(Highlights by Eric Wolf, CTV)
The pink-out game ended in familiar fashion with another defeat for the Rams.
Colorado State (3-10-2, 0-4-1 Mountain West) dropped its fourth consecutive match Sunday in a 2-1 loss to New Mexico (6-6-0, 4-1-0 MW).
On a windy day at Lagoon Field, the Rams struck first in the 14th minute. CSU senior Jessica Stauffer sent a free kick soaring into the box from just inside midfield, which found the head of freshman Hannah Gerdin to put the Rams up 1-0. Gerdin leads the Rams with five goals on the year.
Gerdin has been the lone scorer recently for the Rams, netting three in the last three games. While Gerdin has had the magic boot as of late for CSU, she was quick to give her teammates all the credit.
“I definitely think it’s my teammates, honestly,” Gerdin said. “That ball today from Jess… that was a perfect ball. I kind of just closed my eyes and hoped for the best, so that was all her. … It’s been a confidence booster for sure.”
Stauffer has gained quite the reputation for her ability to play the long ball, and is now tied for the team lead in assists with two along with fellow senior Gianna Bertana.
Before the Rams had a real chance to play with the lead, it was gone. One minute after the Gerdin goal, Lindsey Guise tied the game 1-1 for the Lobos after a corner played to the far post by Dylann O’Connor.
Guise had been a thorn in the Rams’ side before, as she scored a hat-trick against CSU last season.
In the 37th minute, New Mexico took a 2-1 lead on an absolute beauty of a shot. Quincy Slora took a free kick for the Lobos from just outside the box and sent the ball in hard, curving it towards the top right corner. CSU keeper Jesse McGinley could only watch and tip her cap as the ball flew perfectly into the back net, giving the Lobos a 2-1 which they would ride into half.
The second frame showcased what has started to become a trend: the Rams playing catchup. A much more aggressive approach in the second half gave the Rams several chances to get the equalizer, but it just wasn’t in the cards this time around. Hannah Gerdin continued to lead the attack against the Lobo defense, but a shot off the post was all the Lobos would surrender. New Mexico held on to grab the 2-1 win over Colorado State.
Winless thus far in Mountain West play, CSU coach Bill Hempen is taking the blame.
“Winning is an elixir that we haven’t gotten a good swallow of,” Hempen said. “When you win, sometimes you don’t know how you win, it just happens and we haven’t got to that moment yet as a program. Conversely, losing you can go into (matches) with doubt every time you step out there. Unfortunately I think we have too much of that right now and its something I have to correct as a coach. I have to be a better coach in order to get them out of it. It’s probably mostly my problem.”
Colorado State will travel to Nevada for its next matchup Friday against Nevada (4-8-2, 1-4-1 MW) in Reno, and then take on UNLV (6-8-0, 1-4-0 MW) Sunday in Vegas.
Collegian soccer reporter Chad Deutschman can be reached by email at email@example.com or on Twitter @ChadDeutschman.