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Emma Patron scores wonder goal, Skyhawks top Colorado Christian

Senior delivers last-minute drama

Fort Lewis College senior midfielder Emma Patron put her laces through the ball from 35 yards out in a tie game with under one minute remaining Sunday against Colorado Christian at Dirks Field.

The last thing she expected to see was Colorado Christian’s goalkeeper picking the ball out of the back of the net for the Skyhawks’ second goal in a 2-1 win. It was the definition of a wonder strike. More than just a thing of beauty, Patron’s goal provided the Skyhawks with a crucial three points, after it nearly didn’t happen. The Cougars (4-4-2, 2-3-2 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) scored the game-tying goal on a brilliant strike from Sarah Feller with 61 seconds remaining in the match. Patron’s stunner came just eight seconds later.

“I just told myself that we had to win this game,” Patron said. “I took it on the dribble, saw that the keeper was out, knew that I had the ability to chip it. I just decided to go for it. As soon as it left my foot, I thought ‘That’s not a bad ball.’ It went into the back of the net and I couldn’t believe it. That was the best goal of my career.”

The Skyhawks (3-3-2, 2-2-1 RMAC) led 1-0 for the majority of the match, after Patron converted a penalty kick in the 53rd minute to give the Skyhawks an early second-half lead.

Head coach Damian Clarke said getting Patron on the score sheet was crucial for Fort Lewis moving forward.

“You have to have a player here and there that can carry the team,” Clarke said. “The goalkeepers and some of the players at the back ensured that we got a point last time out. Today, Emma’s composure, it forces more belief into the group. I think she’s done a very good job of staying unbeaten for two weeks. This week we got better with the ability to take points from the weekend.”

It was scoreless after the first 45 minutes, as the Skyhawks did not have much possession in the first half and managed just one shot. Diana Sifuentes’ shot was saved by the goalkeeper.

In the second half, Fort Lewis came out on the front foot early on, and after Patron scored the opener, the Skyhawks continued to press. Colorado Christian did not go away and was able to mount a number of good chances.

In the 76th minute, Adrianna Todd’s long-range shot hit the crossbar and fell to Feller, but her rebound hit the post and stayed out. Fort Lewis goalkeeper Katie Dunbabin made six saves before she was finally beaten from Feller’s strike from 20 yards out.

“I felt like we did a lot of good things today,” said Colorado Christian head coach Tammy McPherson. “To tie it and then concede on a strike like that, it’s some hard knocks right now. We learned a lot, got a goal in the final two minutes, but it was a tough loss for sure.”

The Skyhawks will have a week to prepare for the top team in the nation, the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs at 5 p.m. Friday.


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