Sunday, Aug. 30 was a hot one. The sun was already strong by 11 a.m. However, the heat wasn’t enough to stop dedicated Colorado College Tiger fans. They shielded themselves with sunglasses and umbrellas and filled the seats at Stewart Field with the smell of sunscreen. The fans were ready and eager to watch the CC women’s’ soccer team take on University of Pittsburgh.
This was only the second matchup ever between CC and Pitt. They last played against each other four years ago on September 2, 2011. That game, hosted by Pitt during their Pitt Soccer Classic, ended in a 2-2 tie.
“Pitt is from the ACC, which is a very good conference, so we were ready for some tough competition, said senior midfielder and co-captain Sarah Schweiss. “We knew we would need to come out strong and compete with them from the beginning. We have to be able to put together a full 90 minutes against the hard teams we are playing.”
Once Sunday’s game began, it was quickly apparent that the two teams were still very evenly matched. Neither side held control of the ball for very long, chasing each other from side to side but some solid saves and near misses kept the teams fighting for the first goal.
The fans watched intently, letting out groans of disappointment when Pitt’s goalie blocked all of CC’s shots on goal, including a diving stop to prevent a bullet sent by first year midfielder Lauren Milliett early in the first half.
At the end of the first half, the score was still knotted at zero-zero. The fierce battle between the teams continued on in the second half. Midway through, Pitt’s goalie stopped another CC attempt to claim the lead, on a shot sent by Schweiss from the top of the penalty area.
The anxiety in the stands grew as the clock ticked through the last few minutes of regular time with no goals on the side board.
Finally, after another half of back and forth, the score remained 0-0, sending the teams into sudden death overtime. This was Pitt’s second overtime game in a row. A few days earlier, they lost in overtime to University of Northern Colorado. In season opener, CC narrowly defeated UNC 1-0 in extra time.
Unfortunately for CC, this overtime went better for Pitt. Only 4:45 into overtime, Pitt shot the ball in just barely past the outstretched hands of sophomore goalkeeper Louisa Mackenzie. The loss against Pitt puts CC’s record at 1-2-0. Adding to the bitterness of the loss, Pitt is the first team to leave Stewart Field with a win since University of Memphis in 2012.
Despite the loss, the team is still happy to be back representing on their home field. “It feels incredible to be back playing on our home turf after being in South Korea,” said Mackenzie. “South Korea was such a wonderful experience, but nothing beats playing at home, in front of friends, family, and the rowdy CC fans”.
Colorado College’s season continues next week with two more home games against Iowa State University (Friday, Sept. 4 at 4 p.m.) and University of Cincinnati (Sunday, Sept. 6 at noon). The Tigers are intent on protecting their home field in these upcoming games.
“We hate losing at home, and we don’t want it to happen again the rest of the season, so we’re really taking that seriously knowing that we play two games at home this weekend,” said first year midfielder Kelli Sullivan. “We have a lot of good practices, and we want to transit those to games, into a full 90 minutes. And we want to get some goals in. We haven’t gotten as many goals as we would’ve liked.”