Colorado State soccer embarked on a Big-10 challenge over the weekend as they took on Iowa and Northwestern.
Colorado State’s (2-4-0) first weekend away from Colorado wasn’t so kind to the Rams, who lost 4-1 to Iowa on Friday and then wrapped up their weekend on the road Sunday, with a 3-0 loss to the No. 25 Northwestern Wildcats.
Sunday’s first half was a rough one for the Rams, who found themselves down not only on the scoreboard but on the field as well. Senior captain Amy Eckert and freshman midfielder Alex Lanning both went down with injuries before halftime.
Northwestern (5-0-0) came out firing early, recording their first shot of the match just 15 seconds in. The Wildcats kept the shots coming, heading into the half outshooting the Rams 11-1 and a 1-0 lead following Brenna Lovera’s goal in the 16th minute.
Shots proved hard to come by for the Rams, who went 46 minutes between their first and second shots of the match and ultimately ended up being outshot 19-3. Sophomore Beth Plentl accounted for two of the Rams’ three shots.
“Tactically we did the right things, but we were unable to get ahold of the game possession-wise,” Rams’ head coach Bill Hempen said following the loss. “In the second half, we were a more determined team and probably could have drawn a PK. With the momentum in our favor, we began to get more control of the game.”
The Rams goalkeeper carousel spun around once again this weekend, with both freshman Natalie Dierickx and redshirt freshman Sydney Hall seeing time in net. Dierickx got the start on Friday and made nine saves in one half of work before being replaced by Hall. According to CSU Soccer, Dierickx’s nine saves in a single match are the third most in program history.
Dierickx and Hall each allowed two goals in the 4-1 loss.
Hall got the nod on Sunday, stopping seven of Northwestern’s 10 shots on goal. Hall kept the Rams in the game up until Northwestern’s second goal that came during the 73rd minute.
“ When we gave up the second goal late, it was deflating to the team, which led to the third goal shortly after,” Hempen said.
The Rams will look to bounce back from tough weekend on Friday when they take on Portland State in Portland. Friday’s match marks the final weekend of non-conference play for the Rams, who will close out their non-conference schedule on Sunday at The Lagoon against Omaha.
Collegian Assistant Sports Editor Colton Stickler can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @coltonstrickler