The Colorado State women’s soccer team will wrap up their final two non-conference matches of the season this weekend when they travel to take on Portland State on Friday, and return home to take on the University of Nebraska-Omaha on Sunday.
Friday’s match against Portland State will be the first action Colorado State (2-4-0) has seen since their 3-0 loss to Northwestern on September 4, a game in which they lost two midfielders to injuries.
Senior captain Amy Eckert suffered a head injury in against Northwestern and freshman Alex Lanning suffered an Achilles injury after getting kicked in the back of the leg.
According to head coach Bill Hempen, the bye week couldn’t have come at a better time.
“It actually came at a pretty god time based on the fact that we took up a couple injuries,” he said. “We’re going to keep Amy back for our trip on Friday so she’s ready to go on Sunday, so I think we’ll be all back to healed up when we come back.”
Along with helping his team get healthy again, the bye week has also lit a fire under the Rams.
“It almost has that beginning of the season feeling,” Hempen said. “I think we’re excited about playing no matter what we’re playing because it’s been a couple of weeks.”
Friday’s match will be the second meeting between the Rams and the Vikings in three seasons. The Vikings defeated the Rams 3-0 in 2014.
Following Friday’s game, the Rams will hop on a flight back to Fort Collins to get ready for their second match of the weekend.
“It is a challenge depending on where you’re coming from and whose here that you might be playing.” Hempen said. This weekend will be the easiest of the travel because we’ll go Thursday, we play Friday afternoon so we get to come home Friday night. They’ll wake up Saturday morning having slept in their own beds so I think that’ll be good for our girls.”
The Rams will meet the University of Nebraska Omaha for the second time in two seasons on Sunday. The Rams came away with the victory in 2015 when then senior Jessica Stauffer scored the game winner with just moments to go in the game’s second overtime.
The Rams will enter the last weekend of non-conference play without a starting goalkeeper.
All three goalkeepers on the roster have seen playing time in this season but there hasn’t been a clear-cut starter in Hempen’s eyes just yet.
“All three of these kids have zero experience,” Hempen said. “We’re trying to get it down to who makes the fewest fatal errors.”
For now, Hempen is just taking it one day at a time.
“I’m pretty certain Natalie will start on Friday,” Hempen said. “I have no idea who will start on Sunday.”
Collegian assistant sports editor Colton Strickler can be reached by email at email@example.com or on Twitter @coltonstrickler