Steve Lewis/Durango Herald
Steve Lewis/Durango Herald
In soccer, your fortunes can change in the blink of an eye.
One momentary lapse, and suddenly your undefeated season, 13-game home unbeaten streak and spot tied atop the conference are gone.
The Fort Lewis College women’s soccer team had such a lapse Sunday in overtime.
As players looked around for a hand-ball call that never came, Agnes Arnadottir and Hannah Rather ran the other way. Arnadottir beat the defense, fired a shot off goalkeeper Amanda Raso, and Rather buried the rebound.
Just like that, No. 11 UC-Colorado Springs left town with a 1-0 victory over the No. 14 Fort Lewis College women on Sunday at Dirks Field, UCCS’ first-ever win in women’s soccer over FLC.
“I think that we all got distracted with the play that happened upfield, and we all stopped in our heads and thought the play was over,” midfielder Megan Striedel said.
“They just kept going and went through it, and we had stopped playing at that point, so they finished.”
Fort Lewis head coach Damian Clarke said that, despite carrying possession for long stretches, his team wasn’t up to its typical level Sunday, particularly in the attacking third, where the Skyhawks (5-1-1, 2-1-1 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) have been dynamic this season.
Only two of the 19 total shots mustered by Fort Lewis were on goal, and both were stopped easily by UCCS goalkeeper Kelly Schroeder.
“Doesn’t matter from 18 (yards) to 18 what happens, what matters is what happens inside the box (penalty area), and (Sunday) was a prime example of a mistake being made on top of the box and a little bit of us sleeping, and we’re made to pay,” Clarke said.
The Skyhawks had plenty of opportunities, with several shots sailing over the crossbar and some crosses that just missed the mark.
But the touches up top weren’t as crisp as they usually are, and it would have hurt the Skyhawks on the scoreboard if not for a pesky electrical problem that rendered said scoreboard unusable.
“I think we’re hoping to clean up our possession and clean up our possession in the attacking third, especially, trying to stay calm and composed,” Striedel said.
UCCS (7-1-0, 3-1-0 RMAC) also proved to be the more physical of the two teams, not shying away from contact and using size to try and throw the dynamic Fort Lewis offense out of whack.
“We weren’t good enough. They played hard. They played harder than us, and if you let people play harder than you, there’s a chance you’ll lose,” Clarke said.
Not helping matters was a sick Sam Weiss, who still mustered 75 minutes but was unable to go in overtime.
But what Striedel called a substandard week of practice may have been the biggest obstacle for Fort Lewis in two games the Skyhawks weren’t thrilled with, despite the 4-1 win over Adams State on Friday.
“I think we’ve got to be cleaner with our touches, definitely our week at practice wasn’t as clean as we’d all like it to be, and I think that followed into (Sunday),” Striedel said.
Raso made five saves for FLC, her best a tip off the crossbar that kept the game even in the 24th minute.
The Skyhawks hit the road again next weekend, starting at 1 p.m. Friday at Metro State.