Rams Earn First Road and Conference Win in Comeback Fashion

Rams Earn First Road and Conference Win in Comeback Fashion

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Two goals in the final eight minutes flipped the script for the Colorado State soccer team as the team earned its first road win and first Mountain West win with a 2-1 victory over San Jose State Sunday afternoon.
 
The Rams halted their three-game losing streak to improve to 2-5-2 overall and 1-3-0 in MW play, while denying the Spartans (5-7, 2-2 MW) their third consecutive victory. Additionally for the Rams it snapped a scoreless streak that lasted three games as well.
 
“The fortitude to attack the ball and put the ball in the back of the net was there today to make that great comeback,” CSU head coach Keeley Hagen said. “You have to expect the ball is going to bounce your way when you are in the attacking box, so you have to be ready for those situations. You have to continue your run as if it is coming to you. Credit to San Jose State for battling and starting off strong. I got on the team at half, telling them they have to raise their level and they answered that in the last 10 minutes. Our fitness helped us and the fortitude of willing it to happen. It was an exciting finish.”
 
In the 34th minute, San Jose State struck first after Natalia Nava assisted Taylor Phillips who found the top center of the goal off her right foot. At the half, CSU trailed on the scoreboard and shots at 10-7 although earning the only corner kick of the half.
 
The Rams’ equalizer came in the 82nd minute from Gracie Armstrong’s third goal of the season and eighth of her career – good for fourth all-time at CSU. The sequence started around midfield when Kaitlyn Abrams sent it downfield to Kristen Noonan, which wound up being a one-on-one situation with the keeper. Noonan’s shot was saved from SJSU’s keeper, but she was not able to corral it and Armstrong was waiting to clean it up into the back of the net.
 
A corner kick in the 88th minute looked to be the Rams’ last chance to score in regulation, but really it came in the following play 30 seconds later. The ball was cleared after the corner, but the Spartan defense failed to clear it completely. From a few yards behind the box, Abrams had a clear shot and took it. The rocket of a shot landed in the top-left part of the goal and beyond the outstretched hands of the keeper, sending the junior into celebration while the rest of the on-field student-athletes rushed her.
 
Statistically, the numbers between the two school were similar with CSU trailing in shots 16-14 but making them count more with a 7-6 shots on goal ratio. Going with a different starting lineup, the Rams started five freshmen, including goalkeeper Shayna Ross who collected five saves and the win.
 
“Anytime you win in the conference is huge,” Hagen continued. “Obviously, getting points on the road is huge as well. They didn’t give up and I’m really proud of that.”
 
The Rams return home for the next four games, starting with Colorado College on Oct. 8 at 3 p.m. at the CSU Soccer Field.
 
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