The two stingiest defenses in the league. The top two goal scorers in the league. Both unbeaten since their last meeting.
The No. 2 Colorado School of Mines women’s soccer team and its 21st-ranked counterpart from Fort Lewis College played to a compelling 1-0 Orediggers’ victory Oct. 18 in Golden, and expectations are high for Sunday’s return engagement at Dirks Field.
Since that loss, FLC (14-3-0, 10-3-0 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) has rattled off four consecutive victories. A fifth over the 16-0-1 Orediggers would land the Skyhawks in second place in the RMAC to cap the regular season, giving them an all-important first-round bye in the RMAC Tournament next week.
“I think we can actually even draw because we’d win the head-to-head with Metro (State). But of course we don’t go out to try and draw in any game,” FLC head coach Damian Clarke said. “I think if we can obviously rest and not have to play a game Wednesday, it would really be a game-changer for these girls because the travel schedule is exhausting.”
It won’t be easy, and scoring will be at a premium for both squads. FLC has allowed just eight goals all season long. The only team better in the RMAC? That’d be the Orediggers, who’ve conceded just four times.
“It’s a team that they know that defense wins championships, and they no doubt have a culture of defending that has made them very, very special,” Clarke said.
Both teams have stout defenses. Both teams also have dynamic forwards. Mines’ Anna Evans is tops in the league with 12 goals scored, but on her heels is FLC’s Sam Weiss, who is tied for second in the RMAC with nine.
A victory would go a long way for the Skyhawks in terms of cementing their status as No. 2 in the South Central Region rankings. The Orediggers seem firmly locked into the top spot regardless of Sunday’s outcome or the outcome of the RMAC Tournament, which they’ll host in Golden.
FLC just recently hopped from fourth to second on the list, right above St. Edward’s and Metro State, and dethroning the RMAC regular-season champs for the first time all year would be quite the feather in their cap – not to mention the confidence boost.
“I think, once again, it’s a test our kids look forward to, and I think Mines does, as well,” Clarke said.