Colorado State soccer hopes to have a big weekend at home

The Colorado State women’s soccer team is looking to bounce back from Sunday’s 2-1 loss to the University of Colorado that capped the opening weekend of the 2016 season.

Colorado State (1-1-0) will continue their barrage of non-conference opponents this weekend with a two game home stand when they take on the University of Northern Colorado (1-0-1) on Friday and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (1-0-1) on Sunday.

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Friday’s match will be the first game back at The Lagoon for the Rams, something that has got head coach Bill Hempen excited for a few reasons.

“Let me give some props to our guys that take care of our field,” Hempen said. “That’s an I.M. field that they’ve turned into Wembley Stadium.”

Along with the fact that his team is playing on the new-and-improved field at The Lagoon, Hempen is also excited to take on his good friend and Bears’ head coach Tim Barrera.

“He’s a good friend of mine. He’s a good coach.” Hempen said. “ I expect kind of a chess match going on because we’re going to be trying to out do each other a little bit.”

The Rams’ second match of the weekend will be a less familiar one. The only other meeting between the Rams and the Cougars took place in 2013, Colorado State’s inaugural season, and ended in a 1-1 draw.

Sunday’s loss to CU could be attributed to the fact that the Rams found themselves stuck without the ball, something that Hempen said could be a problem leading up to the game. This week, Hempen says the focus has shifted to making their possessions count.

“We’ve gotten a lot better at being able to keep the ball,” Hempen said. “If we can continue to build off the time of possession, so to speak, in the game and be a little bit more efficient with our attack it gives us a legitimate opportunity to have a successful weekend.”

The two matches this weekend will give Hempen the chance to figure out who his team’s starting goalkeeper will be, a question he hopes to have a definitive answer to by the time conference play begins.

“We came into the season with three completely untested collegiate goalkeepers,” Hempen said. “We are kind of reserving the opportunity to give as many opportunities as we can to see who will eventually emerge as our goalkeeper.”

Out of the three goalkeepers on the Rams’ roster, redshirt freshman Sydney Hall has seen a majority of the playing time thus far. In her collegiate debut, Hall’s eight saves in 90 minutes helped lead the Rams to a 2-0 victory over the University of Denver in their season opener. Hall and junior goalkeeper Paige Brandt each played a half in Sunday’s 2-1 loss to CU, each allowing a goal.

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Friday’s match marks a big weekend of events for CSU, and Hempen hopes that his team can kick off what should be a great weekend for CSU students in general.

“I’m hoping it’s a beautiful sunny day on Friday and everybody wants to come watch the soccer game.”

Collegian Assistant Sports Editor Colton Strickler can be reached by email at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @coltonstrickler