Playing two men down is no way to make a living against the No. 1-ranked team in the country.
Unfortunately for the Skyhawks, they found out the hard way.
The Fort Lewis College men’s soccer team played with nine men for about 60 minutes Friday in Denver, and despite pulling even in the second half, the numbers game became too much in a 5-2 loss to Regis.
FLC head coach Oige Kennedy, typically not one to publicly berate officials, vocally expressed his displeasure with the red cards delivered to Aaron Kloer and Alberto Capdepon. He said he thought Kloer’s tackle was a yellow at worst, while Capdepon’s shoving match with a Rangers’ player earned him a red but only a yellow for Regis.
Adding to his frustration was the fact that the official, Kennedy said, was the same one who sent off goalkeeper Ryan Schaul against UC-Colorado Springs on Sunday, pressing Cooper Hall into duty Friday.
“Maybe Aaron’s tackle, which was a yellow card at best, it was a really bizarre decision. ... We don’t usually want to blame the refs or point fingers, but it’s tough to do,” Kennedy said.
The Skyhawks (8-5-2, 5-4-2 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) clawed back from a two-goal deficit built by Regis’ Adam Tormoehlen and Alex Tarnoczi with goals from Capdepon and a penalty kick tally from Yannis Becker. But the numbers, however, became too much to overcome, and Regis (13-0-1, 11-0-0 RMAC) unleashed a three-goal blitz in the span of seven minutes, with Martin Maybin scoring twice and Tarnoczi once more for the final result against the defending national champions.
“We got it back to 2-2, then just unfortunately 11-on-9 as long as we played it was tough on our guys, who were physically drained,” Kennedy said.