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Colorado State soccer wins another overtime thriller

There’s nothing quite as exciting as sudden death overtime, the winner takes all format for the last frame of play always adds an extra sense of urgency to the contest. The Colorado State soccer team certainly hasn’t lacked any excitement in their last three games, all of them have gone to an extra period of play, with the Rams taking the “W” in two of the three.

Colorado State soccer faced off against the University of Denver on Friday, Sept. 13 in Fort Collins. The match was a closely contested game that went the distance and required extra time to crown a winner.

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CSU was dominated by the Pioneers in the first half and relied on defenders Addie Wright, Kendra Gipson, Halley Havlicek and Rachel Hall to stay in the game. DU controlled the ball nearly all of the first half, and the defensive line of the Rams deflected shot attempts from the visiting Pioneers. 

CSU’s defense was keeping the Pioneers at bay all day long, but when they had lapses, goalkeeper Gabi McDonald had the answer. McDonald was dominant all game and finished with nine saves, many of which were acrobatic and required her to dive to prevent a goal.

CSU struggled offensively in the first half of regulation. Their first clean shot didn’t come until Caeley Lordemann shot a deep ball over the goal post at the 44 minute mark.

Taylor Steinke made her season debut in the first half. The 5-foot-10-inch junior has missed the beginning of the year while recovering from a torn MCL and was excited to get back out there with the team.

“It feels so good I can’t even explain it,” Steinke said. “It’s been a long time out, and I have been preparing and watching my team, and their hard work is inspiring.”

Steinke has been a solid contributor in years past, and her presence has been missed. Steinke provides similar value as Kristen Noonan with her athleticism and speed. Noonan has shined this year in transition because of her box out skills and her aggression, and getting Steinke back will only help the Rams.

Midfielder Caeley Lordemann chases after Denver Midfielder Hannah Adler (19)
Midfielder Caeley Lordemann (14) chases after Denver midfielder Hannah Adler (19) in the Rams 1-0 home win over the Pioneers on Sept. 13, 2019. (Gregory James | Collegian)

After half time, Coach Bill Hempen tried to create a change of pace from how the game had started. Regular substitutes Alyssa Yoshida and Ally Murphy-Pauletto started the second half, and Caroline Lucas played early. The switch appeared to work, as CSU looked like a new team in the second half.

The Rams went from having only two shot attempts in the first half to seven in the second half. CSU changed the momentum and was able to send the game to overtime after a scoreless regulation.

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The Rams had another match head to extra time, and similar to last Sunday against Grand Canyon, they were able to secure the victory. Steinke assisted the ball to none other than senior captain Lordemann for the game-sealing goal.

Lordemann sank her fifth goal of the season, tying her career high in goals and earning her third game-winning goal of the year. Lordemann, the all-time leader in goals scored, is securing her place in Rams history.

“I care about winning on this team,” Lordemann said. “I want to get far with this team, and that’s all that matters with me. … Our long term goal is to get to conference and get some wins.”

CSU has gone to overtime in three consecutive games, capturing two wins and a tie. The Rams like to keep things interesting, and now with a record of 4-1-1 to start the season, they’ll try to keep it rolling next week in Indiana against Valparaiso.

Bailey Bassett can be reach at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @baileybassett_.

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