By MIKEY WRIGHT
With Block 1 underway and the campus once again buzzing, student-athletes have begun training for their upcoming fall seasons. While the Colorado College women’s volleyball and men’s soccer team began practices last week, women’s soccer has been hard at work for the past few weeks. With a talented group of first-years joining the team, the Tigers began their season with two exhibition games versus Grand Canyon University and Arizona State University.
The women struggled against GCU, allowing three goals and scoring none. But the Tigers quickly rebounded and mustered a tough 1–1 draw against ASU, as forward Catie McDonald scored the equalizer with less than 30 seconds remaining.
Despite a tough preseason, the Tigers were ready to go by the time the regular season kicked off. Their first matchup came against Northern Colorado University, beginning the season-long quest for the Colorado Cup. The Colorado Cup is a series involving all six Division 1 soccer teams in the state, awarded to the team that accrues the most points throughout their season.
The quest for the cup started off well for the Tigers as they defeated Northern Colorado 2–1. After going down 1–0 in the 17th minute, the Tigers quickly rebounded thanks to a pair of headers from defender Tayla Wheeler. The second header scored right before half was all the insurance that the Tigers needed to close out the game. Midfield powerhouse Lauren Milliet assisted on both headers, proving that the superstar will continue her great impact on the field after a junior season that saw her lead the team in goals, assists, and points.
The Tigers then faced Denver University, just three days after their win against Northern Colorado. This time the Tigers came out swinging with a goal from midfielder Rae Conlon just before the end of the 1st half, and McDonald followed up with a goal of her own in the 75th minute, capping a 2–0 victory for the Tigers. Goalie Jade Odom came up clutch for the Tigers, making five spectacular saves to ensure the first shutout of the season and the fourth in her career.
The Tigers played their home opener on Aug. 24 against the Texas A&M Corpus Cristi Islanders, taking down their visitors. Key for CC was their defense, as the Islanders could only manage a meager three total shots, and Odom was able to secure her second straight clean sheet. The Tigers were able to effectively turn defense into offense, as they put up a barrage of attacks against the Islander defense with 16 shots. CC struck first thanks to a clinical score from Millet in the 44th minute, and she grabbed her second goal of the game on a penalty in the 71st due to an Islanders foul inside the box.
The Tigers’ 3–0 is their best since 2005, and they’ll be looking to keep the ball rolling when they face Colombia University on Aug. 31. The game will be played on Steward Field at 3 p.m. Come out and support your Tigers!