DURANGO, Colo. — Megan Striedel and Sam Weiss scored goals as No. 21 Fort Lewis (10-1-3 overall, 7-1-2 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) defeated Colorado Christian (9-2-1, 5-2-1) 2-1 in women’s soccer action today at Dirks Field in a game that wasn’t as close as the score indicated.
“I think we played really well today,” said fifth-year FLC head coach Damian Clarke. “I can’t complain about the way we controlled the tempo of the game and the possession.”
After firing a dozen shots at the Cougar net in the first 34 minutes, the Skyhawks finally broke through on a set piece in the 35th minute. Sara Egbom floated a corner kick in from the right of the goal that bounced around in front of CCU goalkeeper Mackenzie Averill. FLC’s Hayley Hollenga nudged the ball toward the middle of the frame, where Emma Cannis fired a shot that was blocked. Weiss deposited the rebound into a wide open net for her fifth marker of the season at 34:31.
Just two minutes later, Hollenga centered a pass from the left flank to a wide open Therese Romero, who failed to get much on her scoring attempt, allowing Averill to make an off-balance save.
The Skyhawks held a distinct shooting advantage in the first half by a 17-2 margin overall and 6-0 in shots on goal, but couldn’t extend their lead.
Averill mustered the offense that her teammates couldn’t generate in the 55th minute when her wind-aided punt one-hopped the FLC defense to spring Ciara Meredith. Meredith fired a shot from the right side of FLC goalkeeper Amanda Raso to level the score at 1-1 at 54:29.
A pretty passing play led to the game-winner in the 69th minute. Cannis found Hollenga open near the top of the box and Hollenga slipped a pass through the Cougar defense that Striedel blasted past Averill at 68:54. The goal was Striedel’s fifth of the season and third game-winner.
“I thought Hayley turned it on as well,” Clarke said of FLC’s all-time leader in total points (104), goals (38), and assists (28)l.
Fort Lewis had chances to ice the victory in the final 10 minutes, but Serena Mancha’s shot from in front of the goal ricocheted off the crossbar and Hollenga’s kick from the right side found the far post.
Averill finished with eight saves for the Cougars, while Raso stopped on shot for the Skyhawks.
Fort Lewis hosts Metro State (10-2-1, 6-2-1) at 1 p.m. Sunday. The teams played to a 2-2 draw through two overtimes last Sunday in Denver. The Roadrunners play a 7 p.m. tilt at Colorado State-Pueblo tonight.
“I’m excited to see how we come out and deal with Metro,” said Clarke.