|Posted September 19, 2010|
Pack makes a game of it against national champs
Freshman-rich squad is continuing to make monumental strides, coach Stanley says.
By Anthony Sandstrom, CSU-Pueblo Athletics
DURANGO, Colo. (GoThunderWolves.com - Sept. 19, 2010) - It's a tall order to ask any team to knock off the defending national champion, but the ThunderWolves came to play Sunday, showing confidence and chemistry despite falling 3-1 to Fort Lewis.
The loss drops the Pack to 1-1 in RMAC play on the young season.
After Fort Lewis' Keane Hamilton started the scoring off with a goal in the 15th minute, CSU-Pueblo battled back.
The Skyhawks possessed the ball for most of the first half, but a misplayed ball by FLC goalkeeper Nate Bell gave CSU-Pueblo a chance to level the score late in the first half.
Alex Raygoza (RSo., Pueblo, Colo.) played a ball over the top that slipped past Bell. A chase ensued between FLC defender Jamie Cunningham and Pack forward and Durango-native, Dustin Geist (RFr., Durango, Colo.), and Geist was the victor, sliding the ball toward the goal and managing to touch it into the back of the net in the 37th minute.
Fort Lewis took the lead back before halftime on a goal by Jordan Alexander, and another by Byron Cephers early in the second half sealed the Pack's fate.
Despite the fact that it was an "L", Pack coach Roy Stanley said it was encouraging to see the team battle and grow, and not be shaken by taking on the defending national champion.
"Every day we continue to improve and create more chemistry," Stanley said. "This was a very encouraging game, and though the result wasn't what we would have liked, it was a positive step forward."
Stanley said that the team is beginning to show that its greatest strength is chemistry and teamwork, led particularly by the leadership of senior Joe Schwedhelm (Sr., Carson City, Nev.) and juniors Robert Kinsey (Jr., Denver, Colo.), Ricky Itagaki (Jr., Aiea, Hawaii) and keeper Jacob Blum (Jr., Peoria, Ariz.).
"Our work rate is there, and every day, these guys demonstrate that they have greater understanding of the game than they had the day before," Stanley said. "For a young team still looking to find themselves, that's huge."
The ThunderWolves will continue on Wednesday, when they play a men's/women's doubleheader for "Steel and Silver Series" bragging rights at UC-Colorado Springs. The men have the marquee time at 7 p.m., preceded by the women at 4:30 p.m. It will be the men's fourth game in seven days.