CSU soccer goes undefeated behind their defense in weekend slate

Adam Williams

A weekend of inner-state matchups for Colorado State resulted in a win and a draw as the Rams held their opposition in gridlock for the two games. 

The first attack against the Air Force Academy came two minutes in when sophomore Taylor Steinke took the first shot of the match. Following Steinke’s shot and a couple of CSU corner kicks, AFA took control of the game. Nome of the shots landed in the net.

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The Rams’ defense, led by the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week, junior Halley Havlicek, held the Falcons without a shot on goal for the entire game, a first for the program.

In the 23rd minute, Steinke challenged senior goalkeeper Jennifer Hiddink and swung the pendulum of momentum back the Rams’ way. It was not until the 65th minute that the Rams were able to break the tie. 

Junior Caeley Lordemann advanced the ball and passed it to senior Kaija Ornes who fired a shot at Hiddink. Hiddink blocked the ball but it rolled out to Steinke who fired a shot into the back of the net for her second goal of the season.

The goal would be the only tally of the game, securing the Rams’ victory.

Following their victory, the Rams took on Colorado College in their second match of the weekend and again faced frigid weather.

CC opened the match by taking two shots with good looks that went wide and high off the net. CC continued to pressure in the offensive zone and showed their desire to attack early.

The tables turned when CSU had their first chance of the game off a corner kick in the 6th minute. Lordemann passed to Ornes, who passed the ball into the slot for what would have been a great chance, but were stopped by an offside call. 

CSU had another chance when CC’s goalie cleared the ball but Steinke chested it and passed it to Ornes who had a breakaway chance but could not sneak the ball past sophomore goalkeeper Jade Odom.

“I tried to keep it low,” Ornes said. “Probably should have hit it a bit harder, it probably would have gone in.”

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The Rams had one of their best chances of the game when Lordemann sent a ball to Steinke for a header that went just wide off the net.

The first half was largely dominated by the Rams with CC throwing in a couple of good scoring opportunities that went wide of the net or hit the crossbar. In all, the hosts ran their scoreless streak on the weekend to a program-record of 148 consecutive minutes without allowing a shot on goal.

In the 60th minute, Peifer showed why she is considered one of the best goalkeepers in the conference as she made a leaping save where she angled her body, leaned, and caught the ball shot by CC junior Catie McDonald.

Just 16 minutes later, CC was awarded a penalty kick, a chance that Peifer embraced.

“Our coaches are really awesome, they kind of gave me an idea of where they could go,” Peifer said. “I love (penalty kicks), I love to just send it.” 

Girl in goal playing soccer
CSU Goalie, Hunter Peifer gets ready to block a shot against Air Force at the game Saturday, Oct. 4. (Clara Scholtz | Collegian)

Between acrobatic saves and shots off the post, CC was unable to muster any offense even after the Rams’ shots ended.

“I thought we played really well and we were fortunate a couple of times with them hitting the post and Hunter coming up big for us,” Coach Bill Hempen said.

After the end of 90 minutes, the game was still tied at nil.

The game would require two overtime periods which saw little opportunities for both teams. The best chance for either team came in the 103rd minute when Ornes took a shot that required a lunging save from Odom.

After an additional 30 minutes, the game was still scoreless, ending in the Rams’ fourth draw of the year, bringing their record to 5-5-4 on the year. 

The Rams will look to build on their undefeated weekend when they hit the road to play San Jose State University and Fresno State University this weekend.

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