The Fort Lewis College men’s soccer team has found its stride, grinding out a 2-1 road win Wednesday against Adams State University; the third consecutive win for the Skyhawks to vault back into the RMAC playoffs picture.
Fort Lewis (7-6-1 overall, 4-3 RMAC) will enter the weekend in fourth place in the RMAC standings, tied with Colorado Christian University with 12 points.
“It was another crucial three points for us, and I thought the guys played very well,” said FLC head men’s soccer coach, David Oberholtzer. “It’s a tough environment playing down at Adams. They are a hardworking team, but I thought we controlled much of the game and created a lot of good chances.”
The Skyhawks dominated the Grizzlies (1-13 overall, 0-7 RMAC) with an 18-6 shot advantage, including 6-1 in shots on goal.
FLC's attack broke through in the 27th minute when freshman forward Tomas Duenes finished off a crossing pass from freshman left back, Maximilian Meier.
It was the team-leading sixth goal of the season for Duenes, who has been red-hot in October with goals in each of his past three games.
“One of Tomas' biggest attributes is how consistent he has been. He was a little unlucky earlier in the year not adding a few more goals to his tally,“ Oberholtzer said. ”It has clicked for him the past couple of games, and anytime he is in front of the goal, he's very clinical. If we can put him in a dangerous space with the ball, good things are going to happen.“
The score remained 1-0 until the 73rd minute, when Adams State took advantage of a penalty kick opportunity, evening the game at 1-1.
The Skyhawks again pushed forward, creating a opportunity at the 83:37 mark.
Senior forward Brantley Bice sent a cross into the box for fellow senior Denis Celik. Before the pass could connect, an ASU defenseman slid in to break up the play and instead put the ball in the back of the Grizzlies’ own net.
“I thought we were unfortunate to have the penalty called against us, but the guys responded well and continued to create quality chances,” Oberholtzer said. “I think that’s just a testament to the guys’ mentality.”
The Skyhawks will look to keep up their winning ways when they return home Sunday for a 2:30 p.m. matchup against Metropolitan State University (5-8-1, 2-4-0) on Senior Day.
“We've been getting pretty beat up all season dealing with injuries, so having a couple extra days of the rest the past two weeks with a couple midweek games has been super-helpful,” Oberholtzer said. “Hopefully it'll help get the guys ready for another big game on Sunday.”