Colorado State soccer 2-0 after stellar opening weekend

Bailey Bassett

Colorado State University’s soccer team started their season with a bang. The seventh-year program emerged victorious 2-0 against Marquette University on Thursday, Aug. 22.

The Rams were dominant in their season opener, controlling the pace and tempo throughout the game and even scoring their first goal almost seven minutes into the game. This was the ninth career goal for Caeley Lordemann and the first of two goals in the game for the all-time Rams’ scoring leader. Lordemann then notched her 10th career goal in the second half. 

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We set a high standard this season, for my senior season, and we are off to a good start, so I am excited.”-Caeley Lordemann

Not much scoring occurred the rest of the game, but CSU remained offensively aggressive, dominating in shots on goal (18-7) and possession time.

This was exemplified by Kaitlyn Abrams, who had multiple cross attempts that got closer to converting each time.

Sophomore forward Kristen Noonan, a transfer from California State Fullerton, impressed in her Ram debut. Early in the first half, Noonan boxed out her opponent and started the break by herself. Although the shot attempt missed left, the play showed potential for future fastbreak opportunities.

Freshman Caroline Lucas also looked good in her first game in green and gold. The 5-foot-2-inch forward showed off blazing speed, taking the ball up the field by herself and outrunning defenders on multiple occasions.

Although Lucas was also held without a goal, CSU was able to take a 2-0 lead 53 minutes into the game after Liv Layton’s free-kick attempt soared near the goal and Lordemann tipped in the shot for the game’s second and final goal.

The game wasn’t a complete blowout, but CSU looked solid in the opener and set a precedent for how they want this season to go.

Sunday vs Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

The game marked a significant feat for Head Coach Bill Hempen. The 3-2 victory over SIUE was Hempen’s 300th total win.

Assistant Coach Tori Ball spoke highly of Hempen and what he means to this team.

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“It speaks volumes on who he is as a coach and as a person,” Ball said. “He always talks about all the heavy lifting that the players do for this program, but the reality is that he is the one doing the heavy lifting in terms of recruiting and moving goals at practice or whatever it is.”

The squad faced more adversity in this game than in the opener, after SIUE scored an early goal. CSU bounced back with a Noonan penalty-kick goal that narrowly went over the outstretched arms of SIUE’s goalkeeper.

After a corner kick and a missed header attempt, the Rams took a 2-1 lead off the third goal of the season for Lordemann. The senior captain is off to a very strong start in her last collegiate season. Her footwork impressed as she one-timed the ball out of midair for the jaw-dropping score.

Abrams added her first collegiate goal on a header to give the Rams a 3-1 lead. The freshman has received playing time early this year and is capitalizing on the opportunity. Abrams and fellow forward Gracie Armstrong have shown nice chemistry together, as Armstrong earned the assist on her cross to Abrams.

SIUE made things interesting at the end, scoring slightly after the 86th minute, but CSU was able to hold on to the lead to secure the milestone victory for their coach. The win secured Hempen’s spot as one of the winningest coaches of all time, as he ranks 28th among active NCAA Division 1 coaches for career wins.

Hempen didn’t realize this victory marked his 300th win.

“It means I’ve been coaching for a long time,” Hempen said.

The CSU girls looked energized and motivated in their first two games at home. The 2-0 start to the season is the best start in program history.

“That’s a great way to start, especially at home,” Hempen said. 

The Rams will go for three-straight wins to start the season as they begin a three-game road trip against Gonzaga, Eastern Washington and Grand Canyon University over the next two weeks.

Bailey Bassett can be reached by email at sports@collegian.com or on twitter @baileybassett_.