CSU fights hard once again, tallying their third draw of the year

Adam Williams

Colorado State soccer took on San Diego State University in their first home conference match of the season on Sunday.

The Aztecs set the tone early in the match by opening the game with a relentless offensive attack. The Aztecs’ attack came to fruition when they shot the ball past junior goalkeeper Hunter Peifer. Much to the Aztec’s dismay, the play was ruled offsides.

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The call gave the Rams a renewed chance in the game.

In the 30th minute, CSU senior Kiaja Ornes took the only shot on goal of the half for the Rams.

Ornes was a big reason CSU was able to stay in the game. She routinely found herself chasing down the ball and putting pressure on any Aztec defender attempting to clear the ball.

“Just get to the ball. Get to the ball first, if you don’t win hopefully they’re going to drop out,” Ornes said.

The Rams continued to match the Aztecs and fought a tough half that saw neither team find the back of the net.

Going into the intermission, the Rams found themselves in a familiar position, knotted at zero apiece.

The Rams sought to come out of the half aggressive and sophomore Emma Shinsky and senior Beth Plentl each fired off shots within five minutes of the half beginning, a sign of their renewed vigor on offense.

The Aztecs went back to being largely dominant in terms of possession following the early spurt. 

In the 78th minute, the Aztecs set up a chance in the box. A player across the net was set up to receive a ball that she likely would have scored but Peifer was able to come across and catch the ball, quickly rebounding to set up a CSU drive down the field with a fast pass.

After several minutes of position juggling, the Rams were able to make a run.

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Ornes was prevalent again in the 83rd minute when she sent a ball across the box for a header try that went wide. The setup was one of the Rams’ best chances to score, but again they could not find the back of the net.

After the end of 90 minutes, the game sat in the same position it had when it started, a tie at nil.

The first overtime period was largely dominated by the Rams who were able to apply consistent pressure on the Aztecs defense. Unfortunately, the pressure did not yield a goal for the Rams, yielding a second overtime.

The second overtime was a brief synopsis of regulation as both teams battled with SDSU controlling the ball longer, but neither team could get a leg up on the other.

The overtime periods gave a snapshot of the game as a whole as neither team’s attack truly found a rhythm. Each offensive run was thwarted in its tracks and sent back the opposite direction. 

The composure that Peifer exemplified throughout the match was a large reason CSU walked away with a tie.

“We held them pretty well. In extra time the stakes are a lot higher. Our goal this year is to make overtime our time,” Peifer said.

The tie against a perennial Mountain West powerhouse was a mark that Coach Bill Hempen still seemed pleased with.

“To get a point off one of the best teams in the conference we’ll take it. It stinks at home that we didn’t take all three but we’ll take it,” Hempen said.

The team has continued to struggle with goal scoring as their offense has produced a mere five goals in 10 matches. The low scoring number comes with 129 shots on the year, with over 40% on goal, a number that figures to result in higher goal tallies as the year goes on.

The Rams will look to build on this game as they take on Boise State and Utah State next weekend following their draw. The Broncos are up first on the docket Sept. 28 at 4 p.m.

Adam Williams can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @AdamJ__Williams.