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Fout reaches goal record in Rams soccer win over Air Force

Libby+Brooker+%281%29+jumps+to+save+the+ball+from+going+into+the+goal+during+warm+ups+against+the+United+States+Air+Force+Academy+Oct+15.
Collegian | Paige Molenkamp
Libby Brooker (1) jumps to save the ball from going into the goal during warm ups against the United States Air Force Academy Oct 15.

Colorado State began the final day of Homecoming weekend with a soccer match against Air Force Sunday afternoon. The Rams were coming off a shutout victory against Colorado College and looked to continue that success.

In CSU’s previous match against Colorado College, Kaitlyn Abrams became the all-time leader for the Rams in games played at 77 games. Abrams started the match against Air Force, making it her 78th game for the Rams.

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The game started with heavy pressure from the Falcons with a shot on goal from the Falcons in the first five minutes. Following a penalty outside the box, the Falcons had another shot on goal that was way over the goal, but that still proved just how much pressure Air Force was putting on the Rams defense.

After several solid shots on goal from the offense, the Rams started to build momentum. Despite some successful moments, Air Force was able to react quickly and keep the ball in the Rams’ half for a significant portion of the first half.

The Falcons applied constant pressure on the Rams defense with deep passes into the Rams’ half. While the plays weren’t always successful, they were wearing out the defense and keeping pressure on Rams goalkeeper Shayna Ross.

That constant pressure began to fatigue the Rams defense, with two substitutions happening in the 31st minute. As soon as those substitutions were made, Air Force had a shockingly close goal attempt with Ross missing the save, but a defender was able to make the save in goal.

The Rams struggled with first touches, giving the ball away multiple times because of poor touches following a pass. In a substitution for the Rams, Taite DeLange entered the pitch with determination.

“I told the team, ‘That’s probably the worst half of football we’ve played,’” head coach Keeley Hagen said. “It was just a lot of self-inflicted stuff.”

After a solid show of footwork from Delange, the Rams got into Air Force territory and almost made a goal of the opportunity. In the 44th minute, there was an extremely solid shot on goal from Jessica Shivers.

Going into a 15-minute break for halftime, the game was tied 0-0. Air Force put on a show of great offensive pressure, clearly looking for any weaknesses in the Rams defense that had yet to be executed perfectly.

The Rams seemed to be playing catch up all first half, with only less than 10 shots on goal for the entire first 45 minutes. There were some moments of greatness for the Rams, coming from Shivers, but not enough to gain a lead above the Falcons.

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The second half started off stronger for the Rams, with Mia Casey nearly scoring off a corner kick in the 50th minute. The Falcons responded with a vengeance after a questionable offsides call that nearly resulted in a goal for Air Force.

In the 60th minute, Olivia Fout scored following a solid run in from midfield and assist from Liv Stutzman. This goal marked the first time since 2019 that a player has reached the record for goals scored in a single season: 11. 

“I had no idea (about the record),” Fout said. “It’s really special. It really brings me closer to the CSU community. I’ve worked really hard to get to this moment, and it’s awesome breaking records.”

Ross was being put under a lot of pressure following the Rams’ goal and made several saves while under pressure from the Falcons. It was clear that both teams were beginning to tire under the surprisingly hot sun.

“It was a little stressful, I’m not going to lie,” Ross said. “I do trust my defenders with my life. They blocked so many shots, and they did that in the first half.”

The Rams were able to power through the fatigue and get two more close shots on goal, but the Falcons were close behind with a solid shot nearing the 80th minute. The shots on goal were traded back and forth for the final 10 minutes of the half.

The match ended with a last-ditch attempt from the Falcons to try and score off a set piece, but they were unsuccessful. The Rams won the match 1-0. Their next game is against New Mexico at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 19 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Reach Emma Askren at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @emma_askren.

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About the Contributor
Emma Askren, Sports Editor
Emma Askren, alongside Damon Cook, is the fall 2023 sports editor for The Collegian. She began working at The Collegian during her first year in the fall of 2022, when she covered the swim and dive team as well as anything sports-related. She is currently a sophomore at Colorado State University, where she is majoring in journalism and media communication and double minoring in Spanish and sports management. During her first year, she joined the rowing team, began working as a reporter for The Collegian and working at the Student Recreation Center. Askren applied to CSU as a journalism major, knowing she wanted to combine her passion for sports and writing to create a fulfilling career. Upon realizing that Rocky Mountain Student Media was hiring for first-years, she jumped at the opportunity to become a writer for The Collegian. While working for the sports desk, Askren has had the opportunity to write about hockey, logging, whitewater rafting and the importance of women in sports. As a woman in a male-dominated industry, she seeks to break the status quo and become a successful sports journalist following graduation. Following a year as a sports reporter, Askren became a co-editor for the sports desk alongside Cook. Together the duo seeks to create a new and improved sports desk that caters to all readers of The Collegian and beyond.

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