The Fort Lewis College men’s soccer team started off its season in dramatic fashion with a come-from-behind 2-1 overtime victory against Texas Permian-Basin on Sunday morning in Odessa.
FLC sophomore forward Ryan Lee scored both goals for the Skyhawks, including the game-winner three minutes into overtime.
Skyhawks’ head coach David Oberholtzer was impressed with how the team responded after being down a goal late in the match.
“I think we created enough chances to deserve to win,” Oberholtzer said. “I think the nice thing was that, last year, that would’ve been a game where we would have most likely been tying or even losing, but the growth of the team and the fight that they showed, they were able to find a way to win.”
Oberholtzer was also impressed with the composure of the team after the game was postponed Saturday night and pushed to Sunday because of weather.
“There were a lot of things thrown at us this weekend,” Oberholtzer said. “From the lightning delay yesterday, an early kickoff today and a long road trip to Texas, so lots of different challenges and different pieces of adversity to deal with... There’s all sorts of things that can impact us if we let it, and I was super proud of the guys to stay emotionally in control and keep pushing through.”
The Skyhawks (1-0) registered 28 shots with nine on goal and also had nine corner kicks on the day. The Falcons (0-2) had 10 shots total. It was not always easy for Fort Lewis, as it went down 1-0 in the 33rd minute when Michael Nweke scored at the far post off of a header that came in from Santi Morales. The Falcons went into the halftime break leading 1-0.
In the second half, it was the efforts of midfielders Ty Lang, Bar Hazut and Steen Shober that continually put the Skyhawks on the front foot in search of an equalizing goal. They found it in the 74th minute when Lee tied it up. Lee took a pass from Hazut and was able to run onto it and score with one dribble from inside the 8-yard box.
In the overtime period, it was Lee again who got behind the Falcon back line. He received a feed from Shober and buried it from almost the same spot as his first goal.
“Ryan is such a physically strong individual that any time he’s in the box, a lot of times guys will feel some pressure and some contact and maybe get thrown off balance,” Oberholtzer said, “but he’s got such balance and strength that other players tend to bounce right off of him...and still get shots on target.”
Fort Lewis will travel to Grand Junction and play Northwest Nazarene at 2:30 p.m. Thursday.
Women’s soccerThe FLC women’s soccer team responded after a 4-0 drubbing Friday night at Angelo State with a 2-2 draw after overtime on Sunday morning.
The Skyhawks (0-1-1) went down early to Midwestern State, head coach Damian Clarke’s former team, after 15 minutes when Avery Lewis scored off of a corner kick delivered in by Emma Baley. FLC responded a little less than two minutes later when senior captain Renee Terrell scored the Skyhawks’ first goal of the season off of a deflection to even the score at one.
In the second half, it was Terrell again who found the back of the net to give Fort Lewis a 2-1 lead heading into the final 12 minutes of play. The lead would not last, as Midwestern State (1-0-1) received a penalty kick with 10 seconds remaining in the match after a Skyhawk defender attempted to clear the ball but had it bounce off her hand. Senna Garcia converted the penalty kick for the Mustangs to tie the match. In the overtime period, Fort Lewis managed two shots on goal before the game was ended prematurely because of lightning in the area.
Clarke felt that, despite the controversy at the end of the match, he was able to see the growth of the Skyhawks.
“What can you do? We felt a little wronged by (the penalty kick), but we kept moving forward,” Clarke said.
Clarke concluded that Fort Lewis learned a lot this weekend, and he saw the heart and energy to make a successful season.
“The team has shown that they’re willing to be humble and work hard, have the energy to do what we ask them to do, which is to respond,” he said. “And, at the end of the day, they’ve got the heart to compete. There’s not much more you can ask from the group.”
VolleyballFort Lewis volleyball left for Salt Lake City on Thursday with high hopes for the season, rejuvenated by first-year head coach Tricia Melfy and seven new transfers. By the time Saturday’s final match ended, however, the Skyhawks were back where they started – winless in their first four games of the year.
Fort Lewis volleyball was swept in its final two matches of the Westminster Griffins Classic on Saturday. The Skyhawks fell in straight sets to Lubbock Christian of Texas in the early game and Minnesota State-Mankato Saturday afternoon.
Fort Lewis (0-4) started early Saturday, playing at 9:30 a.m., against a Lubbock Christian team that swept host Westminster the previous night. The Chaparrals continued their winning ways, as they defeated the Skyhawks 25-20, 25-15 and 25-19. Lubbock Christian (5-2) used a 7-1 run to start the game.
Lauren Zoller of Lubbock Christian led both teams in kills with 15, while Haley Christiansen led Fort Lewis with 10. The Chaparrals finished with 47 kills as a team, while Fort Lewis managed 29. Lubbock Christian also had 17 more assists than the Skyhawks, as Bradi Marshall recorded 37.
Maddie LeBlanc led Fort Lewis with two blocks, while Bella Valdez had 15 assists and Christiansen finished with 19 digs.
In the second match of the day, Minnesota State-Mankato (6-1) swept the Skyhawks 25-21, 25-13 and 25-21. Christiansen led the way for the Skyhawks with nine kills and eight assists. Leading the way for the Mavericks was Morgan Olson, who finished the game with 19 kills. Micayla Porter finished with 27 assists and five digs to keep the Mavericks in control throughout the match. The Mavericks finished with a staggering 54 kills compared to Fort Lewis’ 29. The Skyhawks won just three sets all weekend.
Fort Lewis will host Chadron State at Whalen Gymnasium at 7 p.m. Friday.