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FLC men’s soccer scores two wins during homecoming

Volleyball rallies, women’s soccer draws, turnovers cost football team
Tomas Duenes of Fort Lewis College moves the ball while playing Colorado State University Pueblo on Thursday at FLC. Duenes scored the game-winner of that game and another game-winner on Sunday against the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

A late goal from freshman Tomas Duenes lifted the Fort Lewis College men's soccer team to an exhilarating 4-3 win over the University of Colorado Colorado Springs on Sunday in front of an electric crowd at Dirks Field.

Four Skyhawks players tallied goals. Junior Denis Celik led things off with his first goal of the season. Sophomore Matt Baldridge and senior Brantley Bice each scored their third goals of the season, and the game-winner from Duenes was the freshman’s fifth of the year. Duenes also scored in a record 18 seconds to start a game on Thursday to lift FLC to a 1-0 win over CSU Pueblo.

UCCS found the game’s first goal in the 25th minute. FLC wasted little time answering back, getting a from goal Celik in the 28th minute to tie the score 1-1.

The Mountain Lions went up 2-1 in the in the 32nd minute after a corner kick set up a scoring opportunity.

In the 42nd minute, FLC tied the game off a deflected shot from senior Alejandro Arribas. Baldridge was quick on his feet to pop the deflection past the scrambling keeper, sending the game into the halftime tied 2-2.

The scoring carried over into the second period as a UCCS penalty kick resulted in a goal for the visitors, bringing the score to 3-2 in the 51st minute.

Bice answered the call for FLC in the 82nd minute after lining up for a free kick at the top of the box. UCCS sent five players to form a wall in front of the senior, but a veteran shot caught the keeper on his heels, and the ball found the back of the net to his right.

With the scored tied 3-3 and time winding down, the Skyhawks could sense that a player was going to step up. That player would be Duenes. The freshman settled a scramble just outside the box and took his shot when he saw an opening. The ball found space to the right of both the defender and keeper, giving FLC a 4-3 advantage in the 86th minute and sending the home team sprinting to celebrate in front of their home crowd.

The Skyhawks improved to 6-6-1 overall and 3-3-0 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference while Mountain Lions moved to 6-5-1, 2-3-0.

Rutz has career day on defense, but turnovers cost FLC football

Playing in front of a spirited crowd for homecoming weekend at Ray Dennison Memorial Field, the Fort Lewis College football team was hampered by turnovers – three interceptions, a fumble and also a turnover on downs – in a 55-3 loss to Colorado Mesa University.

The Skyhawks got off to a good start Saturday, forcing a turnover on Colorado Mesa's opening drive via an interception and 21-yard return by junior defensive back Clayton Rutz that set FLC up at its own 38-yard line.

It was the first big play on a career day for Rutz as he finished with nine tackles, an interception, 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles while lining up in multiple spots in the FLC defense.

FLC would capitalize on a career-long, 40-yard field goal cashed in by freshman kicker Hunter Villavicencio to go up 3-0 with 8:41 remaining in the first quarter.

Colorado Mesa answered with a nine-play, 59-yard scoring drive to take a 7-3 lead with 4:52 remaining, then bumped its advantage to 14-3 at the 1:23 mark on a quick-strike, 55-yard touchdown run from Darick Holmes one play after an interception for the CMU defense.

The Mavericks would go into the halftime locker rooms up 34-3 as the FLC offense struggled to regain traction.

FLC finished with 99 yards of total offense, led by redshirt junior running back Jeff Hansen with 35 net yards on 15 carries. Zach Russell had four catches for 33 yards.

FLC volleyball storms back

The Fort Lewis College volleyball team completed the reverse sweep over the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (22-25, 23-25, 25-18, 25-22, 15-13) Saturday night on the road.

“We needed this win. Our focus was to play into our strengths, and I really think we regrouped after those first two sets,” said head coach Giedre Tarnauskaite. “I am so proud of the way that my players rallied around each other and played for the team. We made little changes throughout the match, and that was the fuel that we needed throughout the match for our mentality and attitude.“

Sophomore Chay Swenson matched a career high with 20 kills to lead all players. Alexis Hobie added 17 for FLC.

Women’s soccer ties Westminster

The Fort Lewis College women’s soccer team battled to a double-overtime 0-0 draw with Westminster College on Sunday afternoon in Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference competition.

The Griffins held a narrow 8-7 advantage in shots for the match, but the Skyhawks were superior in shots on goal with six to the visitor's two

The Skyhawks also hosted Colorado Mesa University on Friday, but a goal in the 73rd minute helped CMU claim a 1-0 victory.