Paige Brandt’s 11 saves and 83 minutes of shutout goalkeeping was not enough for the Rams, as they lost an emotional game to the Boise State Broncos in overtime 2-1.
For the second time in three games, CSU (2-7-1, 0-2-0 MW) conceded a goal in the final 10 minutes of the match that sent the game into overtime. Boise State (3-7-1, 2-0-0 MW) capitalized on their first overtime opportunity to remain undefeated in conference play and send the Rams home with an uneasy feeling in their hearts.
“Today was by far the most emotional game I’ve been a part of at Colorado State,” coach Bill Hempen said. “Our players are gutted, as I assumed they would be.”
Earning her third consecutive start, Brandt certainly made a compelling case to be relied upon more as the Rams’ starting goalkeeper for the remainder of the season. Boise State outshot the Rams 28-12 in total shots and 13-4 in shots on goal. Before the 20-minute mark, Brandt had already recorded four saves.
CSU finished the first half in gutsy fashion. After a Boise State shot rang off the crossbar, Brandt and a number of CSU defenders stopped an additional three attempts from inside the box that were destined for the back of the net. Minutes later, the Rams flipped momentum for the first time and finished the first half with back-to-back offensive attacks.
In the 51st minute, Boise State goalkeeper Janelle Flores caught the ball while standing out of bounds, leading to a Rams corner kick. Madi Rodriguez sent the ball into the box where it trickled through to Kaija Ornes who fired a shot just under the crossbar for her team-leading third goal of the season, putting CSU up 1-0.
Less than two minutes later, Alex Lanning and Hannah Gerdin streaked into the offensive zone for a two on one opportunity. Flores redirected Lanning’s chip shot to a wide open Gerdin in front of the net whose shot sailed over the crossbar. The chance would have put the Rams up 2-0 with just over 30 minutes to play.
Boise State got right back to their first-half ways and continued to apply pressure on the offensive side of the ball, only to be stopped by Brandt time and time again. In the 83rd minute, CSU midfielder Amy Eckert tripped a Broncos player in the box, leading to a penalty kick. Despite guessing the right way, Brandt couldn’t stop the shot from senior Hailey DeVries.
A fatigued, heartbroken Rams team was outplayed in overtime. In the 96th minute, Boise State freshman Raimee Sherle dribbled through multiple CSU defenders and into the box before kicking it across her body towards the far post for the game-winning goal.
The loss marks the second blown lead of the season for a Rams team that hasn’t won a conference game in over a year. Hempen still has faith in his team who showed him that they have what it takes to win.
“We reached a level of commitment and courage that I had not seen before but knew it was in them,” Hempen said. “We will be okay; we still have nine to play.”
The first of those nine comes on Friday when the Rams host Nevada at 4 p.m at Lagoon Field.
Collegian sports reporter Colin Barnard can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @colin_barnard