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CSU soccer puts faith in new transfers

Collegian | Chloe Leline

With the soccer season now officially underway, the Colorado State soccer team looks to improve on their previous season, when they saw a 4-7-8 finish. 

One of the big holes the Rams have to fill was left by midfielder Liv Layton. Layton scored six out of the 15 total goals for the Rams a season ago. The next highest goal totals came from midfielder Kaitlyn Abrams and forward Aleyse Evers with two goals last season. While Abrams remains on the roster this season, Evers does not. 


“We started off strong last season, and we’re looking to carry that all the way through October and play our best soccer in October.” -Kenady Leighton, CSU soccer defender 

“We’re not just scoring in the same way — we have a variety of ways, which is difficult to defend, and we do have those personnel that can do that,” head coach Keeley Hagen said.

Despite an influx of young talent, the Rams have had their eyes set on the Mountain West Conference tournament since they started their spring camp. The team uses the #October hashtag.

“Since this spring, we’ve been focused on October and tournaments,” defender Kenady Leighton said. “We started off strong last season, and we’re looking to carry that all the way through October and play our best soccer in October.”

Despite lofty expectations, the Rams still have their work cut out for them. With 17 remaining games until the end of the season, the Rams are still taking it in small increments.

CSU finished near the bottom of the Mountain West last season. In order to improve that, Hagen said the team has to score more goals. Some new faces around Ram country will help bring to light Hagen’s vision of scoring in a variety of ways.

One of those new faces is Olivia Fout, who comes to CSU to help do just that. The forward from Auburn didn’t score any goals in her freshman season for the Tigers. However, she’s off to a hot start for the Rams, notching two goals in two games so far this season. 

Liv Stutzman is a familiar face around Fort Collins, attending Rocky Mountain High School before committing to Wyoming. Stutzman is also a second-year transfer, adding to the youth of this CSU team. Last season, she started in all 19 games for the Cowgirls and scored one goal. 

“We have our ‘big five moments’ — or first five, last five — five minutes after a goal is scored,” Stutzman said. “Everything just remaining consistent throughout the whole season is really what we’re striving for.”

Taking the five-minute moments is something the Rams will use to both start and finish the season off strong. This was another struggle for the Rams last season: Of the 15 goals they scored, seven of them came in the first four games — nearly half of the season’s goals. Finishing strong will be crucial if the Rams want to make noise in October.


Avery Vander Ven is the most experienced of the four CSU transfers. Despite not scoring a goal for her previous school, Texas, Vander Ven comes in highly praised, as shown by her playing the full 90 minutes in both of the first two CSU games. 

Kate Dunne transferred to CSU after playing her freshman season at Oklahoma State. She previously attended Regis Jesuit High School, where she earned several accolades during her time. Some of those include a first team all-league selection, team defensive MVP and an all-state honorable mention.

Dunne played in 11 games in her solo season for the Oklahoma Cowgirls but garnered no starts for them. The defending room is competitive for the Rams, but Dunne will help bolster that room, which looks to be a strength for the Rams this upcoming season.

“I’m sure you guys have watched the ‘Ted Lasso’ (show) and (know) the importance of belief,” Hagen said. “It’s a real thing — the energy is a real thing bringing in the transfers we brought in. We’re expecting them to have an impact, especially (with Stutzman) over here.”

Reach Damon Cook at or on Twitter @dwcook2001.

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About the Contributors
Damon Cook, Sports Editor
Damon Cook is the 2023-24 sports editor for the The Collegian and has been at the paper since August 2022. He started doing coverage on volleyball and club sports before moving onto the women's basketball beat. He is in his third year and is completing his degree with a major in journalism and media communication and a minor in sports management. As The Collegian's sports editor, Cook reports on CSU sports and helps manage the sports desk and content throughout the week. After having a year to learn and improve, Cook will now get to be part of a new age under the sports desk. The desk moved on from all but one other person and will now enter into a new era. Damon started school as a construction management major looking to go in a completely different direction than journalism. After taking the year off during the COVID-19 pandemic, he quickly realized that construction wasn't for him. With sports and writing as passions, he finally decided to chase his dreams, with The Collegian helping him achieve that. He is most excited to bring the best and most in-depth sports coverage that The Collegian can provide.
Chloe Leline, Print Editor
Chloe Leline is a fourth-year art student majoring in graphic design and is the current print editor for The Rocky Mountain Collegian. Some of her duties include overlooking and editing the majority of the layout design in the newspaper and pushing the creative limits of the overall paper design. She was born and raised in a one-stoplight Michigan town and moved with her family to the big city of Austin, Texas, at 10 years old. There, she was able to get more in touch with her creative passions. In middle school, she discovered her love for design, and in high school, she became the editor in chief of her school's yearbook. These passions led her to Colorado State University. Art and print production give Leline an outlet to express her love of everything visual. Whether it’s a spread design in the newspaper or a quick sketch in her notebook, creating tangible things brings her happiness every day.  Working alongside other driven individuals at The Rocky Mountain Collegian brings Leline the extra inspiration that she has been longing for. She hopes her love for design can shine throughout the paper and bring readers that extra spark of joy she was lucky enough to find.

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