The Colorado College women’s soccer team came away from their trip to California this past weekend with a win and a loss to show. The Tigers faced off against San Jose State University and Fresno State University, both in-conference Mountain West opponents.
The Tigers traveled first to San Jose State to take on the Spartans in the season opener of the Mountain West Conference. The game was scrappy, ending with 23 total fouls, which is significantly more than usual.
“The game against San Jose was tough,” captain Lauren Millet ’19 recalled. “They were really dirty, and we missed a bunch of chances.” San Jose struck for the only goal of the game in the 42nd minute, and the Tigers were unable to muster a response. “We were really disappointed with the loss on Friday, and we felt we should have beaten them,” midfielder Lucia Costanzia ’20 said. “It just wasn’t coming together for us.”
Following the disappointing 0-1 loss, CC faced a traditionally strong Fresno State in central California. The Tigers didn’t show any weakness from their last result, and in the 39th minute, forward Jacqui Hand ’22 headed a cross from Kiley Suter ’22 into the back of the Fresno net. “Jacqui did really well and scored a nice header,” Costanzia said. “She is a big asset for the team and will continue to be moving forward.”
The header was Hand’s second goal of the season, and while the Tigers outshot the Bulldogs 16 to six, the header proved to be enough to seal a win. “The game against Fresno was a lot better, and we put away the chances we needed to,” Millet said. “We were much more energetic going forward and pressed the team more in attack.”
The Tigers allowed only two shots on target in the game, tying a team season record in the process. Goalkeeper Jade Odom ’21 acted when called upon and blocked both attempts en route to her third clean sheet of the season. “Jade was huge in both games,” Costanzia praised. “She always comes up big.”
The emphasis on getting a result this weekend was amplified after the head coach of the Tigers, Geoff Bennett, recently recorded his 200th win as head coach in overtime against the University of Houston. Following that impressive career milestone, the team was pleased to come away from the trip to California with another win under their belts.
“A lot of us are playing to help him with wins,” Millet said. “The reason I came here was Geoff; I saw other school’s coaches didn’t really care about the person, just the player, but Geoff was really interested in me and my home life.”
Costanzia suffered a season-ending knee injury during her first game of the season her freshman year but spoke about her gratitude to Bennett for not giving up on her: “I’ve heard a lot of horror stories of girls at other DI programs who blow out their knees and don’t make their college careers last,” she said. “But Geoff was super positive and awesome to me during the process.” Bennett has done a lot to cultivate a winning tradition in the team, something marked with his latest milestone. However, players spoke about Bennett’s impact off the field during their time at CC. “He’s a really funny guy off the field,” Millet stated. “He has really pushed us to grow as people and not just as players.”
The Tigers hope to continue their winning ways on today against the University of Las Vegas and on Sept. 30 against the University of Nevada. Both games are at home on Stewart Field.