Across downtown Durango, fans crowded into bars to cheer on Fort Lewis College's men's soccer team as the Skyhawks
fought for the national championship.
In a town with no professional sports teams nearby, FLC soccer quickly has become the toast of Durango. Winning a
national championship in 2005 didn't hurt.
One popular spot to watch the game was The Irish Embassy Pub, 900 Main Ave.
Jackson Clark, whose son, Nick, played goalkeeper on the 2005 team, enjoyed the game with a pint of Guinness.
This is the one sport that has brought together this community every year at this time," Clark said.
Clark, owner of Toh-Atin Gallery, reminisced about attending FLC games in less-successful years.
I used to take my kids to games when they were not very good," he said.
Those days are over. FLC lost only once all season and beat Le Moyne of Syracuse, N.Y., 8-2 in a relentless offensive
assault to reach the finals.
Brayton Thomas Thurber, a 2007 FLC graduate, said this year's team seemed even more dominant than the 2005 team.
They seemed to get there in a more commanding fashion, perhaps," he said.
Students seemed to prefer the atmosphere downstairs at The Irish Embassy, where they stood wall-to-wall watching the
game. A cheer rose up in the game's first minute as FLC nearly scored a goal.
At Cuckoo's Chicken House & Waterin' Hole, 128 E. College Drive, a table of FLC women's soccer players intently
watched their counterparts.
In Denver, people go to Broncos games," said Roxy Baldwin. Instead, (in Durango), people go to FLC soccer."
At El Rancho Tavern, 975 Main Ave., the bar was full as FLC battled tough defense from opponent Lees-McRae College of
Banner Elk, N.C.
The advantage went to FLC as David Barden scored deep into the second half. It would prove to be the game's only
At Carver Brewing Co., 1022 Main Ave., fans counted down as time expired.
Gil Geauthreaux of Durango took his family, including 10-year-old son Zachary, to watch the game. Zachary has
become acquainted with FLC's players through youth soccer.
It's something to bring us together," Gil Geauthreaux said.
And as the clock reached zero, the Skyhawks were champions once again.