GREELEY -- The Bears gave up multiple goals for the first time in nine games Friday but finished off its home schedule undefeated as Northern Colorado and Colorado State finished their regular season finales in a 2-2 draw. The tie was a blemish on an emotional night as 10 seniors played their final games at Jackson Stadium.
"When you have so many [seniors], 10 on the team, it's a pretty big night," head coach Tim Barrera said. "It's the last home game for these 10 players.
"It was a nice crowd, it was a beautiful night and we had a chance to play a bunch of players today and honor the seniors beforehand. The opening ceremony was fantastic. We got them all out there together, which was great. I'm still disappointed we didn't get the win. We created plenty of opportunities and it just doesn't fall your way sometimes."
The shot totals from each team give a different feel compared to how the game actually played out. The Bears dominated in shots, taking a season-high 27, of which 13 were on goal. The Rams were only able to get eight off, five coming on goal, though. UNC also led in corner kicks, 9-4, but it was CSU that took advantage of the set piece for its first goal of the night.
Just under seven minutes into the game, the Rams were set in a corner kick set piece that Amy Eckert put into play. Lizzy Gogolowski was able to draw off a defender to jump and head the pass past senior keeper Natalie D'Adamio. The goal was Gogolowski's first of the season to put the Rams ahead, but the midfielder would show up again late for her team.
The Bears junior Juliana Grover gives the team a useful weapon going into the Big Sky tournament next week. She showed off her talents Friday while scoring her third goal in as many games. Grover was able to steal a Rams pass past midfield and used her speed to drive up field to about 30 yards out. From there she took a shot and tied the game at one in the 24th minute.
"She's dangerous, a big physical player with a lot of speed, strikes the ball pretty well and teams always have to account for her," Barrera said. "A lot of the time you'll see three, four players around her and when she's on her game she's scoring goals like she has and she's finding open players."
Ten minutes later the Bears built off Grover's momentum while grabbing the lead. Freshman Katherine Day controlled the ball up the right side of the field before getting lateral with the net. She saw fellow freshman Sydney Schroeder coming into the middle of the goalie box and passed the ball in. Schroeder attempted to score the go-ahead goal, which was saved. The deflected save went straight back to Schroeder who scored a goal from point-blank range to put the Bears up, 2-1, going into halftime.
UNC took the majority of its shots, 16, in the second period. None were able to give the team the cushion needed to put the game away. The Rams' Gogolowski took advantage of one of the three team shots in the period during the 68th minute. CSU's Jessica Jochheim assisted Gogolowski who scored the game-tying goal from about 10 yards out. Neither team scored again over the remaining 32 minutes.
In the first overtime period, each team was given an opportunity to score in the final minute but neither were able to capitalize. The Bears then took two shots during the second overtime, again with no success. The 2-2 tie on the night was the Bears' fifth of the season but completed its home schedule undefeated for the first time since 2000 and the second time in Barrera's tenure at UNC.
"It was an emotional night and I think that had us off a little bit but it's an experienced group," Barrera said. "They'll be ready to go when we go to Portland next weekend. We have a better idea about (Portland State). We'll tweak a few things and maybe do some things differently than last time."
Since last playing Portland State on Sept. 27, the Bears had not given up multiple goals in a game until Friday night. Now the Bears look to take down the Big Sky Championship host as the fourth seeded Bears play the first seeded Vikings on Thursday, Nov. 7 following the conclusion of the Northern Arizona and Weber State match.