our game and not worry so much about what was going on with the fans, the officials, just play a little bit more.”
On the day, FLC out shot the Orediggers 18-17, with both teams putting 10 shots on goal.
The Skyhawks were down a couple players in the loss. Nicolas Perez missed action because of card accumulation and Salifu Jatta was out for an undisclosed reason, but Oberholtzer said he was happy with the way players like Rabiu stepped up and took advantage of the added minutes they saw.
“What we’ve been able to do is create a really competitive group and there are guys at every position who are competitive and can step up,” Oberholtzer said. “Hakeem is one of those guys whose minutes have been limited early on in the season but he’s really coming along well. He keeps his head down and works and he got the reward today with the goal.”
FLC will host Adams State (7-8-1, 4-7-1 RMAC) at 3 p.m. Wednesday at Dirks Field.
Women’s soccerAdams State 2, Fort Lewis College 1Fort Lewis College’s women’s soccer team gave up two goals on counter attacks by Adams State and fell to the Grizzlies 2-1 Saturday in Alamosa.
“We did quite well in the first half possession-wise and I think we dominated the number of good attacks,” FLC head coach Jimmy Hall said. “They countered us twice off of our own corners. We fell asleep, honestly. The defense wasn’t prepared to see such a quality clearance and see someone run at them. (ASU) carried the ball down to the other end and scored. Those two goals were quality goals.”
ASU (3-6-4, 2-5-3 RMAC) had goals from Kendall Weld in the 15th minute and Lacey Daniel in the 26th minute. Diana Cerillo assisted on Weld’s goal and Weld provided the assist for Daniel.
FLC’s goal came in the 77th minute. Jackie Strom played a cross to freshman Natalea Cohen, who then played the ball back in front of the net for Alicia Sanchez to head in for the goal.
Hall said the Skyhawks (4-8-1, 4-6-0 RMAC) produced a few more scoring chances but couldn’t put the ball in the net.
The Skyhawks will play Colorado Christian (1-11-3, 1-8-2) at 11 a.m. Thursday in Lakewood.