CSU women’s soccer goes 1-1 to kick off the season

Tyler Meguire and Taylor Paumen

Grace Armstrong(#9) looks to pass to a teammate, while surrounded by San Diego State Players
Gracie Armstrong (9) looks to pass to a teammate, while surrounded by San Jose State University players, as Colorado State plays at home Oct. 13, 2019. CSU defeats San Jose 2-1. (Devin Cornelius | The Collegian)

The Colorado State University women’s soccer team started their 10-game season over the weekend, as they faced the University of New Mexico Lobos on Friday and Utah State University Aggies on Sunday. Although the Rams fell short on Friday, they stayed strong come Sunday afternoon. 

The last eight minutes of the game, everybody fought very hard, and I think the composure was better today,” – Bill Hempen, head coach of CSU women’s soccer

The Rams started their opening match up strong. Assisted by Liv Layton, forward Gracie Armstrong found the back of the net for the first time this season around halfway through the first half of the game. 


Despite the promising beginnings, things quickly turned sour for the Rams. UNM scored back-to-back goals in quick succession, and with just over five minutes left in the half CSU found themselves down 2-1. The Rams were outshot 15-6 in the first half, the Lobos also had more shots on goal in the first half with five compared to the Rams’ four

The game went stagnant in the second half. The Rams were unable to score over six shots, despite five of those being on goal. CSU played tight defense for most of the period trying to keep the one-goal deficit contained. Hopes at a comeback for the Rams began to dwindle, as they were still unable to gain any momentum while the clock ticked closer to the 90 minute mark. 

UNM forward Alesia Garcia put the game further out of reach with a goal at the 84 minute mark to go up 3-1. When the Lobos score, they score in bunches, as four minutes later Leilani Baker sealed the game with the Lobo’s fourth and final goal of the game.

The Rams would have to wait two days to get another opportunity at their first win of the season.  

Sunday’s game against the Aggies saw points on the board significantly earlier in the game, but this time it was not in favor of the Rams. The Aggies scored their first goal at 10:51 and would outshoot CSU 4-3 in the first half. 

Shortly after halftime USU defender, Imelda Williams got a yellow card at 51:17 after getting handsy with CSU forward Caroline Lucas. 

Armstrong continued to play a key role in CSU’s offense, as she aggressively went straight toward the Utah State keeper and got brought down in the box — resulting in a penalty kick for the Rams. Taylor Steinke’s successful penalty tied the game at 72:04. Clearly rattled after the penalty and searching for a way to get back on top, Utah State’s aggression got the better of them, resulting in a second yellow card

After a few minutes of the Aggies playing clean defense, Armstrong proved to be the tiebreaker, scoring in the 82nd minute. The final eight minutes of the game saw the Rams play with a maturity not seen in the first game of the season. While it may have been a bit of a grind, the Rams finished their homestand with their first win of the season. 

“The last eight minutes of the game, everybody fought very hard, and I think the composure was better today,” head coach Bill Hempen said in game recap posted on the CSU athletics website. “The communication of the back line in the second half was a little better, and we were able to work together to stop them from coming down the middle and down the sides.”

Tyler Meguire Taylor Paumen can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @TayTayPau.