When the Fort Lewis College women’s soccer team scored their first goal of the afternoon in the 14th minute Sunday afternoon at Dirks Field against Adams State, the celebration by goal-scorer and senior captain Renee Terrell was relaxed and almost nonchalant, as she high-fived her teammates and casually jogged back to the center circle.
The Skyhawks went on to win 3-0 over the Grizzlies in their third Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference game of the season, and all three goals were scored off headers from corner kicks. Despite an impressive performance from corner kick situations, head coach Damian Clarke called the match “a win where we didn’t play our best.”
“I think the team looked tired today and sometimes, I don’t know why, but when you have a long break, sometimes it’s more difficult for whatever reason to have the right energy,” Clarke said. “I think it’s more psychological than physical because they shouldn’t be tired, they haven’t done anything. But that part will have to be different next week against (Colorado School of) Mines.”
The Skyhawks (4-2-1, 3-0 RMAC) had energy in the first 20 minutes of the game and attacked from the opening whistle. That’s when Terrell had a textbook header into the top left corner of the net off of a corner kick from Emma Patron, which gave the Skyhawks a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute.
It was one of few true chances in the first half for either side, as the teams went in to the break with the Skyhawks on top 1-0.
The energy factor came in spurts for the Skyhawks and they started off strong in the second half. They were able to double their lead in the 49th minute when Britney Johnson headed home her first goal of the season off of a corner kick from Emma Patron.
Johnson, a junior midfielder, said all three goals for the Skyhawks were worked on in practice throughout the week and it paid off during the match.
“We’ve just been practicing this set piece drill over and over again on how to defend and finish on (corner kicks),” Johnson said. “We have a lot of players who like to use their heads and it benefits us that way in that we practice it so much.”
After FLC took a 2-0 lead, the Grizzlies (2-5, 1-2 RMAC) attempted to press forward in an attempt to pull one back. However, it never came and they only registered one shot on goal on the day.
In the 85th minute, the game was put on ice when Katie Smith headed the ball into the back of the net off of their third corner kick of the match, this time with an assist from Courtney Wamboldt.
Clarke knows that his team will come out with more energy next week.
“I think at least, we get to move forward in the fact that we got a result,” Clarke said. “I think the girls know how difficult Mines is ... I don’t think the girls will have a problem with the energy, it’s just whether or not we’ll be able to keep our nerve and play well when we have the chance to do something about it.”
Adams State head coach Janine Hurst declined to comment after the game.
The Skyhawks will play nationally-ranked No. 7 Colorado School of Mines (7-1-1, 4-0 RMAC) at 5 p.m. Fridayin Golden.
Fort Lewis 4, Colorado Christian 0After an impressive 4-0 win over Colorado Christian on Sunday, Head coach David Oberholtzer told his team to “keep rollin.’” That’s exactly what the Skyhawks did, as they moved to 3-0-1 in the conference after two goals in each half, including two by junior midfielder Ty Lang.
The Skyhawks opened the scoring in the third minute of the match when Lucas Matelich had a strong lead pass to Bar Hazut, who was able to chip the goalkeeper, giving the Skyhawks another early lead.
FLC controlled the play throughout the first half and Lang gave the Skyhawks their second goal in the 25th minute after a shot by Hakeem Rabiu, Lang placed the rebound into the net, making it 2-0. That would be the score at half.
In the second half, the Skyhawks rolled over the Cougars with shot after shot. In the 64th minute, Rabiu found the net after Steen Shober crossed it into the box to Lang, who passed it to Rabiu, who in turn knocked it into the top right corner. In the 73rd minute, Lang got his second of the game when he chipped the goalkeeper after a quick pass off a corner kick from Nicolas Perez. Lang took four dribbles and floated it over the goalkeeper to make it 4-0.
“Part of (our success) has been this chemistry that we’re trying to build for the last couple of years,” said Oberholtzer. “Looking at the amount of goals we scored last year, I think we scored 28, and we’re getting close to matching that number (21) – and we feel that we’re just getting started.”
The Skyhawks will travel to Utah next weekend, where they will play at 5 p.m. against Dixie State (2-5-1, 0-3-1 RMAC) on Friday in St. George.