With the help of a second half own goal, Colorado College defeated Colorado State 2-0 Friday afternoon.
Similar to so many games this season, the Rams (3-9-1, 1-4-0 MW) battled all day long without catching the break they desperately needed. That break instead found the fortune of Colorado College (7-6-0, 3-2-0 MW) in the form of an own goal off CSU’s Beth Plentl in the 66th minute to solidify a two-goal lead.
A sloppy start to the game saw turnovers and an inability to control the ball in the attacking zone from both teams. With under 10 minutes to play in the first half, the Tigers had the best opportunity for either team. A shot from outside the box fired by a Tiger forward was headed for the goal before keeper Paige Brandt dove up and to her right to get a hand on the ball and keep the game tied going into halftime.
Halftime adjustments appeared beneficial to a Rams team that came out aggressive. In the opening minutes, those adjustments proved fruitful as senior forward Jessica Jochheim was awarded with a goal scoring opportunity.
“Things were opening up,” Jochheim said. “After the first half, we realized what they were doing. The attacking mid was able to get in that pocket and work with me.”
Jochheim’s shot was destined for the back of the goal before a CC defender in the right place at the right time got in front of it. The luck, or lack thereof, that head coach Bill Hempen has talked about all season long played its role against the Rams yet again.
“We’ve lived this for so long,” Hempen said. “I mean, they clear a ball off the line that, if they don’t, it’s 1-0 us.”
Rather than a one goal advantage for the Rams, the game stayed scoreless for another five minutes before CC’s Catie Mcdonald broke the tie. A through ball played from midfield found its way passed the Rams defense and onto the foot of Mcdonald. With nobody but the keeper to beat, she finished under an attacking Paige Brandt to give the Tigers the lead that would last for the remainder of the game.
Having come so close to a lead and instead finding themselves trailing, the goal changed the outlook of the game.
“We talk about doing our best to get on top once because it’s a different game for your opponent,” Hempen said. “We’ve been chasing games all year long. We don’t stick (our opportunity) and then they get a little miscommunication and they stick it.”
15 minutes later, the Tigers got their second goal of the game after a cross took an unfortunate bounce off Beth Plentl and passed a helpless Brandt. A last ditch effort in the 71st minute saw Hempen replace the entire unit on the field with fresh legs and put Natalie Dierickx in goal. The time in net marked the first action any other keeper besides Brandt has seen since Dierickx’s start on Sep. 16 against Portland State.
The Rams continue play on Sunday at 1 p.m. when they host Air Force in the final game of their four-game home stand.
“I still remain believing in this group of kids and that something good is gonna happen to them,” Hempen said. “We’ll come out and give Air Force heck on Sunday.”
Collegian sports reporter Colin Barnard can be reach by email at email@example.com or on Twitter @ColinBarnard_