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Soccer finishes regular season with draw against Wyoming

The Rams’ record-breaking regular season has come to an end following their matchup against conference rival Wyoming on Friday, Nov. 1. After 110 minutes of play, the game ended in a 0-0 draw, leaving the Rams with a 12-5-2 record going into the Mountain West Conference Championship tournament next week.

The Cowgirls took their time in the beginning of the first half, taking almost 10 minutes before forcing Colorado State goalkeeper Gabi McDonald to make a save. Rams midfielder Liv Layton showcased her pace, providing a few blistering runs down the wing to create chances for her teammates, including an impressive low cross to Taylor Steinke, who was unable to capitalize.

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Taylor Steinke (4) takes a shot during the women’s soccer game on Friday, Nov. 1 against Wyoming. The game ended in a tie, 0-0, after two overtimes. (Skyler Pradhan | Collegian)

Seven minutes later, sophomore forward Gracie Armstrong almost improved on her eight assists this season. Armstrong used some beautiful skill to free up space on the left of the box, setting up Steinke again, who was still unable to find the target.

The Rams’ best chance came in the 34th minute, when midfielder Caeley Lordemann wiggled her way into the middle of Wyoming’s box. Lordemann displayed excellent spacial awareness by setting up a one-two pass. Unfortunately, her shot went wide.

Wyoming continued to do a good job of slowing the Rams’ offense. CSU only recorded four shots in the first half, hitting the target zero times, while Wyoming registered six shots, forcing saves from McDonald on two attempts.

Wyoming created the first chance of the second half through senior forward Michaela Stark, who made a quick run down the wing before putting her shot wide of CSU’s goal. The Rams finally began putting shots on goal, forcing Wyoming goalkeeper Riley Furbush to make three saves in the second half.

Despite both teams creating chances, the game was scoreless after 90 minutes, and overtime began. Wyoming, who needed a win to secure their place in the Mountain West tournament, began to play with more urgency as the overtime clock ticked down. But McDonald refused to be beaten, making two crucial saves in the first half of overtime. The Rams had the best chance to put the game to bed, but a miraculous save by Furbush in the 108th minute denied Lordemann, and that save secured a 0-0 finish to the game.

Wyoming seemed to pose a different challenge to the Rams. “We haven’t played against a team like that; that was extremely low-pressure and relied on the counter-attack,” Head Coach Bill Hempen said. “It was hard for us to get the ball moving as quickly as we would’ve liked.”

The Rams won’t have too much to complain about, however, as they finish the regular season third in the conference. Their great season will place them in the Mountain West Conference Championship tournament for the first time in school history next week. The Rams will begin the postseason on Tuesday as the third seed and will take on whichever school can secure the sixth seed after the weekend’s games wrap up.

Bailey Shepherd can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @B_Sheps.

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