The Fort Lewis College women’s soccer team opened its Rocky Mountain Athletic Campaign with a 3-0 win against Black Hills State on Friday afternoon at Dirks Field thanks to an impressive display in offensive power, as FLC registered a 29-5 shot advantage.
The Skyhawks (2-2-1, 1-0 RMAC) were on the attack from the opening whistle, with 12 shots in the first 45 minutes of the match. FLC got on the board in the 35th minute when Katie Smith headed home a goal that came from a corner kick delivered in by Emma Patron. FLC went into halftime leading 1-0 and a comfortable 12-2 advantage on shots.
“I think in a certain sense we played simple,” said Skyhawks’ head coach Damian Clarke. “Try to get the kids to play as much two-touch soccer as they can out of the back and get the ball over the half line and, if you get the ball over the half line more times than the other team, usually you’ve got a pretty good chance (to win).”
In the second half, Fort Lewis continued to display its offensive prowess, with seven more shots in the first 15 minutes of the half. The Skyhawks were able to find a second goal when Abby DiMarco delivered a ball in from the right flank and Dylan Barker was able to flick it past the goalkeeper into the bottom right corner of the net.
The Skyhawks scored a third goal in the 65th minute when Emma Patron took a shot from 30 yards out and it floated over the Black Hills State goalkeeper’s head and into the net.
Patron is hopeful for the remainder of the RMAC season, and seeing 29 shots on the scoreboard is a good indicator of how successful the offense can be. The next test will come at 1 p.m. Sunday against Regis in another home match at Dirks Field.
“I think we can really only go up from here starting with this first game in the conference,” Patron said. “We know Regis is going to be a tough game, but based off of the amount of shots on goal we had today, I think we’re all really excited to see where we’re going to go from here.”
Black Hills State (0-6-0, 0-1 RMAC) was unable to create chances in the second half, and the Yellow Jackets were frustrated by FLC’s back four.
“We just couldn’t figure out their middle,” said Yellow Jackets’ head coach Mike Greco. “We have a hard time with our own play, and I think we’re still a young program. I think a lot of it is belief; we get flustered, very nervous in every game, and so I think a lot of it comes down to belief and battle.”
With 29 shots in the game but only 12 on goal, Clarke said the Skyhawks will have to improve their efficiency for Sunday’s game against Regis.
“I think we didn’t play as well as we can today,” Clarke said. “I think we could have been a little more efficient and think we’re going to be more efficient as we get into our second game. Regis is a very good team, and we’re going to have to be better than we were today. Even if you can score every one out of seven shots, we’re still going to have to score one more.”