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Preview: Colorado State soccer takes on DU Friday

Colorado State soccer vs. Denver University

The Rams will face a state foe on Friday when they take on the University of Denver at home at 4 p.m. in their annual Orange Out game. This game will be competitive, as Colorado State has a record of 3-1-1 on the season, while DU is 3-2-1.

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The Pioneers started the season off hot, tying their first game before winning three in a row, but have cooled down since, losing in matches last week to the University of Washington (0-1) and the University of Portland (1-2).

The Rams have faced a similar fate thus far. After opening the season with two wins, they have lost, tied and picked up a much needed road win on Sunday. 

The momentum is in CSU’s favor. Having won a close game last week against Grand Canyon University, the Rams return to their home turf where they have been flawless with a 2-0 record. DU has yet to pick up a win on the road this season, but they have only played one road game to this point. 

Historically, CSU is 2-1-1 against the Pioneers, most recently tying them last season in Denver 1-1 in a double overtime draw during the Colorado Cup. 

The fifth duel between the two programs will be a battle of two experienced head coaches. CSU Coach Bill Hempen is CSU’s lone head coach in program history and has been a Division 1 coach for the past 30 years. Hempen picked up his 300th collegiate win earlier this season during the Rams’ 3-2 victory over Southern Illinois University Edwardsville on Aug. 25. DU Coach Jeff Hooker is in his 28th season at DU, and he coached two additional seasons as DU’s men’s coach. Hooker entered the 2019 season with 351 career wins during his tenure coaching the Pioneers women’s program. 

Keys to the game

CSU has appeared to have late game struggles recently. They’ve lost or had a game-tying goal scored on them in the final 10 seconds of regulation play in back to back games against Gonzaga and Eastern Washington. However, the Rams rebounded by beating Grand Canyon University last Sunday in double overtime. CSU must remain focused during clutch time to win in what should be a closely contested game. 

The Rams also have to come out of the game fast. Recently, CSU has looked more energized and motivated in the second half. Since 2006, DU is 169-15-7 when scoring the first goal, and therefore the Rams must focus on getting an early lead and showing intensity at the beginning of the game. 

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CSU shines when they get an offensive contribution from star midfielder Caeley Lordemann. The senior captain is tied in Colorado for goals scored with four. All four goals came in CSU wins. As much as she contributes in other ways, CSU thrives when Lordemann is scoring goals. 

Slowing down DU’s Hannah Adler will also be important. The senior midfielder is the Pioneers’ best player and is tied for the team lead in goals with two and has one assist as well.

With a blowout 3-0 win over Texas earlier in the season, DU received some votes to be ranked in the Coaches Poll. They have nine league titles and 10 league tournament titles. As the Pioneers make the drive up I-25, CSU will have a chance to remain perfect at home and keep DU winless on the road.

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

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