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Rams soccer can’t overcome Big Sky power Portland State in 3-0 loss

Colorado State defender Catherine Ruder (13) clears the ball during Friday's 3-0 loss to Portland State. (Photo Courtesy: CSU Athletics)
Colorado State defender Catherine Ruder (13) clears the ball during Friday’s 3-0 loss to Portland State. (Photo Courtesy: CSU Athletics)

The Colorado State women’s soccer team challenged an experienced opponent in the Portland State Vikings Friday afternoon, but couldn’t overcome several mistakes that led to a disappointing 3-0 home loss at The Lagoon.

In the opening minutes of the game, Portland State freshman Maddie Prehoda got her foot under a ball at the 40′ mark that took a high bounce which Colorado State goalkeeper Jesse McGinley misjudged as the ball bounced past her and barely rolled over the line for a goal.

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Just minutes after the Vikings early goal, Rams’ veteran defender Megan Speed went down with an ankle injury and had to be taken out of the game, missing minutes for the first time in her career at Colorado State. She did not return to game. According to CSU head coach Bill Hempen, Speed has had problems with tender ankles in the past, but it looks like just a mild sprain.

Speed’s experience in the backfield was missed, but freshman Taylor Hodgson came in as a substitute to log valuable minutes against a talented opponent. “(Megan Speed) is a big part of the back four, but having Taylor come in and play well was huge,” defender Catherine Ruder said.

“The only good thing (about losing Speed), is that Taylor played a lot last week,” Hempen said. According to Hempen, the Rams will need more non-starters, such as Hodgson, to step up and be ready as their schedule picks up with matches on Fridays and Sundays.

The Rams went back and forth controlling the ball with Portland State for the remainder of the first half, but were unable to create many opportunities except for one good pass into the middle from the side by freshman Gianna Bertana to  midfielder Jessica Jochheim, which she headed toward the goal but missed wide.

The second half began with both teams playing fairly even, and CSU’s defense holding strong against Portland State’s speedy midfield and attack. McGinley made several nice plays on the ball, including one where she riskily came forward and slid into the ball to take away a one-on-one shot from a Portland State forward.

That save was followed by a shot attempt from Rams’ freshman forward Maddi Rodriguez, which she craftily dribbled through three Vikings defenders to get off, but bounced off the post.

Later, Portland State senior Kalya Henningsen dribbled down the sideline near midfield in CSU territory, but was fouled by Rodriguez. Henningsen drilled a free kick from outside the 40′ mark that beat McGinley, putting the Vikings up 2-0.

The Vikings’ third goal came late in the second half on a nice offensive play by the Vikings which was finished with a shot on the rebound that rolled past McGinley and into the net, all but sealing the deal for the visitors.

“For a team who historically struggles to score goals, to gift the other team goals makes it pretty tough,” Hempen said. “But (Portland State) made the most of those opportunities.”

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The Rams will try to bounce back against one the Big 10’s best teams when they take on the University of Iowa on Sunday. Limiting mistakes will be even more critical for the Rams, according to Hempen.

“Going up against an even better team on Sunday, we definitely can’t gift goals to them,” Hempen said.

In order to compete with the Hawkeyes on Sunday, “we just have to play our game and forget about today,” junior defender Catherine Ruder said.

Sunday’s match will kick off at 1:30 p.m. at The Lagoon just east of the Rec Center.

Collegian Reporter Sam Lounsberry can be reached at sports@collegian.com and on Twitter @samlounz. 

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