DURANGO, Colo. — Emma Cannis scored a golden goal with 58 seconds remaining in the second overtime to lead No. 21 Fort Lewis (11-1-3 overall, 8-1-2 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) to a 2-1 win over Metro State (11-3-1, 7-3-1) in double overtime today at Dirks Field.
“To sum it up, it was a huge victory,” said fifth-year FLC head coach Damian Clarke. “Obviously, any time you get a win against Metro it’s a big win. I thought that we played pretty well from the back to the front. I’m quite proud of the girls. I think we’re starting to define ourselves.”
Hayley Hollenga set up the final score by controlling the ball in traffic, juking a Roadrunner center back, and feeding the ball into open space for Cannis to run onto. Cannis blasted a shot from 10 yards out from the left side that MSCD goalkeeper Danielle Quigley got her hands on. Cannis’ shot, though, went high into the air and dropped inside the goal line for the winning score. It was her team-leading seventh goal of the season and third game-winner.
“I think Hayley is back,” said Clarke. “I thought she was absolutely fantastic in the end.”
In fact, Hollenga nearly won it a minute earlier when, on a similar play, she trapped a through ball, dribbled around a marking defender and prepared for a one-v-one opportunity against Quigley. She appeared to be pulled down from behind in the box, but no call was made by the official.
The Skyhawks dominated possession for much of the game and outshot the Roadrunners 21-11 overall and 7-4 in shots on frame.
“Madyson Wellcome was an absolute monster in the back,” said Clarke. “I think the back four had their best game of the year.”
Fort Lewis grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 34th minute when Ashley Kniffen played a long ball down the left sideline that Sam Weiss ran onto. Continuing down the flank, Weiss was ultimately stripped of the ball by MSCD’s Kelci Newlin. But Newlin’s back pass to her goalkeeper was short, and Weiss beat Quigley to the ball, dribbled past the keeper and sent a shot into the wide open goal. It was her sixth marker of the season.
“To be able to run something down and outwork people to score a goal,” said Clarke, “Sam is just always dangerous.”
The Skyhawks twice had the ball on their feet in front of the net after corner kicks in the middle of the second half, but failed to generate clean shots on goal.
The lead looked as if it would hold until — for the second time in eight days — Metro found a way to level the score in the 80th minute. Last Sunday in Denver, it was from a 2-0 deficit with a pair of goals in 19 seconds. That game eventually finished in a 2-2 draw.
Today, Metro’s Hayley Marsh unleashed a bomb of a free kick from 45 yards out that was ticketed for the upper 90 before a leaping Amanda Raso made the save. The rebound, though, went to an opportunistic Abby Rolph, who deposited her ninth goal of the season into the netting at 79:06.
Quigley ended the game with five saves, while Raso stopped three shots.
The win allowed the Skyhawks to remain two points ahead of Regis (11-4-0, 8-3-0) in the race for their second straight RMAC regular season title. The Rangers defeated Colorado State-Pueblo 2-0 today. The two teams meet in the regular season finale on Oct. 30 in Denver in a game that will likely decide the league champion.
The Skyhawks extended their lead to four points over Metro State and No. 15 Colorado Mines (11-2-1, 7-2-1) today. The Orediggers were stunned 4-1 at New Mexico Highlands today, but have a game in hand against the rest of the league’s top four teams.
Fort Lewis wraps up its regular season home schedule next weekend, when it hosts Adams State (6-7-1, 3-6-1) at 1 p.m. Friday and suddenly red-hot New Mexico Highlands (9-6-0, 7-4-0) at 1 p.m. next Sunday. After losing a 3-2 overtime thriller to Fort Lewis on Sept. 30, the Cowgirls have reeled off seven straight wins, outscoring their opponents 26-3 in that stretch.
Sunday’s game also marks the home regular season finale for four seniors: Hollenga, Jane Barden, Sara Egbom, and Michelle Felten.