The Colorado College Tigers kicked off their season with an exciting game against the University of Texas at Dallas on Aug. 31. Unfortunately, the Tigers ended the game with a 3-2 loss in double overtime, conceding two of those goals on penalty kicks. Goalie Keller Mochel ‘20 finished the game with eight saves while the other keeper only had two.
“We were down 2-1 and managed to up our energy and have a great come back in the second half,” said midfielder Isaac Kenner ‘22. “Josh [Raizner ‘20] scored in the second half even though we were down a player.” Along with Raizner, defender and midfielder John Schuler had a beautiful goal for CC.
During Friday’s game, two starters for CC suffered serious injuries. Defender Griffin Wesley ‘19 broke his nose during a 50/50 header, and midfielder Sam Bermingham ‘20 broke his collar bone in a rough tackle. Even though Wesley and Bermingham are top players for CC, the team is optimistic about adjusting to games without them. “We have a deep team, so there are a lot of freshmen and sophomores that are ready to step up and fill in for Sam and Griffin,” said Kenner.
Mochel echoed his sentiment: “Our coaches said that we are able to choose the story we write for ourselves, and he doesn’t want it to be a story filled with excuses and pity,” Mochel continued, “It’s a story about how we overcame losing some starters. I think we showed that on Sunday with our win over Chapman with a bunch of guys who saw the field a lot more than they are used to seeing it.”
Mochel added that the new formation the Tigers were forced into has been an adjustment for the team, and Friday’s game illuminated some of the areas that need improvement. Sunday’s game demonstrated how effective it can be when implemented properly.
“On Friday we had some miscommunications,” said Mochel. “But our game on Sunday showed us how utilizing the formation can help us win. We were able to use our wing backs a lot better to target those wide areas and score some goals. I think we are starting to grow into it really well.”
Schuler agreed. “We came back strong on Sunday,” he said. “We wanted to prove that Friday wasn’t a normal kind of game for us.” On Sunday, the team won 2-0 over Chapman University, as Kenner struck in the 50th minute on a low cross from defender Matthew Simons ‘21, and midfielder Robert Malone ‘19 provided insurance with his free-kick banger from 40 yards out. Kenner, who started on Sunday, hopes to make the travel squad in the future and continue starting in games.
Chapman recorded 15 shots in total, but only four were on target, all easily handled by Mochel, who secured his first clean sheet of the year. Mochel has proven himself to be a strong keeper, and this clean sheet marks his fourth in his collegiate career.
This weekend, the team is traveling to Texas to face Austin College and the University of Dallas. The team is looking to keep their winning streak alive. “Last year we had a lot of ties and losses, which was frustrating. This year I’m hoping we can have more of a mentality to crush teams and beat them handily,” said Schuler.