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CSU soccer ends weekend with two big wins, one big injury

Good teams don’t lose on home turf, and for Colorado State soccer, their home field has been a haven this season.

Entering the weekend, the Rams had yet to suffer a loss on their home soil, and the team preserved their flawless record with a pair of wins over conference opponents Fresno State and San Jose State University.

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Vs. Fresno State

On Sunday, the Colorado State women’s soccer team started its four-game homestand with a match against the Bulldogs. The contest highlighted the importance of a strong defense, with both teams shutting down the opposing offense. Fortunately for the Rams, Fresno State’s defense buckled early before regaining their form, leading to a 1-0 win for CSU.

Woman winds up to kick soccer ball
Gracie Armstrong (9) gets ready to drive the ball downfield during the game on Oct. 11 against Fresno State. Colorado State took the win 1-0. (Skyler Pradhan | Collegian)

Gracie Armstrong was impressive to start the match. She looked a notch ahead of the competition when it came to her speed, aggression and game awareness. At the seven-minute mark, Armstrong was able to catch the defense sleeping and squeezed in a goal. Caeley Lordemann received an assist on the play.

Lordemann’s assist was her third of the season. Tallying six goals this year, Lordemann and her scoring ability have posed a challenge for opponents. The all-time leading Rams scorer was able to adapt and secure a win with her assist.

Star forward Kristen Noonan went down in the game with a right foot/leg injury. Noonan was carted off the field at the 60-minute mark.

The defense prevailed for the Rams. Addie Wright and Halley Havlicek have locked down the middle of the defense all season, and this game was no different. The victory was CSU’s seventh shutout on the year.

“This year, we have a lot of grit and fight and integrity for our team, and we want it really bad,” Havlicek said.

Vs. San Jose State University 

Coming into the second match of the weekend, San Jose State won the conference championship last season, and the Rams looked to improve to 6-0 at home. Noonan was confirmed out for the game on Sunday against San Jose State. Noonan showed up with a boot on her right foot. 

In Noonan’s absence, Taylor Steinke made her first start off the season. Steinke had been recovering from a leg injury herself but made the most of her opportunity to start.

Off of a pass by Lordemann, Steinke was able to beat the goalkeeper to the ball and use her left foot to softly kick the ball into the open net. After coming back from her injury this season, the junior has scored two goals in her last three games. 

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At the 27-minute mark, CSU was able to take a 2-0 lead. After converting on her second assist in two games, Lordemann did what she is known for and booted a rocket into the Spartans’ goal.

After a shutout first half, San Jose State was able to make it a one-goal game, but CSU held onto their lead, securing a 2-1 victory. 

“The fans mean so much,” Steinke said. “It’s really awesome to have their support. Without their energy, I think it would be hard to keep that undefeated title at home.”

CSU has been blowing through Mountain West competition thus far. Next up for the Rams is a match with Utah State on Friday.

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

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