|Posted August 22, 2010|
Big crowd greets ThunderWolves in exhibition opener
Exhibition: Otero Junior College 3, CSU-Pueblo 2
PUEBLO, Colo. (GoThunderWolves.com) - Over 400 fans were in attendance for the ThunderWolves' exhibition opener under the lights at the Rawlings Sports Complex Sunday night, but the result didn't break the Pack's way, losing to Otero Junior College 3-2.
The Rattlers, playing in its first season as a program this year, rattled the Pack in the first half, as the freshmen-rich contingent of ThunderWolves had troubles getting any chances going, giving up seven shots in the first half and trailing 1-0.
In the first 10 minutes of the second half, Otero kept piling on, adding two goals and mounting a 3-0 lead. With shots in favor of the Rattlers 11-2 at that point, CSU-Pueblo finally shook off the nerves and began producing.
The ThunderWolves out-shot the Rattlers 11-2 for the remainder of the game, connecting on two second half goal. The first, a feed from Robert Kinsey (Jr., Denver, Colo.) to Chad Smith (Fr., Las Vegas, Nev.) in the 60th minute, and the second coming on a header by Kinsey in the 67th minute. Kinsey received a clean pass from Brandon Herre (Fr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) to drive the Pack's second goal home.
Despite losing the match 3-2, CSU-Pueblo, playing with a partial lineup that will only partly resemble the starting unit that hits the field to start the 2010 regular season, made great progress in adjusting to Otero.
"We were nervous in the first half and had trouble keeping up with their team speed," Pack coach Roy Stanley said. "But I was pleased at how we regrouped and demonstrated that our guys had good enough fitness to stay after it and keep battling."
The game was also remarkable for the crowd in attendance. In one of the largest crowds in school history, estimated at over 400, the game provided a preview for the Pack's "Night Soccer Series" at the Rawlings Soccer Complex this season.
"The crowd was great and I hope it's a great preview of the support we'll get at night games this season," Stanley said.
CSU-Pueblo will have one more exhibition match - an Aug. 27 date at Colorado College, before it kicks off its regular season against Cal. State-San Bernardino in Phoenix on Sept. 4. CSU-Pueblo will open its home slate under the lights on Sept. 15 against Montana State-Billings.