(Highlights done by Eric Wolf, CTV)
It was a wild one at the Lagoon. Colorado State (3-5-2, 0-0-1 Mountain West) opened up Mountain West conference play Friday with a 2-2 draw against Fresno State (1-6, 0-0-1 MW).
The Rams grabbed the lead early. In the 12th minute sophomore Janelle Stone headed in a beautiful long ball played from just inside midfield by senior Jessica Stauffer to put the Rams up 1-0. The Fresno keeper tried to challenge Stone for the ball, but with no prevail.
“Jess has a killer ball,” Stone said. “I was just happy I could finish that for her and get her that assist.”
The first half would end with the Rams holding the 1-0 lead. However, the second half took on a whole new atmosphere as the Bulldogs took advantage of sloppy play by CSU.
Carly Bracken would tie the game for Fresno in the 63rd minute, finishing a ball off the right post and in.
The Bulldogs kept up the pressure after the Bracken goal, netting another one in the 77th minute. Ashari Hines scored off a Rams turnover in the box, putting the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead with little time remaining.
Drawing flashbacks of their game against Nebraska-Omaha, the Rams again found a way to score a late goal. Senior Gianna Bertana got the equalizer for CSU, finding the net off a ball played in by fellow senior Megan Speed, tying the game 2-2 with less than a minute to play.
“It felt great to get the tie, at the very end in the last minute,” Bertana said. “It was a great ball by Speed, it was a great feeling. I just wish we could have come out with a win.”
Bertana’s goal sent the game into overtime, where it would finish in a 2-2 draw. While a tie is still better than a loss, CSU head coach Bill Hempen was not pleased his team’s performance.
“That was a horrible game to watch,” Hempen said. “It was junk, absolute junk, and I’m embarrassed that that’s all the better we’ve gotten in our two-and-a-half years. I’m absolutely embarrassed.”
The Rams will look to get back on track Sunday at 1 p.m. when they take on San Jose State (3-4-2, 1-0 MW) at Lagoon Field.
Collegian soccer reporter Chad Deutschman can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ChadDeutschman