ThunderWolves fall in season opener
By Weston Allenback
PUEBLO, Colo. (GoThunderWolves.com - Sept. 2, 2012) - The 2012 CSU-Pueblo Women's soccer team kicked off their season Sunday afternoon at the Rawlings Soccer Complex, with a 1-0 overtime loss to Ft. Hays State.
The Pack was outshot 31-15 in the season opening loss, but did manage to get some opportunities to take the lead in regulation. Midfielder Alicia Irwin (Jr., North Richland Hills, Texas) nearly broke a scoreless tie when her shot from the end line was tipped of the crossbar by the Tiger keeper Nicole Barnaba.
"I think we really kept our effort and attitude up." head coach Janet Cassidy said. "I think our goalkeeper saved us today, she is just amazing."
Goalkeeper Savannah Thompson (Jr., Upland, Calif.) did make important saves to keep the scoreless draw intact. Late in the first half Thompson sprung to her left to bat the ball down, and then quickly gathered the rebound before any Tigers were there to capitalize.
With 3:15 left in the game the Pack gave up a penalty kick to the Tigers. It looked as if the Pack would go down 1-0 with little time to spare when Tigers forward Alexis Aiman scored, but the goal was called back because of an encroachment on another Ft. Hays player. The referee ordered a retake, which sailed over the bar, and the scored stood at a 0-0 draw.
"We were very fortunate for that." Cassidy said. "That was our opportunity to win the game, it went into overtime, we had a missed block and they were able to get it in."
At times the ThunderWolves struggled to keep possession of the ball, but when they did, their chances just were not falling. Forward Brittany Kliesen (So., Pueblo, Colo.) took an opportunity from 25-yards out but it flew just over the goal.
"We didn't finish our chances up top today." Cassidy said. "We are just going to take this as a learning experience and move on."
The Pack will have plenty of time to bounce back, much like they did last season after an opening game lose. They travel to Arizona this coming Thursday Sept. 6th to take on a tough Grand Canyon (AZ) squad. They will also play Dixie State (UT) Sept 8th before returning home to begin RMAC play against Colorado School of Mines.