FLC jumps into its next gear

The men’s soccer program believes it’s turned a very important corner

Fort Lewis College redshirt freshman forward Trevor Gibbons has made the most of his appearances this season; he earned his first start and scored two goals in a 3-1 victory Sunday against Colorado Christian in Lakewood. “When you have someone like that who’s just determined to get on the end of the ball, especially with the chances we’re creating lately, they need to be brave,” FLC head coach Oige Kennedy said of Gibbons. Enlarge photo

Steve Lewis/Durango Herald file photo

Fort Lewis College redshirt freshman forward Trevor Gibbons has made the most of his appearances this season; he earned his first start and scored two goals in a 3-1 victory Sunday against Colorado Christian in Lakewood. “When you have someone like that who’s just determined to get on the end of the ball, especially with the chances we’re creating lately, they need to be brave,” FLC head coach Oige Kennedy said of Gibbons.

They hope the corner’s been turned.

For a team that can’t afford much more in terms of losses, the Fort Lewis College men’s soccer team needs to be right.

The Skyhawks scored early and carried play against Colorado Christian in Sunday’s 3-1 victory, one that stopped their first two-game slide since September 2010. And it may have provided a look at how FLC can continue to be dynamic in the attacking third, an area its had issues with at times this year.

Now’s as good a time as ever for the Skyhawks to get on a roll. At 6-3-1 overall and 3-2-1 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, FLC needs to make hay if it hopes to claim one of the three spots in the NCAA Tournament from the South Central region.

Regis currently is ranked third in the nation and is unbeaten, while UC-Colorado Springs and Colorado Mines sit between Regis and FLC in the RMAC standings, with the Skyhawks still set to play Regis twice and UCCS once more this season.

“There’s games coming up for us to put pressure on the teams ahead of us, and hopefully when we play Regis at the end of the season, we’re still in the hunt for a league championship,” FLC head coach Oige Kennedy said Sunday.

They’ll need to continue some of the offensive dynamism they found in stretches against the Cougars on Sunday to put themselves in that position, and a new face might help them do it.

Trevor Gibbons, who sporadically appeared in the earlier part of the season, got his first start Sunday and made the most of it, scoring twice on headers despite his 5-4 frame and providing a spark to an offense in need of one.

“When you have someone like that who’s just determined to get on the end of the ball, especially with the chances we’re creating lately, they need to be brave,” Kennedy said of Gibbons. “It’s good to have someone get on the end of those chances.”

The Skyhawks need to get healthy, as well. Having the quick turnaround from Sunday to today’s home match with an improved Colorado Mesa side doesn’t help matters much, as central defender Stephan Engeln and midfielder/forward Casey Dean are struggling with nagging injuries, as is defender Artur Piperkov, which made Sunday’s victory nice simply because Kennedy had the flexibility to play an abundance of players to rest some of the more banged up of the bunch.

“It was nice to get guys in and get minutes for other people. ... (But) yeah, it’s a tough turnaround,” Kennedy said.

rowens@durangoherald.com