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Fort Lewis remains unbeaten after rout of NM Highlands

Six different Skyhawks found the back of the net on Friday
Haley Stafford of Fort Lewis College strikes a goal against New Mexico Highlands University on Friday under the lights at FLC. Jerry McBride/Durango Herald

The Fort Lewis women’s soccer squad outshot New Mexico Highlands 33-2 on Friday night as the Skyhawks crushed New Mexico Highlands, 6-0.

Fort Lewis improved to 5-0-3 overall, including 1-0-1 in Rocky Mountain Athetic Conference play. New Mexico Highlands fell to 0-6-1 this season.

This is the Skyhawks’ strongest start to a season since opening the 2011 campaign on a 9-0-2 tear. Their six-goal outing were the most in a single contest since 2016.

Fort Lewis improve to 35-5-5 all-time against New Mexico Highlands.

Six different players scored for Fort Lewis. Twenty-six players saw the pitch for the Skyhawks, with no starter seeing more than 55 minutes of playing time.

“We had a chance to play a lot of kids tonight, which was great,” Fort Lewis coach Damian Clarke said. “Some kids got to gain some confidence in the attacking third which is a big part of trying to win big games. It’s good momentum to carry into Sunday.”

Senior forward Aubrey Swindle opened the floodgates with a goal on the left side assisted by freshman Haley Stafford 12 minutes and 50 seconds into regulation.

Stafford then scored the next goal on the left side of the 18-yard box with a great shot into the top right corner 17:35 into the game.

“We’re good from the flanks,” Clarke said. “Haley is an absolute handful. She turned the corner over and over again and created a lot of momentum for us going that way because we could.”

Freshman Ashlyn Salas scored the third goal from the left side into the lower right corner 20:45 into the first half to make it 3-0.

The Skyhawks continued to create chances as the match progressed with their advantages in skill, speed and strength. The margin could have been bigger in the first half as two shots went off the frame of the net.

New Mexico Highlands goalie Peyton Greener made some fantastic saves late in the first half, but Fort Lewis senior midfielder Julia Johnson scored a placed shot into the lower left corner to make it 4-0 at the 38:51 mark in the first half.

In the second half, Fort Lewis’ substitutes continued to press on and dominate possessions. Junior Anika Scherer scored the fifth goal after a scrum for the ball and freshman Ann Spence scored the sixth goal with a nicely timed volley off a failed clear.

Fort Lewis resumes action 2:30 p.m. Sunday at home against Adams State.

“It’s been five years of suffering,” Clarke said. “This is a group that has worked really hard over time to become what they’re becoming. There’s still a lot more in them.”


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