Pack shows rust, falls in season opener

ThunderWolves' look to shake off rust in early season loss.

 PUEBLO, Co. (GoThunderWolves.com - Sept. 2, 2011) - The CSU-Pueblo women's soccer team opened up the 2011 season Friday night falling to Northern State University (SD) 4-1.

The team started off the game slow and looked to shake off the rust from a long offseason. Northern State opened up the scoring off an error by the goalkeeper that led to a breakaway shot for Rachel Goslinga that was nearly saved.

CSU-Pueblo continued to work out the early season kinks and answered with a goal of their own by Gabby Gonzales (Sr., Centennial, Colo.). Gonzales received a pass from Brittany Kliesen (Fr., Pueblo, Colo.) that she calmly tucked away in the upper right corner beating the Wolves goalkeeper tying the game 1-1.

Northern State would respond six minutes later when Haley Burns found an open Khachirha Tugas in the middle of the box that she finished in the upper right corner just beyond the outstretched goalkeeper.

The Thunderwolves had an opportunity for an equalizer on a breakaway but failed to capitalize when the Wolves goalkeeper, Shaina Stein, came up with a game-tying save.

The lost opportunity came back to hurt the Thunderwolves when Goslinga struck again. A ball played into the box was lost by the Thunderwolves defenders that eventually bounced its way to an open Goslinga who headed the ball over the goalkeeper for her second goal of the night and a 3-1 Northern State lead that held up into the half.

Playing with more composure and energy CSU-Pueblo again came close to cutting the deficit when another breakaway was snuffed out by the Wolves goalkeeper. The Thunderwolves continued to pound the Northern State keeper with shots but too many were in the direction of Stein.

Northern State added some insurance in the 61st minute when Goslinga added an assist to her resume' as she sent a cross into the box that found the foot of Ashley Elliott who beat the keeper short side to claim a 4-1 lead.

Kliesen had a solid start to her career finishing with an assist on the night to go with her four shots. Melissa Christensen (Sr., Kenosha, Wisc.) and Angela Mendoza (Sr. Oxnard, Calif.) also applied plenty of offensive pressure just with no goals to show. Freshmen keeper Erin Stephens (Aurora, Colo., Fr.) also shook off some early game jitters to finish with eight saves on the night.

CSU-Pueblo will have a chance to end the holiday weekend on a high note when it hosts Adams State in a non-conference matchup at 6 p.m. on Monday at the Rawlings Sports Complex.