Move on from the regular season; there’s postseason hardware to be won.
That’s the mantra for the Fort Lewis College men’s soccer team. A 10-7-1 regular season earned the Skyhawks the No. 5 seed in the postseason Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference tournament, where they will visit fourth-seeded Metro State at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at Auraria Field in Denver in the opening round.
FLC is looking to add to its trophy case despite a roller-coaster regular season. Losses to the likes of Adams State and UC-Colorado Springs and the Skyhawks’ first three-game losing streak in more than a decade were offset by quality wins over Colorado Mines, Midwestern State and Regis.
Wins such as the latter three have head coach Oige Kennedy hopeful his squad can make a run.
“Definitely focusing on that goal. We know the season as a whole hasn’t been what we wanted, but we know we have an opportunity to win a trophy Sunday,” Kennedy said Monday.
To get there, FLC has to get through the Roadrunners, a task easier said than done the last two years. Metro State has won the last three meetings, and the Roadrunners outscored FLC 6-1 in the two games the schools played this season.
“We’ve played twice, and we don’t feel we’ve given a good representation of ourselves,” Kennedy said.
The Skyhawks gave a much better representation of themselves last weekend, beating Colorado Mines 5-4 in double overtime Friday before routing Colorado Christian 7-0 on Sunday.
For those keeping track at home, that’s 12 goals in two games, illustrating the Skyhawks’ strongest suit this season – finding the back of the net. FLC is third in the RMAC in scoring average, and the 12 goals marked a strong turnaround after scoring just once in two games the previous weekend against Colorado Mesa and Metro State.
The biggest catalyst last weekend was freshman Tamino Kroeger, who won Division II and RMAC Player of the Week honors Tuesday. The German forward scored twice against Mines before scorching the nets for four goals Sunday.
“That was one of the disappointing things against Mesa and Metro was not to score because the one thing we’ve done all season is score goals,” Kennedy said.
While an NCAA Tournament appearance is out of the question (only the women receive automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament for winning confenence tournament championships), one more RMAC Tournament championship title would provide not only a building block for next year but a high note to end this one.
“I think it’s important. The program is built on winning trophies, and we have to continue that legacy,” Kennedy said.