The Mountain West has been a tough egg to crack thus far for the Rams.
Colorado State women’s soccer team (3-10-2, 0-5-1 MW) has yet to record a win in conference play, but with a weekend trip to Nevada on the horizon, the Rams have another opportunity.
They will take on the struggling Nevada Wolf Pack (4-8-2, 1-4-1 MW) Friday in Reno, and then travel down to Las Vegas for a matchup with UNLV (7-8-0, 2-4-0 MW) Sunday.
The game with Nevada will be a battle of the goalkeepers, as CSU keeper Jesse McGinley ranks second in the MW with 79 saves, and Nevada keeper Kelsey Quintos sits in fourth with 64.
While both teams’ keepers are racking up the saves, shots have been at a premium on the offensive end. CSU and Nevada are both struggling to score, and are sitting at the bottom of the MW in shot totals and goals. Something will have to give come Friday.
The matchup with Nevada looks to be a good chance for the Rams to break out of their MW slump, but before the team even thinks about their Wolf Pack opponents, they must find themselves, according to CSU head coach Bill Hempen.
“We are not at a stage in our careers that we can look past anything,” Hempen said. “We have our own issues that we have to correct, and that’s pretty much what we’ve been doing all week long. We haven’t even talked about (Nevada). We are still in search of the right chemistry. It’s a challenge. We are just trying to find the right group to put out there.”
Out of the Rams’ 10 losses this year, all but two have been by one goal, so the chemistry that Hempen is talking about is almost there, perhaps only missing a proton on two.
Compare that to last year’s numbers, 10 losses by more than one goal, and it is easy to see that the Rams are indeed on the rise even if their record doesn’t show it.
“Its kind of annoying actually,” Hempen said. “The one goal losses could have just as easily been one goal wins.”
The Nevada trip will be a good test for CSU to try and put it all together, and change their recent fortunes. The Rams faces Nevada Friday at 7:30 p.m., and UNLV Sunday at 11:30 a.m.
Collegian Soccer Reporter Chad Deutschman can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ChadDeutschman.